A Beer Lover’s Guide to Central California Breweries
Three Must-Visit Central California Breweries
We’ve rounded up the best central California breweries for your new go-to brew. From ales to hops, the Santa Maria Valley has a libation to satisfy every taste bud that goes beyond the vine. If you’re a beer enthusiast and have yet to try the local brews, you’re missing out. There’s a whole world of beer styles in the Santa Maria Valley, and our brewers work to make the best — be it beer or cider. This guide features local favorite breweries that every beer lover should try.
Whether you’re an IPA, stout or lager fan, Naughty Oak Brewing Company has a beer that is sure to catch your attention. Get acquainted with a “Staycation,” a light blonde ale with a heavy dose of mango, to kickstart your vacay in the Santa Maria Valley. Naughty Oak has no shortage of delicious full-flavored brews that’ll make you hop from the brewery to the beach and then onto a delicious bite of authentic Santa Maria Style Barbecue.
Are you spending the night in the Santa Maria Valley, or even better, are you spending a weekend here? If you like free beer, bring in your keycard, and Naughty Oak will give you a free tasting. And if you think it can’t get any better than free beer, think again — Naughty Oak offers Beer Yoga on a regular basis. Quench your thirst and boost your training as you find your zen.
Naughty Oak’s Pints and Plates
Although Naughty Oak doesn’t serve food, the brewery is completely food-friendly, and deliveries are encouraged. Don’t miss out on trying Naughty Oak’s Z-Lander pilsner with firewood Margherita pizza from Pizzeria Bello Forno. What’s even better is that Pizzeria Bello Forno offers gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options for all diets. And don’t forget to check out the Santa Maria Valley Taco Trail, because nothing pairs with tacos quite like beer!
Known for its award-winning beers, the Santa Maria Brewing Company offers a wide variety of pint styles. Do you have a craving for Redneck Water (American Ale) or a Cali-Veza (Mexican Style Lager)? The ingenuity of the brew names gives you an inside look at this brewery’s laid back style. The Santa Maria Brewing Company has four locations across California’s Central Coast, but this brewery is best known for its original Nipomo Taproom, which boasts small bites to satisfy every taste bud and pair with every brew. Choose a pulled pork slider sandwich or a Central City burger to pair with a pint of their Blood Orange Wheat brew. The Nipomo Taproom is an intimate yet lively location, featuring live music year-round. Whether you’re on a solo adventure or with a large group of friends, this taproom is the place to be if you’re looking for a good time.
Santa Maria Brewing Company’s Pints and Plates
Bear’s Breath (Barleywine) – Although most beer enthusiasts enjoy drinking a barleywine post-meal, you can never go wrong when pairing it with cheese. Indulge in a pint of Bear’s Breath with buffalo chicken cheese bites with blue cheese or a plate of their beer-battered chili cheese fries.
Sweet Mash (Imperial Stout) – Anyone with a sweet tooth and a love for stouts knows that it’s best paired with anything barbecued, smoked or salty. Try out this imperial stout with a plate of Santa Maria Style barbecue or with the Santa Maria Brewing Company’s pub pretzels and their homemade beer cheese. If you’re feeling like a burger, order the Orcutt Burger from their menu, which includes a delicious barbecue sauce and onion rings, and will perfectly pair with this strong stout.
Forklift Jousting (Barrel-Aged Sour) – Do you like a bitter beer face and your brews sour? Welcome to the brew style that pairs well with anything (really!). Whether you choose pulled pork taquitos with salsa or a Flagship (hot Philly steak with provolone cheese), a barrel-aged sour is your new best friend.
One of the more unique central California breweries lets you sample an ounce or try a full pint. Then Blast 825 Brewery in the Santa Maria Valley should be your next go-to brewery. This taproom lets you pour your own beer (and ciders and wines). They have 43 selections on tap, giving beer and cider enthusiasts a chance to sample as many different brews as their hearts desire. Also, if you’d like to taste the world’s first pineapple cider, Blast 825 Brewery has their Ace Pineapple fruit cider on tap. The Ace Pineapple is a delicious and tangy take on traditional ciders. That’s not the only thing that’s fruity — this brewery has a thing for a balance of fruits including their Barrelhouse Mango IPA and Blast 825 Joe Blast Blonde. Drop in and try them all or just sample a few. We know you will have enough to taste and to pair with their delicious menu.
Blast 825 Brewery’s Pints and Plates
Blast 825 Joe Blast Jr. – We cannot decide which is best — this moderate amber lager blast or their calamari steak strips. The malty beer pairs perfectly with this appetizer, but if you’re hungrier, try out their chicken wing selection. You can choose up to three different kinds!
Blast 825 Slo Gold Ale – Enjoy this malt-oriented brew paired with the Orcutt Cowboy pizza, which has a delicious barbecue sauce topped with tri-tip and fresh garlic. You can also pair this easy-drinking brew with their pulled pork sandwich on their house brioche bun.
ACE Pineapple – First produced in 2013, Blast 825 Brewery is home to the world’s first pineapple cider. This cider is perfect for adventure seekers and is best paired with their bacon n’ brussels firewood pizza — yum! You can also pair this with their pesto chicken pizza or their dough boy pretzel served with beer cheese and mustard.
Tip: Every Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Blast 825 Brewery serves a lunch buffet with live music, a beer garden and delicious food. Bottomless mimosas or Bloody Mary’s are only $15 or $27, which includes the buffet.
No matter which of these delicious central California breweries you choose to visit on your next trip to Santa Maria Valley, you’re sure to find the perfect brews to suit your tastes. And if you’re looking for even more fare to go with your weekend of libations, check out the Santa Maria Taco Trail next.
*** In Santa Maria Valley, there’s so much to do from here. Hit the road and explore it all with our 24 hiking trails, 34 tasting rooms, seven unique AVAs, 13 beaches, and a growing selection of local breweries, all within a beautiful 30-minute drive. There is no need to venture far if you are looking for sand dunes, cycling and authentic Santa Maria Style dining. You’ll find it’s the perfect home base, where you can eat, drink and do more for less.