The Sonia Show

Writer. Mocker. Beer drinker. Old movie watcher. Mother. Goober.



Yeah, so, and now for the important stuff … the beer we drank on our vacation.

Our first brewery stop on our drive down the coast was El Toro Brewing Company in Morgan Hill. It wasn’t really part of our plan to check out this brewery. It just happened to be lunchtime, and we were near Morgan Hill, and I remembered there was a brewery in Morgan Hill.

El Toro has a really spicy beer on the beer list, but I was too afraid to try it, and I regret being such a pussy. Sorry. Instead, I had an oatmeal stout, because everyone knows an oatmeal stout in like 90-degree weather is awesome. Also, I didn’t take a photo of it, but I’m sure you can guess what a pint of oatmeal stout looks like.

Our next stop on our beer quest was Central Coast Brewing in San Luis Obispo. It was my birthday, so beer was required. It’s a smallish brewery. We can’t get their beer here in San Francisco, which is a bummer. We did a tasting flight, and as you can see from the photo, their tasting flight was a lot of beer.


We’ll have all the beer. Thanks, Central Coast Brewing in San Luis Obispo.

David and I split the flight, thankfully, because it was a lot of beer. David really loved the Catch 23, which is dark rye IPA, and Lucky Day, which is an IPA. My favorites were the Chai Ale, which is exactly what you think it is, and the bourbon barrel-aged oatmeal stout, because I am a complete sucker for those barrel-aged beers.

Oh, and be warned, they serve a big tasting flight, but there’s no food. Just bags of chips and stuff like that. So, if you go to the tasting room and you’re hoping to throw back some beer and eat, that’s not going to happen. However, there is a really good taqueria about a block up from the tasting room. We were pleased.

The next day we hit Firestone Walker Brewing. We were really excited to taste all their beer and watch the Giants game, BUT, they didn’t get FOX Sports 1, so there was no Giants game on. I know they don’t get FOX Sports 1, because it’s the first thing they told us when we walked through the door, because I was wearing my lucky Giants hat. Bummer.

It didn’t stop us from trying all the beer, though.


Firestone Walker Brewing – The Paso Robles Taproom & Restaurant

We started in the Firestone Walker Taproom Restaurant. I had a lot of favorites. I loved the Agrestic, which is a sour beer, and barrel-aged Velvet Merkin, because as I already mentioned, I’m a damn fool for barrel-aged beer. David loves their IPA, so their Double Jack was right up his alley.

After lunch, we moved to the tasting room next door, where I had the the Belgian quad Stickee Monkee. It reminds me of the Straffe Hendrik Quad I had in Belgium, which is one of my all-time favorite beers. I also had more the barrel-aged beer, because duh.

On Saturday, we went to Firestone Walker’s madlab, Barrelworks, which is where they create their experimental beers. In other words, it was a barrel-aged beer and sour beer. Sonia heaven!

Cool photo by David

Cool photo by David

We loved this place so much. I wanted to pack my bags and move in. There wasn’t a bad beer on the list. They were all complex and interesting and delicious. They had sour beer. They had bourbon barrel-aged beer. They had beer and wine blends. They had beer aged in wine barrels, beer aged in oak barrels. You guys, they had a tequila barrel-aged beer! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Tequila and I used to be really good friends, but we don’t talk anymore, because it always ended badly for me. The beer is called Velvet Añejo, and it’s amazing. Stupid tequila … I can’t stay mind at you.


Dark and light at Barrelworks.

David’s favorite at Barrelworks was probably the Bretta Weisse, a Berliner-style wheat beer. It was so light and refreshing. He was super disappointed that there were no bottles to buy.

So, Barrelworks was so great, which made Figueroa Mountain Brewing, our next stop, kind of a disappointment. We went from these complicated, tasty beers to just regular ol’ beer. David and I each got a tasting flight. David did the IPAs, and I went to the dark side. The IPAs were good, but the stouts and porters were a letdown. The Danish Red Lager was pretty OK, and coincidentally, that’s the beer that had just won the Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival that very day.


Figueroa Mountain Brewing.


I was disappointed in the beer, but the brewery seemed nice, and they had the Giants game on. Still, we didn’t stick around very long. Plus, it turned out at the Giants were playing the game that would never end. The game went 18 innings, and we watched and listened to it all day long.

So, that’s all the beer we drank on our vacation. Seems like a downer way to end this post, so I’ll just put this photo of me in my happy place here.


They don’t call it the Barrelworks for nothing.

If you want to read about all the other stuff we did on our vacation, click riiiight here. And if you can’t get enough of beer talk, you can follow me and mighty, mighty good man David on Untappd, where we rate all our beer all the time.


Author: The Sonia Show

I'm a writer/podcaster/mother/goober in San Francisco who likes to drink beer, shop, laugh and make other people laugh, watch old movies, feed my unhealthy obsession with pop culture, kick breast cancer's ass, go on adventures with my mighty, mighty good man David and my awesome autistic son, Calvin, wear orange and root for the San Francisco Giants, participate in general jackass-ery, talk about TV, eavesdrop on strangers' conversations, make nerdy “Star Wars” and “Simpsons” references, and post personal things about myself on the web for all to read, which makes me some sort of literary exhibitionist.

2 thoughts on “Brewcation

  1. Pingback: Everything you wanted to know about my vacation but were afraid to ask | The Sonia Show

  2. I’m trying really hard to be happy for you and not insanely jealous. Also, Velvet Merkin YAY.

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