SLO Brew reopening downtown with new space, new menu and new beers

Nearly six months after the closing of its iconic Garden Street location, SLO Brew is opening Thursday in its new spot around the corner at 736 Higuera St.

Along with the new space, the brewpub is debuting a new menu, new music partnership and new beers.

The brewing equipment — brought over from the old location — fronts the space along Higuera Street, along with a few patio tables. Inside, patrons will find a rustic, industrial vibe with booths and high tops opposite the long bar, with concert posters from the old venue plastering the walls.

Toward the back, more tables will make way for a retractable stage during performances, with a creekside patio through the doors. The mezzanine level features lounge seating and a pool table.

Flowing from the brewpub’s 14 taps will be its four main beers — Original blonde ale, Wave Wrangler session IPA, Reggae Red red ale and Cali Weisse wheat — one or two guest beers and new specialty and seasonal beers.

“We have some surprises coming,” said co-owner Hamish Marshall, adding that they scored big getting brewmaster Steve Courier full time. Courier had been splitting his time with Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

There’s also a rye whiskey distilled in collaboration with Re:Find Distillery founder Alex Villicana.

To accompany the libations is a new gastropub menu created by new Executive Chef Thomas Fundaro, who previously headed the kitchens at Paso Robles’ Villa Creek Restaurant and Trumpet Vine Wine and Tapas Bar. Designed to pair with the brews, offerings include new signature pizzas, gourmet salads, shareable plates and entrees such as pork belly tacos, chicken and waffles and Aussie meat pie.

SLO Brew kicks off its music offerings, now booked by the New York-based Knitting Factory Presents, with two nights of performances Thursday and Friday, followed by a handful of concerts through next month.

A satellite SLO Brew location near the San Luis Obispo County airport and loft accommodations above the brewpub are expected to open later this summer.

Sally Buffalo writes about wine, beer and spirits. Reach her at or on Twitter @sallybuffalo.