Cambria Beer Company is in an idyllic location in one of the most beautiful places in San Luis Obispo County.
This small town majestically set along the Pacific Ocean is the perfect place to have a pint of some locally brewed deliciousness.
Cambria is full of vintage shops and local boutiques. The brewery is located off the main road and housed in an small building.
Immediately, the brewery feels like a home with wood flooring and calm yellow walls. Tasters are crowded around tables, drinking pints, laughing and playing cards. Alternative music from the 90s plays overhead, and it has officially won my heart.
Erica Aikens, the pourer behind the counter, welcomes visitors with friendly and warm smile.
Cambria Beer Company is a three barrel system. The brewer, Aaron Wharton, only does 93 gallons at a time, Aikens said.
“What makes it special is the fact he does such small quantities that he can also change and have a continuous variety,” she said.
Aikens prefers the oatmeal stout of the three flavor choices available.
“I like heavier beers with a little more flavor,” she said.
The oatmeal stout is my absolute favorite. Mixing two of my favorite things together: oatmeal and beer. It’s a dark ale with hints of coffee balanced by a helping of hops. It is smooth and creamy to drink.
Jennifer Smith is a Morro Bay local who didn’t know the brewery existed until she came in for a tasting, she said.
“It’s very quaint,” Smith said of her first impression.
As I’m interviewing Smith, Wharton’s children rush in with their friends excited to talk to their father.
“It seems like a very family-friendly, warm environment,” Smith added while smiling.
She would definitely come back, she says.
“It’s really cute and the beers are good too,” Smith said.
Smith ended up purchasing a Cutie (or Qt for Quart).
The brewery has only been open for less than a year, Aaron Wharton, the co-owner and brewer, said. They will celebrate their one year anniversary in March 2013.
His wife inspired him to start a brewery, he said.
“She bought me home brew kit for Christmas of ’95 and in about May of ’96 we thought that this might be a cool idea to do,” Wharton said. “And here we are 17 years later doing it!”
Wharton likes that he can brew whatever beers he wants to brew, whenever he wants to brew them, he said.
“We’re not plugged into one, two or three different styles,” Wharton said. “It’s brewer’s choice, whatever I want to brew!”
Cambria Beer Company is the only brewery from San Luis Obispo up to Monterey, Wharton said.
“We really have this corner of the north county to ourselves,” Wharton said.
Cambria is good to visit year round, he said.
“Especially in the wintertime, you get the town to yourself,” Wharton said.
Family-owned and brewed, Cambria Beer Company is the ultimate definition of a local microbrew with its small batches and meticulous attention and care to quality and flavor.
“Cambria is what you get when you get here, and that’s, hopefully, what we deliver through the beer is the local flavor,” Wharton said.
I consider buying a growler to bring home, but I reason with myself it’s always an excuse to visit beautiful Cambria again.
This brewery is a must-taste stop on your next road trip up the 1.
Cheers and happy sipping!
- Elyse M. Lopez