If I were a Spice Girl, I'd probably be Pumpkin Spice. That being said, I don't want any part of pumpkin spice chocolate Kisses, candy corn, Pop Tarts, or feminine hygiene products (yes, I know—it's a thing!). One fall drink I can get totally 100 percent behind without a trace of guilty pleasure? Sally Loo's new Calico, infused with house-made mocha, ginger, and clove. I warn: There is no trendy pumpkin to be seen in this frothy coffee, but it still feels like you're drinking a Thanksgiving pie.
• Sally Loo's Calico—About $4; 1804 Osos St., SLO.
Hanging with SLO's gaggle of local brewers is an absolute pleasure: They're all about laughter, joking around, and having a good time (when do they actually get work done?). That said, they are pretty serious about their beer, and I'm always impressed to see what these mad scientists are brewing up. Sometimes you get an artistic beer aged in port barrels; sometimes you get a totally traditional offering that sings with the seasons. A pint of this German-style amber lager goes down easy and hangs on your mouth with satisfying toastiness and no bitter backlash. Pick up a growler and pair alongside butternut squash ravioli with browned butter and sage.
• Central Coast Brewing Co.'s Oktoberfest—$6 a pint; $16 a growler; 1422 Monterey St., SLO.
Hayley Thomas is in awe of the vibrant craft beer scene in SLO. She can be reached at [email protected].