SLO Brewing Co.

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SLO Brewing Co.SLO Brewing Co.
117 Ratings
SLO Brewing Co.SLO Brewing Co.

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

1119 Garden Street
San Luis Obispo, California, 93401
United States

(805) 543-1843 | map

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Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-17-2005

BA Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 24 |  Reviews: 11
Reviews by bray:
Photo of bray
3.91/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

We go to slo brew a lot.
Great, casual place to have a decent beer and watch sports. Best place in the downtown san luis area that brews their own beer. Central Coast brewing is really good but is located at the other end of town. Tap It brewery has the best IPA in the county but is a few miles from downtown.
Food is okay, fish and chips are decent.
Nitro IPA and the stout are pretty good.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of gelasin
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of smcolw
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25

This is a large place on the busiest street in San Luis Obispo (SLO). Lots of yuppies and children, making it a borderline fern bar despite the lack of ferns.

Service was efficient but not remarkable or knowledgeable. The beers were rather pedestrian except for a couple of their darker and more alcoholic offerings. I can understand its popularity but it isn't a beer lovers kind of place. It's worthy of a visit, but don't expect to be blown away by the beer quality, particularly with all of the other possibilities in California.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Reviewed from notes taken during a visit few months back. Two story building. Went upstairs to an open and airy wood-lined room. Brewing operation off to the side of the bar. 11 beers on tap with good variety. Service was prompt and friendly. Food was tasty and enjoyed. Spoke with brewer and will visit again.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Photo of MisterKilderkin
3.18/5  rDev -14.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of double2chin
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of AlexM
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Bubbawilly88
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of Btip1969
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of BreweryRun
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of LakerLeith
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of boudeysbigbrew
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of Skunkdrool
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of GeorgeH
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.13/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I visited SLO over the Labor Day weekend. The bar/restaurant are located upstairs, with the first floor being a music venue and bar when there are shows in town. I actually visited this place twice over the weekend, once sitting at the bar and once at a table. It's a very modern spot with lots of wood and bricks. The brewery is located on the 2nd floor right next to the bar. The service both times was good with different waitresses. The quality of the beers on both days was good. The quality of the beers was good and the selection was pretty great with around 10-12 of their own beers on tap with a few guest taps from what I remember. Their food is good too, especially their tempura battered fries. Prices are reasonable, especially for the 6 beer taster flight at $10. I was able to make my own 6 beer flight the second day for the same price. Definitely recommended if you are in the area. I would love to come back, especially if there is a show in town I would like to see.

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Photo of OStrungT
3.83/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I go to this place because they have a stage and a lot of great Punk rock bands come by. Seeing a punk show while drinking craft beer is pretty damn amazing.

This place has 2 floors. The bottom floor is where the bands play. There is a stage and a bar and a bunch of old show posters on the wall. The bar serves liquor and all the beers they have on tap.

The top floor is the restaraunt. They have tables, a bar, and 2 pool tables.

They have about 6 beers on tap. The standard, IPA, Pale, Wheet, Lager. The beers are decent. I dont think any of them are the best beers I have had in a while, but not bad either.

The food was good. We had a buffalo chicken pizza. The size was nice, and the price wasnt too bad. They have a varied menu.

The service was good both upstairs and downstairs during the show. Fast to take orders and to bring stuff out. The staff is friendly.

Overall: If I am in San Luis Obispo, I will be at this place. Good environment.

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Photo of Floydster
3.83/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

This place is right off the main drag in SLO and I have visited here many times in the past, they have great bands play here all the time including a great local band named Still Time fronted by a former bartender of this place, the music is downstairs, while beer, dining areas, and pool tables are upstairs, unfortunately this past time we were here it was incredibly hot in there as it was during a freak heat wave and they have no AC, I had a strawberry blonde and IPA while I was here, cost me a whole four dollars because pints were two bucks during happy hour, cool atmosphere in here and I love how they mold music and beer together so well, it is nearly perfect, this place does get very crowded at night and has a younger crowd than other places in town, I will go back here and hopefully catch another show here in the near future, definitely worth checking out, while the beer is not the best you will ever have, you cannot find a much cooler place to hang out on a given night

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

This is a frequent hangout for the younger crowd of San Luis Obispo. Two of us decided to cruise over to DTB last night after a couple cheap pints from Frog & Peach. Pitchers are only $4 on Tuesday nights at DTB (<- totally worth it!) Have tons of other great deals as well.

