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Columnists Teri Bayus

SLO Brew — The Original San Luis Microbrewery

Dinner & A Movie

By Teri Bayus 

SLO Brew is a craft brewery that produces small amounts of beer, typically much smaller than large-scale corporate breweries, and is independently owned. The first and finest is located in the heart of downtown. SLO Brew otherwise affectionately known as “The Brew” is a neighborhood brewpub featuring original 10-barrel brewing tanks and copper kettle, fresh local foodstuff, an intimate music venue, whiskey lounge, fireside salon, and creekside patio.

When the sun goes down, SLO Brew transforms into one of Downtown’s best late night gathering spot for drinks and entertainment.

And that is just what we did after a night at SLO Film Fest. I started with the Original Blonde Ale, which our waiter said was a gateway beer for the craft beer drinker. A unity of malt, hops and water is used to create a delicious, easy going beer. It was crisp and refreshing.

Gary ordered the Reggae Red Wheat, a one-of-a-kind ale that was born at the SLO Brew pub amidst the musical acts of California’s 1990’s reggae movement. A harmony of seven different malts, three types of hops, and a dash of hemp seeds made Reggae Red a crowd pleaser.

Gary loved the earthy and toasted taste, especially with the Paleo Fries, which were a gathering of root herb, roasted winter vegetables, smothered in garlic and sent out with a Bagna Cauda dipping sauce.

I started with the Brussels & bacon, which is my new favorite, with caramelized Brussels sprouts and Nueske Bacon, tossed with a warm cider vinaigrette, with liberal herbs and goat cheese.

We then moved to Nasty Nashville’s Hot Thighs (I love these names). These buttermilk fried chicken thighs are dredged in Nashville hot rub and served over kale slaw, bacon, Japanese mayo, and country style pickles all on a Brioche bun. It was intensely spicy and I drained my beer cooling off the heat.

Gary had the IPA battered fish & chips, with fresh local cod, beer battered and fried, served with a spicy remoulade, chips and mustard slaw. The remoulade sauce really brought out the essence of this tradition pub fare. He finished with a root beer float. Its huge, frosty glass contained yummy root beer and Leo Leo Vanilla Gelato, and it was accompanied with a tasty, chocolate chunk and oatmeal cookie.

The next visit was for lunch and so we only sipped and tried one drink, a Barrel Aged Martinez. Boasting that is was “Not your dad’s martini,” the girls loved the Fords Gin, Carpano Antica, Luxardo Maraschino, and orange bitters.

You could taste the definitive oak it was aged in and it was perfect with the Hatch Green Chile Verdi. Hatch Green Chiles are a variety of the genus, Capsicum that are grown in the Hatch Valley, an area stretching north and south along the Rio Grande River in the north, to Tonuco Mountain and to the southeast of Hatch, New Mexico.

They are hot, flavorful and amazing with chunks of pork shoulder in a rich green stew, garnished with cabbage, onion, cilantro, Cotija cheese, and fried farm egg. Served with warm corn tortillas we shared and savored this perfect dish.

Then we shared the sausage, pretzel and fondue, with a pretzel as big as your head served on a platter with creamy Red Dragon Mustard and Reggae Red infused cheese sauce, served with Ray’s Own Brand Swiss Sausage, a green apple sliced thinly, and garlicky broccolini. While the menu stated it was to feed 4-6 people, it suited three hungry ladies well.

SLO Brew opened its doors in 1988 and has remained one of California’s longest standing brewpubs, music venues and perfect bar eatery. They have urban lofts upstairs if you would like to spend the night in the SLO scene. And they’ve recently opened the newest addition to their expansion project: SLO Brew Rock, a brand new brewing facility with over 14,500 total square feet of indoor and outdoor floor space that features a tasting room, restaurant, beer garden, and concert/event space. The SLO Brew Rock Taproom is at 855 Aerovista Pl., San Luis Obispo.

For more information, see: www.SLOBrew.com.

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