Side Trip – Firestone Walker Brewery Tour
My husband and I just got back from camping up the Central Coast of California. We try to make this an annual trip. We camp at Morro Bay State Park, which we love. This year we added a new adventure and side trip and headed up to Paso Robles for a tour of the Firestone Walker Brewing Company.
From Morro Bay we headed up Highway 1. We stopped at this hole-in-the-wall little cafe in Cayucos for a breakfast burrito. We have ordered one before on a previous visit and it was really good. It is on the side of a gas station/mini mart, so unless you are a local and know about it, or an adventurous tourist, you might pass it right by.
Heading up Highway 1 towards Cambria, you will make a right and take Highway 46 to Paso Robles. It’s a nice drive through the hills and wine country. You will pass winery after winery as you get closer to Paso Robles. When you get to the 101, you are literally down the street from the brewing company.
Since this was a last minute idea the night before, we hadn’t made on-line reservations. We arrived at the brewery just before 11 and waited for the TapRoom Restaurant to open. Currently (Sept of 2016) they are expanding the brewery and their visitor center is closed and tours are limited. We were lucky that they had openings and we got into a tour.
We were taken into the brewery and showed how things work in the “hot room” … ha ha … don’t ask me the name of the that room .. just that is was the hot room!! I do know that this is where everything to make beer is pumped in and separated. Just don’t quiz me!
I did get one quiz right – what the four ingredients of beer are – Water – Yeast – Malt (Barley) and Hops
We saw the Barrel Room and were told that this beer never sees a bottle, it is served in their tap room or sold in a “Growler” (A 20 or 64oz vessel to hold beer or other beverage)
you can purchase one here
My husband Mark and I in the Barrel Room –
We got to sample a beer while in the Barrel Room and it was the DBA (Double Barrel Ale) and very good.
Now onto the bottling room!
Don’t forget to read the do’s and don’ts for the tour – Do wear closed toe shoes. Do take a lot of photos. Do bring your own headphones if you don’t want to wear their throw-aways, which I would recommend, as the throw-aways didn’t fit my ears at all!
After the tour we had lunch in the TapRoom. I had the TapRoom Chopped Salad. It was fresh and good. My husband had the DBA Bratwurst Sandwich. He liked it. The fries were a little too salty. We both had a pint of the DBA. It was good, but could have been colder. Overall, we enjoyed our lunch. I think their menu might be a bit pricey. Our server and all of the staff who helped at our table were very nice and efficient.
A lot of people in the TapRoom had the “Sampler” – a fun way to try some new beers!
Here is the Firestone Walker Brewing Company brochure – Click each image to view larger.
We took a different route back to Morro Bay – Highway 101 to Highway 41 and over to Highway 1. Highway 41 is a more windy road but a pretty drive and it ends up right in Morro Bay.
Here locally (Capistrano Beach, CA) we find the Firestone Walker “805” in restaurants. I hope that more local restaurants will start carrying a wider selection of the Firestone Walker line-up of beers, especially the DBA!
While in the restaurant we bought a hat as they had a small corner of products. We kicked ourselves later for not visiting the “Emporium” down the street – the big store of fun Firestone Walker products and beer.
If you are a beer lover this is a fun stop on your way in or out of Paso Robles!