SLO Craft Beer Festival Just Ahead

Make for the Alex Madonna Expo Center to see what Golden State brewers are creating nowadays.

MANY COLORFUL AND QUIRKY THINGS... happen just off the 101 in San Luis Obispo, right in the area of Madonna Road. That's where the Madonna Inn has stood, with oomph-filled room theming, for over nearly 60 years, and that's where steaks are savored, martinis are sipped, and indoor rock waterfalls are... admired. (And sometimes used for other things, as a visit to the downstairs men's bathroom, the one under Alex Madonna's Gold Rush Steak House, so memorably reveals.) But the famous highway-close landmark also hosts a rollicking assortment of conventions, festivals, and special events, including one that'll highlight all of the hopsy sort of doings among some of the the Golden State's best brewers. It's the SLO Craft Beer Festival, and it will line up the tasting cups over the final Friday and Saturday of February 2017. That's...

FRIDAY, FEB. 24 AND SATURDAY, FEB. 25, so make your way to the hotel's Expo Center for a look at, and, more importantly, a taste at, a number of well-made brews. The suds'll come from in-state, as mentioned — Ballast Point of San Diego, Bootlegger's Brewery of Fullerton, and Devil's Canyon of San Carlos will all be represented — but brewhouses beyond our state, from Oregon and beyond, will also make cameos. Beer-enhancing bites are also part of the 21-and-over party, as are info-packed beer seminars and live tunes. As for bedding down nearby? That's wise, and you can either look into a Madonna Inn room or someplace nearby (several motels and hotels are but a short taxi ride away). Best book your stay-over before going SLO.

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