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Beer fans, rejoice! 

New festival puts locally crafted beers front and center

Get ready to thoroughly wet your whistle with some of the finest local beers ever poured in  SLO County, when the newly formed San Luis Brewers Guild presents its first-ever Brews and Bites in SLO’s Mission Plaza on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 5.


With the theme, “Think globally, drink SLOcally,” this special festival will showcase the brewing successes of seven local brewmasters: Central Coast Brewing Company, Creekside Brewing Company, Cayucos Beach Ales, Downtown Brewing Company, Einhorn Beer Company, Firestone Walker Brewing Company, and Santa Maria Brewing Company.


Locally made food will be available too, thanks to SLO’s Honeymoon Café, Granada Bistro, and Pizza Fusion. Listen up as local music fills the air, pumped out by reggae-funksters Shival Experience, alt-country PennyJar, and indie acoustic artist Matt Suarez.


Admission to Brews and Bites is free, but bring some cash so you can try out some of the best local beers. Tickets are $8, which includes a 5-ounce glass with the logo and three tasting tickets. Each extra taste costs a buck a pour, and T-shirts with the festival logo will also be for sale. Proceeds benefit ECOSLO, the Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo County.


“Craft beer is seeing double-digit growth. We’re stealing the market from the big producers. And we produce these beers locally, so they save energy because they’re not shipped in,” explained event organizer John Moule, a co-brewmaster at Creekside Brewing Company.


Local beermakers decided to come together as San Luis Brewers Guild to help promote SLO County as a brewery destination, similar to the way Paso Robles winemakers have banded together, Moule said.


“Together we’re stronger, with more breweries to visit, and more business for all of us,” he added. “These days, people have more discerning taste.”


For more information about Brews and Bites, visit or call Moule at 542-9804.


Fast facts


Thinking of a home improvement project? Check out the used building materials available at Habitat for Humanity’s SLO ReStore, now in a larger location at 187 Tank Farm Road. You’ll find bargains on doors, windows, cabinets, sinks, light fixtures and more. Proceeds from the ReStores in SLO and Templeton go toward Habitat for Humanity’s latest building project: four new homes in Grover Beach designed for low-income families. The application deadline for the houses is Aug. 31. ReStore hours are Thursdays through Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. More info: or 782-0687. …


A “Consciousness Workshop” is set for Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. at the SLO Library Community Room. The featured speaker is Steven Droullard, author of The Power  of Attention, who will discuss five levels of consciousness and how to change your level. More info: 481-5171 or


Alcoholics Anonymous of San Luis Obispo County is holding their 42nd annual AA Convention Aug. 28-30 at the SLO Vets Hall on Grand Avenue, with the theme, “A New and Wonderful World.” The convention will feature AA members from all over California relaying their personal stories of recovery from alcohol addiction, with open discussion meetings held round-the-clock. Alanon and Alateen fellowships will also hold speaker meetings. Other events include a golf tournament, a dance, and a barbecue. All are welcome at the convention. More info: …


Everything you always wanted to know about olive oil will be presented at the 6th Annual Paso Robles Olive Festival on Saturday, Aug. 22 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Downtown  City Park. You’ll find oil oil tasting seminars, cooking demonstrations, and a chef cook-off, plus free olive oil ice cream. You can even enter your own olive-inspired recipe in a cooking contest. A social mixer is set for Aug. 21 at 5:30 p.m. at the Paso Robles Inn. Your $25 ticket for the pre-festival mixer includes olive oil sampling, local wines, and olive-inspired hors d’oeuvres. More info: or 238-4013. …


  Houselights Theatre presents Always…Patsy Cline at the Spanos Theatre at the PAC in SLO on Aug. 29 at 8 p.m. and Aug. 30 at 2 p.m. Tickets: or 756-2787 ...


Rendezvous at the Ranch, a benefit for CASA, is an evening that includes dinner by Phoenix Fine Catering, live music, silent and art auctions, a live auction, and a raffle drawing for a BMW 328i. Emcee will be Katie Marzullo of KCOY12/Fox11 and the auctioneer is Bill Mello. This worthwhile fundraiser takes place on Aug. 22 at 5 p.m. at Santa Margarita Ranch, 9000 Yerba Buena Avenue. Tickets start at $100 per person. Info: 541-6542 or


Contributor Kathy Johnston compiled this week’s Strokes&Plugs. Send business and nonprofit news to

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