New SLO Brew Executive Chef Tom Fundaro was a “wine guy” way before he ever dipped his toes into the world of craft beer. When he finally did make the transition, he—like so many others—was a little weirded out by California’s obsession with powerful, ultra-hoppy IPAs. Then, he started experimenting with strong, equally powerful cheeses and the whole thing clicked. As it turns out, intensely bright, hoppy beer has the power to cleanse away even the stinkiest and sharpest of morsels. Want to take the challenge for yourself? Order up a cold Wave Wrangler Session IPA (at less than 5 percent alcohol, it’s perfectly suited for mid-day fun) and get yourself an order of Fundaro’s fondue, which comes with a big pot of melty red Dragon cheese and a soft pretzel, Ray’s Own Brand sausage, and market veggies for dunking. An import from Wales, the cheese is mixed with grainy mustard and SLO Brewing Co. Reggae Red ale. Basically, it’s an IPA’s best friend or BFF. Grab a pint at SLO Brew, Blast 825 Pizza, Spike’s, or Old SLO BBQ or grab cans at Cork ’N’ Bottle Liquor. For that extra special fondue, you’ve got to go straight to the source.
• SLO Brewing Co.’s Wave Wrangler Session IPA—About $5 a pint; 736 Higuera St., SLO.
Where will a six-pack of new 12-ounce Sunny Daze bottles take you? My fantasy includes the beach, a bonfire, and lots of garlicky guacamole. Whatever you dream up, take this smooth, citrusy blonde ale with you and keep your options open. Brewed with juicy-sweet Clementine oranges, this adult beverage is as optimistic and sunny as its name suggests. Laid back? All day every day.
• BarrelHouse Brewing Co.’s Sunny Daze—Price upon request; 1033 Chorro St., SLO.
Hayley Thomas wants to remind everyone to please pick up their bottles and cans before leaving the beach. She can be reached at email@example.com.