San Luis Obispo County is known as wine country, but beer enthusiasts can please their palates here as well. This first of two articles takes a look at some locally brewed labels, while next week’s article will profile a local microbrewery and a neighborhood beer bar with a shrewd selection of suds.
Tap It Brewing Co.
675 Clarion Court, San Luis Obispo | 545-7702 | www.tapitbrewing.com
On-tap and retail locations listed on website
Tasting room hours: Noon to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; pints $5, pitchers $14.
Given the proliferation of its signature bright orange tap handles throughout the county, it’s hard to believe that Tap It Brewing Co.’s first commercial beers didn’t pour out of the brewery until January.
Located off Tank Farm Road in San Luis Obispo, the company was launched by John Gordon, already a successful entrepreneur with Canidae and Felidae pet foods and an avid homebrewer whose hobby spilled over into the formation of the brewing company. At Tap It, he’s part of a cohesive brewing team consisting of John Huggins, Westin Joy, and son Miles Gordon.
Tap It’s current beers — all brewed and bottled on the premises, where there’s also a small tasting room — are an APA (American Pale Ale) and an IPA (India Pale Ale). The crew is also in the midst of putting the finishes touches on a third, which will be a lighter beer in the American Standard style.
Pismo Brewing Co.
361 Pomeroy Ave., Pismo Beach | 295-6200 | www.pismobrew.com
Tasting room hours: Open 2 to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday; pints $5, sampler $10.
The county’s newest microbrewery, Pismo Brewing Co., has been making beer commercially since August 2010 but just opened its Pomeroy Street tasting room on June 7.
“We’re handcrafting the beers using fresh hops, all whole grains, no extracts and no preservatives,” explained Melissa Moscardi, co-owner of the company with husband Tim Moscardi. “We’re also trying to have something for everyone.”
Focused on American craft beer styles, the fledgling label’s lineup already includes Pismo Pale Ale, Bootlegger Blonde Cream Ale, Bolina Brown Ale, Roadster Red Ale, Double IPA and Tule Wheat Ale, a seasonal summer beer. Pismo Brewing also makes a root beer for the under-21 crowd, and the family-friendly spot serves up root beer floats as well.
Located adjacent to the brewing facility, the tiny tasting room has about a dozen seats at the bar and a few booths along the wall.
You can order up a Pismo Brewing draft, a tasting sampler, or something from the “guest tap” such as Racer 5 or Green Flash IPA.
Patrons are welcome to bring their own food, but snack items such as pretzels, a cheese and olive tray, and house-made sweet and salty almond bites (think Beer Nuts) are also available.
Currently, the tasting room is the only place you can get Pismo Brewing Co. beers, but bottles and kegs are in the works.
Einhorn Beer Co.
On-tap and retail locations listed on website, no tasting room.
Douglas Martin started Einhorn Beer Co. in 2008 to celebrate the German beers he got to know and love during more than two decades of living in Germany and working in marketing for some of that country’s larger beer companies.
“I wanted to bring over the concept of locally brewed German-style beer,” Martin said.
Currently, Einhorn’s Hefeweizen, Spezial Pilsner, “Unikator” Dopplebock, and “Der Kommisar” Blonde Dopplebock are all brewed in Southern California according to Martin’s own recipes, but his ultimate goal is to establish a brewery in San Luis Obispo and relocate all the production.
However, Martin’s most recent addition to the Einhorn portfolio is indeed brewed locally.
He collaborated with Pismo Brewing Co. and used their facilities to craft “Der Hopfenhammer,” California’s first German IPA. The unique brew is a mashup of Pacific Northwest hops and German malts and hops, and will be tapped for the first time at the third annual Brews and Bites on Sept. 3 in Mission Plaza. (Tap It Brewing Co. and Pismo Brewing Co. will also be at the event, www.slobrewsandbites.com.)