Central Coast Craft Beer Week kicks off Saturday

Local bars and breweries are celebrating the Central Coast craft beer boom this week with more than 20 events that include a beer-and-Girl-Scout-cookie pairing, tap takeovers and one-of-a-kind collaboration brews.

Central Coast Craft Beer Week, in its second year, begins Saturday, March 20, with events that stretch from Buellton to Cambria. Special beer releases and Cambria Beer Co.’s third anniversary party are among the first celebrations. The official kickoff for the week comes Sunday, with a brunch and tap takeover of local beers at Mother’s Tavern in downtown San Luis Obispo.

The primary goal of the event is to make residents aware of the beers being brewed here on the Central Coast, said Jamie Smith, president of the Central Coast Brewers Consortium.

To do that, one of the key elements of this year’s event are the eight collaboration beers, which will be unveiled at a tap takeover at Spike’s Pub in San Luis Obispo on March 29. Among the creations is an Indian brown ale made by four local breweries: Central Coast Brewing, Tap It and SLO Brewing Co. of San Luis Obispo and BarrelHouse Brewing Co. of Paso Robles.

“This really showcases the collaborative community of brewers we have on the Central Coast,” said Smith, who is also the marketing director for Firestone Walker Brewing Co. “After having individual events throughout the week, this will be a time for all the breweries to celebrate working together as well as the one thing we all have in common: our love for craft beer.”

Some of the other highlights for the week are beer-and-food events, including a Girl Scout cookie pairing Wednesday at the Buellton, Los Olivos and Santa Barbara locations of Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co., which plans to soon open a taproom in Arroyo Grande; and a grilled cheese pairing Friday at Tap It Brewing in San Luis Obispo.

The Central Coast Brewers Consortium, which is spearheading the weeklong event, is made up of 14 breweries and brewpubs in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

For a full schedule of Central Coast Craft Beer Week events, go to www.ccbrewers.org.

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