James Murren
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Hike and Bike the Day Away in SLO

The Earning

It is impossible to go to San Luis Obispo (SLO) without finding multiple opportunities to Earn Your Beer. The sustainability-focused city is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and green spaces, offering miles and miles of coastline and trails for your favorite activities, and there are numerous award-winning, well-established breweries, as well as newer ones, around town. Simply put, put SLO on your outdoors/adventure/craft beer town list and go.

Bluff Trail, MDO:

Montaña de Oro State Park’s Bluff Trail is beautiful. Walk, stroll, power hike, run, bike, wander along it for four miles (out-and-back) and not only will you get some exercise, you’ll ease your mind. 


Irish Hills Nature Preserve:

If you enjoy classic cross-country mountain biking, Irish Hills is a place for you. Want a challenge? Climb up Mariposa to Mine Trail. Then look at your map and work your way over and up to Ocean View Trail via Froom Creek Trail, riding it all the way to Wednesday Trail. Connect into what locals call Chutes and Ladders and you will have a blast. Want more? Take the connector over to King Trail and climb up it to where you’ll connect back into Mariposa. At that point, you’ll recognize where you are, the climb you completed earlier in the day now a ramblin’ downhill.

Earn Your Beer in San Luis Obispo image of a trailWest Cuesta Ridge:

Mountain bike all the way up TV Tower Road to the little kiosk on the left that provides the botanical lesson on the board. Turn around in the direction you came and on your right now is what looks like a gravel two-track. Take it. Called Botanical Trail, this run turns into single track. Follow the signs and you’ll connect into Morning Glory. Yes, it is glorious. That will drop you at The Eucs. Have fun on the wooden roller coasters! Stenner Creek Flow Trail is as good as it sounds. Where do you begin this ride? There are many options for looping this ride, or shuttling it if you have two vehicles.

Earn Your Beer in San Luis Obispo SLO Brew logo

The Beer

There is no shortage of independent, craft beer in SLO. I can honestly say that I did not have one bad/off-tasting draft while in town. I can say the same for the cans I picked up at Sandy’s Deli-Liquor, which are great for taking back to your camp, house rental, hotel. Speaking of hotel, inside The Kinney is Leroy’s. Leroy’s has an excellent local tap list, as well as free skee ball and shuffleboard. 

SLO Brew has a tasting room called The Rock. It has it all, literally, with beer, wine, and their own distilled liquors, as well as food.  SLO Brew is not to be missed. The tortilla-chips lager was on draft while there. Yep, you read that correctly – tortilla chips in the brewing process. slobrew.com

The Libertine Brewing Company has all of your sour beer needs, as well as a long tap wall of other beer offerings. Wine too! Hungry? Well, the tot-cho plate might be what you need after a big outing, but maybe get a half order. libertinebrewing.com

Central Coast Brewing has two locations in SLO town, a standard in the central coast brewing scene since 1998. Their cans are easily found around town. Want something a little lighter? Their Power Hour Pilsner is what you need. centralcoastbrewing.com

Barrel House Brewing Company   is a newcomer to the scene.  I walked downstairs and found a home away from home. The old timey jazz coming out of the speakers was not what I would expect in a brew pub with that kind of décor, but it somehow fit. I ordered the Curly Wolf, a 10.1% Bourbon Barrel-Aged Coffee Stout. The night cap lit the way on the walk down the street. barrelhousebrewing.com

Read more ways to Earn Your Beer here.