Finding Tap It Brewing Company for the first time can be bit of a challenge.
Mostly because it is not located in the tourist-centric downtown. Tap It brewery is hidden near the outskirts of San Luis Obispo.
The brewery is located off a narrow and curvy road. Just before the car reaches a dead end sign, the directions guide expectant tasters left into a random industrial park.
In one of the last gray buildings visitors will see the bright orange Tap It Brewing Company logo, like a sun on the horizon guiding thirsty beer-enthusiasts to their final destination.
Newcomers may be skeptical as to how a hip micro-brewery could be located in a space seemingly meant for a dentist’s office. Upon entrance, it’s clear this place is meant for a party.
Tap It’s ambience is perfect for social gatherings. Heavy with rustic decor and bright walls, the tasting room looks like a book of I Spy.
The outdoor patio is filled with tables and heat lamps to spark conversations on cool nights. The look is complete with stacks of old kegs and a vintage fire truck. A BBQ is going and smoke fills the air as fellow tasters wait to eat.
Inside, the layout gives loungers an inside look to the brewery itself. Stainless steel tanks and pipes as tall as the ceiling are in sight while tasters enjoy a glass of their product.
Mason Meredith is a San Luis Obispo local (or “slocal” as he calls it) and a first time visitor to the Tap It brewery.
“It smells really good in here,” Meredith said. “The first thing you notice when you walk in is the smell, it really grabs your attention.”
He tried the beer flight and his favorite was the American Standard, he said. He likes that the tasting room is open.
“You get to see the beer being made, so that’s pretty cool,” Meredith said.
He recommends a visit the brewery, he said.
“It’s kind of a drive, but it took maybe ten minutes,” Meredith said, “It’s not that bad.”
From the walls to the staff, everything about this brewery is cheerful. The staff patiently explained each flavor of ale to me.
The style of the beers is what makes Tap It Brewing Company unique, Kelly O’Leary, a Tap It employee said.
“The IPA is fruity and floral and you don’t see that in a lot of IPAs,” O’Leary said. ”It’s a gold medal winner.”
The people behind the beer are what make the company, Melissa Julian, another Tap It employee said. Tap It is a really young company. Everyone who works at the brewery is in their twenties, she said.
“It’s a really fun group of people doing something that they’re passionate about, and that reflects in what they’re making too,” Julian said.
O’Leary acknowledges the brewery somewhat hard to find, she said.
”Once you get here, everyone’s so friendly you’re going to want to come back,” O’Leary said.
I tasted the flight and my personal favorite was the American Pale Ale. It was light with just enough bitterness. It reminded me of a warm summer day spent drinking ice-cold beer by the pool. The perfect combination of citrus and caramel malt.
“Hoppy beer is really an acquired taste and once you go hoppy it’s hard to go back,” Julian said.
“Once you go Tap It, it’s hard to drink other beers!” O’Leary added.
If downtown is overdone and you’re looking for a new place to hang with quality beer, Tap It Brewing Company is a perfect place to explore and have drinks with a few friends. Keep tabs on on their Facebook for events.
Cheers and happy sipping!