Silva Brings Master Brews to Paso Robles
Just past the train station in south downtown Paso Robles, down an alley between the pet hospital and the post office, is the small tasting room and brewery of Silva Brewing (silvabrewing.com). Bunches of round silver kegs on wooden pallets fill the alleyway space in front of the open garage door. Brewmaster Chuck Silva and his assistant brewer—both dressed in Silva Brewing coveralls and sporting the requisite brewer’s beard—work among the kegs: moving kegs, checking some, quietly discussing, readying a few for taps, starting a new brew. Silva’s wife, MJ, always smiling, pours tastes from the 10 tap handles at the tasting room’s small bar.
A pioneer of the craft brewing industry, Silva was instrumental in defining the hoppy, flavorful beers California is loved for today. After nearly 18 years in the brewing industry, most notably as brewmaster at Green Flash Brewing Co. in San Diego, he’s focused on more than IPAs and hoppy flavors; his goal now is to make the good, fresh, low-alcohol, interesting beers that he wants to drink. And to do that, he has returned to his beginnings: San Luis Obispo County is where he was born.
“The decision to move home was easy, with the beauty of the Central Coast California, the culture of this richly developed wine country, and being closer to my family,” says Silva, “and thanks to a not-so-subtle push from my supportive wife, we opened Silva Brewing in downtown Paso Robles earlier this year.”
A small space like this means lots of movement: beers constantly have to be shifted to make room for more brewing, more kegs, more wine barrels and more beer. Silva personally handcrafts every beer in his lineup, from the German-style Blond Ale and Amber Ale to the Nitro Walnut Milk Stout and Mind On My Orange Belgian-style Farmhouse Saison (nicknamed MOMO). Of course there are plenty of IPAs on the menu as well, but look out for smoked malts, beer aged in wine barrels and, coming soon, MJ’s Spicy Ginger Beer.
“I’ve been working with some local winemakers to co-ferment beer with grapes like Grenache Blanc, and to age beer in used wine barrels from local wineries,” Silva says. His vision of unique flavors and new combinations even includes cutting-edge projects like brüt beer—a bubbly wine-and-beer co-fermented blend that will be finished with cork and crown closures, like Champagne bottles.
“Our ultimate dream is that we would have a small farm brewery located in wine country where we can grow ingredients to infuse into our farmhouse ales, grow fresh vegetables for the dinner table and shorten our work commute down to a walk to the brewing barn.”
Silva is a master of his craft with tons of brewing knowledge, who now runs an independent brewery, with freedom to do whatever he wants and access to the highest-quality ingredients. Any of his beer dreams and ideas can become reality, and Central Coast craft beer drinkers will certainly drink up any wonderful creation he can think up.
Beers at Silva Brewing are available to take home in crowlers (single-use 32-ounce aluminum cans filled and sealed just for you, fresh from the taps), refillable stainless steel California growlers (reuse these insulated growlers anywhere you like!), specialty cork-finished bottles when available and kegs for larger gatherings.
The tasting room is open to the public Wednesday–Sunday: 525 Pine St., Suite B, in Paso Robles behind the Pour House, which also has his beer on tap.