Downtown Brew occupies an old two-story brick building just off of Higuera St. (where most of the other bars sit). During the day, the top floor acts as a sports bar and the bottom floor is typically closed. At night, the bottom floor transforms into a cool-looking nightclub (never been due to $10 cover), and the top floor acts as a typical college bar with music, TV's, dancing, and occasionally beer pong. The top floor is both spacious and nicely furnished. The mood is always upbeat and friendly.

DTB brews roughly a dozen different beers (though very few of them are listed on BA), and keeps almost all of them on-tap year-round. Six or seven of their brews are posterized around the establishment. The styles range from blueberry wheat to IPA to Belgian-style abbey. They even have an Irish stout and a winter warmer. I've tried 3 or 4 of them in passing and have had okay experiences at best. Last night we got Reggae Red which I thought was sub-par.

Overall, Downtown Brew is a fun place (especially at night) and worth a try if you're in the area.

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Photo of Zorro
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I had not intended to visit here today I had planned to be in Camarillo for the SoCal BA meeting. Long story short I had to work, but I ended up in Santa Maria today and San Luis isn't so far away so I made the trip to SLO. I had intended to stop at Spikes and see what was available but after parking and paying the parking meter I found that Spikes was closed for some reason. To salvage a disappointment I remembered that there was something new at the place where SLO Brewing used to be so I headed to here.

Pretty much everything is upstairs and pretty much the same as when it was SLO Brewing.

This is a medium sized brew-house and restaurant the placard on the wall says "Max Capacity 280." Windows on only the front of the place the rest of it is red brick with a hardwood floor and a tin roof with sky lights and ceiling fans. This place is dark and shadowy inside on this warm and bright day. Normal type bar with nothing very notable about it. Chalkboard signs tell you what is on tap and I do see that the new owner had the good sense to keep making the SLO blueberry ale without the SLO name.

Average service here the bartender is an obvious student at Cal Poly he is competent but not enthusiastic.

All the taps are house beers with eight selections available.

Good menu, I ordered the hand cut fries and I got an over generous portion I could never hope to finish with Parmesan cheese and fairly salty for $3.95, 50 cents more to add garlic.

I sampled two beers while there; the wheat was OK and the IPA very good.

More or less this is SLO Brewing under a new name; it is basically the same place.

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Photo of bradybeer
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 2

Tdawg and I stopped off on the way back to Santa Cruz. This is two levels-the bottom is where they have shows and the upstairs is another bar, pool tables, couches, TVs and brewing equipment.

Kind of like a sports bar-hey, what the heck is BFL?

It was early afternoon and the place was empty-couple of guys playing pool.

They have about 10 beers on tap-but I was only able to have a pint of the Winter Brown. This is a real smoth malty brown-only downer was it was served in a cold mug

We had a Cobb Salad-not bad but not good-kind of plain.

Service was good-our waiter was the bar keep too.

Like this place allot-when we can get down to SLO town and spend a night hanging out we will be back for the beer but eat elsewhere.

Update 2/4/07-Celebrator Brewpaper reports DBC may shut its doors because of renovation of the entire block-they may move, stay open during the renovation, or close

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Photo of Goldorak
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

What an awesome day. 17-mile drive, trespassing on one of the greens at Spyglass, nearly driving off a cliff to plummet to our deaths in Big Sur (we didn’t find the only pub in the area listed on Beerfly), taking a quick peak at Hearst Castle from the tourist office below and finally arriving in SLO. What a nice little town. Some liquor store was having a fancy wine tasting with catered food and everything, but we sort of felt out of place and decided not to freeload. They had a few nice Beer selections too, like Dupont saisons. We had a couple of tasters at Central Coast Brewing, the guys there were really nice and had some very interesting brews, and even some car dealership was cooking up burgers and hotdogs and called us over to have some for free, we turned them down too, why I still don’t know. Maybe we were in too big of a hurry to check out Downtown brewing.

