BarrelHouse Speakeasy and Barbershop
Jason Carvalho, Owner and CEO
1033 Chorro Street
With the success of BarrelHouse Brewery in Paso Robles, owner Jason Carvalho has brought his craft beer and unique ideas to Downtown San Luis Obispo with the BarrelHouse Speakeasy and Barbershop on Chorro Street. After opening in early January, the business stays true to the BarrelHouse foundation of good times, good people and great beer with 16 unique beers on tap, ensuring there’s something for every taste. The taproom showcases the 100-year old property in the way it would’ve looked back in the days of prohibition, preserving the exposed beams and brick walls.
Carvalho began brewing from his garage as a hobby, and after four years and extensive research on the industry and equipment, he and his business partner Kevin Nickell made the move to purchase their own equipment out of Canada. When brewing, Carvalho likens himself and other taproom associates to mad scientists, using trial and error to develop new and different craft beer flavors.
“The type of wooden barrel we use really influences the taste of the beer,” Carvalho says. “It adds layers of complexity to the beer, similar to the complexity of wine.” The speakeasy also gives patrons a chance to learn about and sample the products, with taproom associates who are extensively knowledgeable on the beer-making process and passionate about sharing their expertise with customers in order to steer them to flavors that are pleasing to their specific tastes.
“At BarrelHouse, we don’t just cater to one specific demographic,” Carvalho says. “We aim to reach people who appreciate and enjoy quality products, and who like to have fun. It should be a personal experience for anyone in the community”
Shortly after opening, the speakeasy incorporated the barbershop aspect of the business, hiring Carvalho’s own local barber. Complete with a 1920’s barber chair, Carvalho felt that adding this commodity to the small unique street level space would compliment the space downstairs.
“The barbershop aspect compliments the BarrelHouse experience,” Carvalho says. “It fits the old-school vibe and era, it adds value to what we’re doing here in terms of showcasing our historical location.”
BarrelHouse’s Chorro Street location allows them to embrace the culture, character and history of Downtown, offering craft beers and a space that will make you think you’ve gone back in time. With ten portfolio beers and six that constantly rotate through, you are sure to have a different experience and find unique tastes each time you visit.
By: Jackie Steele