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Hidden Gems of the Central Coast: BarrelHouse Speakeasy

The Central Coast is full of hidden gems unknown to the average traveler.  Residents flock to certain beaches, restaurants, and shops for unique and special items native to this area.  Although visitors love the abundance of delicious restaurants fit for the most devoted foodie, many of the best eateries are concealed in the midst of more popular or crowded spots. Although the Central Coast is widely known for its impeccable wine tasting opportunities in Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo, brewery tours and tastings have become more popular. BarrelHouse Brewery Co. is a well-known and highly admired Central Coast brewery, perfect for tours or a taste of some native beers. Their location in Paso Robles is celebrated for offering a unique brewery experience, but their new San Luis Obispo Speakeasy is a hidden gem among other downtown shops.

Jason Carvalho and and Kevin Nickell were lifelong friends, working together as business partners for a commercial and residential building contractor company. Taking up the hobby of garage brewing in their spare time, they decided to search for commercial brewery equipment to get more serious about beer making. After finding a used system in Canada, Kevin and Jason placed their deposit and got long time friend Chris Vaughn in on the action too. In February of 2013, BarrelHouse Brewing Co. was created, fulfilling their dream of creating the most unique Central Coast brewery.

The BarrelHouse Brewing Co. location is nestled on a gorgeous plot of land in Paso Robles, offering tours, tastings, and the perfect outdoor patio for relaxing. A “majestic white oak” stands on the back-road on the way to the brewery, marked with a cross during the 1700s as Spanish Lt. Colonel Juan Batistsa de Anza led his people to settle in California. Although this location is a great way to enjoy some sunshine, their new Speakeasy location in downtown San Luis Obipso has stolen to show for its one-of-a-kind bar experience.

(c) yelp.com & sanluisobispo.com
(c) yelp.com & sanluisobispo.com

BarrelHouse Speakeasy was established in January of 2016, making this establishment much newer than most featured spotlights on Hidden Gems. Although it may be fresh onto the scene, this hidden gem is literally hidden beneath a street level barber shop, ringing true to the historical prohibition era speakeasy bars.

After crossing through the threshold, you may be confused as to why we’ve recommended you spend a night on the town in a barbershop. Notice the staircase to the back left, where you will be led into what seems like an exclusive, members-only bar. No password needed though, open the doors and enjoy the escape BarrelHouse Speakeasy has to offer!

(c) barrelhousebrewingco.com
(c) barrelhousebrewingco.com

The space beneath the barber shop lives surrounded by classic brick walls and hundred year-old exposed, rusted beams, giving Speakeasy a rustic and historic feel. The classic atmosphere is rooted in the bar’s beginnings, built from dirt floors to be this amazing spot. Complete with a shuffleboard and a hidden door that houses the back room, you’ll be transported into the Prohibition Era here.

(c) yelp.com
(c) yelp.com

What has created the dedicated following though, is the BarrelHouse name. Offering an extensive list of draft-only craft specialties, the beer here is hard to match. Between their famous Reservado De Robles Barrel Aged Beers to the Salvaje De Robles Small Batch Sours, this is the place to come if you consider yourself a beer aficionado. The friendly, educated bartenders are there to answer any questions about their selection or to simply provide some fun small talk. Their beer flights are the perfect way to have your own little tasting experience right there in the bar! Highlights of their selection are the Curly Wolf Maple Vanilla, the Oatmeal Stout, and the Red IPA. Always with about 15+ beers on tap, this hidden gem is sure to please even the pickiest connoisseur.

(c) yelp.com
(c) yelp.com

BarrelHouse Speakeasy

Tuesday – Thursday: 3pm- 10pm

Friday – Sunday: 11pm-10pm

Monday: 5pm-9pm

1033 Chorro St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

(805) 296-1128


Current tap/cask list is available on their website.

For information on beer tasting on the Central Coast, visit our website.


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