SLO Brew is no longer. No more dim, cave-like atmosphere, bathrooms with broken plumbing and a vacant upstairs on the weekends.
With new owners and a fresh ambiance, the building has been transformed into Downtown Brew.
“The previous owners are really good people, but they got tired after 18 years,” assistant manager Natasha Williams said. “This building needs a lot of energy.”
The renovations took 10 days to complete. All three of the new Downtown Brew’s managers, including Williams, personally contributed manual labor to the project.
“It was very hard,” General Manager Jason O’Hagan said. “We put in around 14 hours a day – sometimes more.”
Some of the tasks included installing new floors, a reworked sound system and clean, working bathrooms.
“I like the new feel of it,” agribusiness senior Amy Wilsey said. “The lounge area is a nice addition.”
After a two-year absence, brewing has also returned to the building. Leading the operation is nationally recognized and award-winning Brewmaster Steve Courier. He received several awards for his work with SLO Brew.
“When we have a brewmaster in the building, we have a leg up on other businesses,” said O’Hagan. “Also, we have a guy who’s really good at it.”
In addition, with seven new plasma televisions and two projector screens, the upstairs has become a sports fan’s paradise. Downtown Brew even purchased NFL Ticket and just about every other cable sports program.
“If there’s a game somebody wants, I’ll do anything to get it,” O’Hagan said. “I’ll even order Pay-Per-View if I have to.”
Live music is still a big part of the venue, with the spotlight being rendered more towards local bands.
“We are not out to make money off these bands,” Williams said. “Every dollar earned goes directly to the band.”
Larger acts will continue to perform as well, with the new owners working with Numbskull Productions to have all ages shows on Sundays and Mondays. O’Hagan said they are trying to leave the rest of the week for the 21 and over crowd in an effort to avoid that “awful cage” separation downstairs.
Downtown Brew is located at 1119 Garden St. View a list of upcoming shows and daily specials at www.downtownbrewingco.com.