This is the type of brewpub my girlfriend appreciates (she even bought a girlie T on the way out). Upstairs in what seemed to have been some factory building, it’s a vast wide-open space with plenty of room to maneuver between tables, dark red brick, left to right you can see the brewing equipment closed off with a garage door, long bar area with sports memorabilia here and there (they seem to be torn between the Raiders and the ‘Bolts in their allegiance), the kitchen and the restrooms out to the back. Pool tables, lots of widescreen TVs gives it a very sports bar/restaurant theme. We were there around 5pm and the place was pretty quiet (I should think so, with liquor stores giving away free booze and a dealerships giving free food just a few blocks away!), so a friendly waitress that had basic knowledge of what was on tap served us pretty quickly.

5 or 6 regular brews were on, with a seasonal or two and I think they had a guest brew from Firestone-Walker. Selection was pretty conservative. I went for the IPA if memory serves, and it was quite good. I also had a few samplers, nothing bad to say about any of them. Prices were dirt-cheap during happy hour.

Food menu is standard brewpub fare that we enjoyed, I had the clam chowder (what is it with brewpubs and clam chowder? Every single one I’ve been to on this trip had this on their menu) and tuna melt sandwich and Mel went for a burger, to which I couldn’t help but mention that she could have gotten one for free just down the street. She pulled out her tongue and said something nasty in French.

Bad timing, this also seems to be a pretty interesting show venue, if I would have been here a day later, I would have stuck around to check out Dick Dale.

Pretty solid brewpub experience from top to bottom, nothing blew me away but all my expectations were met and I had a good time.

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Photo of Rumrunner
4/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Downtown Brewing Co. is located in the building that used to be San Luis Obispo brewing.

If you do not live in SLO then Downtown Brewing is a great stop for lunch when a road trip requires one to travel the 101 freeway from soCal to noCal or vice versa.

Downtown is located in the main shopping district of SLO. A real enjoyable part of town to walk around and take in SLO and check out the shops.

The establishment is in two parts. A down stairs and an upstairs. First the down stairs, which I have never been to for a drink. Always closed when I visit because it is for the night time crowd and I am always traveling by day. A very long bar with no stools. Colored lamps hang from the ceiling. A stage for bands and an open space for dancing. This is what I saw through the window.

The upstairs is more of a restaurant than the down stairs. The building is brick and the upstairs has a very worn in wooden floor. Signs of Downtown's beers cover the walls. A medium sized bar with seats is opposite the stairway. Tables and chairs fill out the middle of this large room. At the far end are a couple of pool tables. All in good condition. To the right of the top of the stairway are some couches for extreme relaxation. T.v.s display sporting events. A huge window next to the bar allows a person to view the brewing equipment.

This place has a full bar of spirits, wines and the macros are in bottles.

Their own beers are on tap. I enjoyed the IPA. A quality beer. The pale is very good as well. I would recommend the porter for the end of the session. The brewer is brewing some top notch beers.

The food is good. The menu has plenty of items, mostly in the bar food range but a few dishes that are outside the pub grub realm. Burgers and fries, fish and chips to salads and a few other creative items. The food is of better quality than it used to be.

Service is good but not overly superb. They take good care of you here and the bartender on the day I visited was very cordial and attentive.

Notes: The upstairs does allow families. You do not have to be twenty one.

Overall this is a very well run establishment which caters to all types. I think the new ownership is working hard to reinvigorate the business. Great beer, with better quality food and a friendlier staff. Give this place a try. I don't think you will be disappointed.

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SLO Brewing Co. in San Luis Obispo, CA
Brewery rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 117 ratings