Insider’s Guide to the Famous SLO 21st Birthday Bar Crawl


If you’re a legal aged SLO college student and haven’t done your bar crawl are you even 21? Well, yes, but not officially 😉

The 21st birthday bar crawl of San Luis Obispo brings fond and crazy memories (or lack of memory?) of having a night on the town where you are required to fulfill specific “tasks” on a sign that your friends so generously craft for you to decide your adventurous fate for the night. The drinks vary per person, and are different for males and females, but generally follow a pattern as certain bars offer “21st birthday specials” for the birthday girl or boy. So (try to) stand up and prepare to get some stuff smashed into your forehead.

Most bar crawls begin at Bull’s Tavern on Chorro, where the famous “bull sweat” drink gives you the chance to stand on an elevated surface and take a shot of hot sauce. YUM. And the best part is that you get to chase it with beer. In reality, it’s not that bad and only takes about 15 seconds and everyone cheers for you as the bartender rings a very loud cowbell. Plus, you are ALLOWED to stand up on a bar which is a rare experience in itself, so it’s one that I highly recommend for any bar crawl. On my senior bar crawl with my sorority the beer chase was knocked out of my hand as I stood up on the bar and I still did it. #rightofpassage


From Bull’s you can head to Creeky Tiki for a ski shot which is fun for all and requires some group coordination among participants. There’s a 4 person and a 6 person ski shot, so decide who your best friends are and make sure you’re properly in synch 😉 Creeky Tiki used to offer their famous 2 for 1 special from 10-11pm EVERY NIGHT (yes it was awesome) but the city shut THAT down and now it’s 50% off drinks from 10-11 which comes out to literally the same price and you can even get two different drinks now instead of 2 of the same… so it’s even better.

Next up is Black Sheep where the guys will have to face the “silver slipper” which if you haven’t heard of it guys, I’m not going to “break” it to you…. you’ll just have to find out yourself. Girls can take on the “angry balls” here which is what I think did me in on my crawl (chugging two types of alcohol at once can do that to you…) so take caution and drink some water afterward.

After Black Sheep head to SLO Brew located on Higuera with the main drag of bars to do the “blowjob shot.” This yummy tasting contraption is a shot of baileys topped heavily with whipped cream which you kindly have to take by only using your mouth and from in-between a friend’s legs (don’t spill!) It’s a nice break from hard alcohol and a good place to stop and do some dancing before getting back out into the party lines.

Frog and Peach is nextdoor to SLO Brew. This European pub style is where you’ll take on the Guinness race. How fast can you drink a Guinness? Hopefully faster than the bartender, and ten of your closest friends one of whom is actually a stranger and inevitably buys the round for everyone? How generous! Take a picture in the English phone booth on the back patio of Frog and Peach and get some air. Even if you don’t remember taking the photo, it’ll be a nice momento of when you were inspired to start speaking in an English accent, whether or not it’s actually a task you’re supposed to check off on your bar crawl sign.


From there you can head to The Library across the street to study alcohol, and do the statue of liberty shot (now that Marston’s is closed, for the guys version, try the 6 shooter here? This drink includes 6 shots, three of which are clear alcohol, and three of which are water but you HAVE NO IDEA WHICH IS WHICH and at this point maybe you can’t taste the difference anyway so it doesn’t matter). Meanwhile, the statue of liberty is three stacked shots colored red, white, and blue, which you have to do in ten seconds as you hold your hand above your head… like the statue of liberty! Then it’s time to start the “USA chant” (optional).

In between the Lib and MoTav, do something in the bubblegum alley. I did yoga in the alley and the combination of (lack of) balance and wearing heels I do not recommend.

Finally head to the inevitably long line at Mother’s Tavern, affectionately referred to as “MoTav” where you can try out the “sexy alligator” shot or end the night with an AMF (buh bye!) and some dancing. This is my favorite part of the night because who doesn’t love unnaturally colored neon blue drinks with four different types of booze in them. Just kidding, I like MoTav for the dancing. Share the AMF with one with your friends though, and you might make it to your final destination: no, not home…

That is not a natural color blue

Taco Bell. Taco bell is where the night ends and the people watching peaks. A person’s 2am chalupa order can, after all, make or break their night. And make sure to get that baja blast in there as your last drink and some well needed hydration. 😉

Well, there you go: a somewhat female biased synopsis of the SLO 21st birthday downtown bar crawl. DISCLAIMER: This is in no way a strict guide for drinks or activities (but do snag a photo with a cop in front of MoTav, because it seems like they just kinda hang out there. He will pretend to be mad but really will just be entertained by the entire debauchery).

What a homie

Make sure you stay safe (you can say no to any drink at any time and end early if necessary), drink lots of water the day before and the day of, (as well as some Pedialyte because it’s not just for babies anymore) and do EAT FOOD that day before you go out.

Have your friends carry some cash on them, because although you’ll be granted a free golden ticket pass into every bar with just your sign and the use of your forehead as a stamping pad, your friends unfortunately will still have to pay cover charges. And remember to put someone you trust with your unlocked phone in charge of your snapchat story so that everyone who isn’t legal or out of town can join in on the fun!

Lastly, select a legendary outfit to match your beautiful sign, strike some attractive poses with friends and strangers, and let the night go down as a legend. Because it’s YOUR night in the spotlight birthday star! And congrats on finally being legal in America, because you know that it’s ABOUT TIME. 😉

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2 thoughts on “Insider’s Guide to the Famous SLO 21st Birthday Bar Crawl

  1. Dave Shallenberger June 8, 2018 — 10:50 am

    Some things never change! Did the same thing–almost step for step–with my friends about twelve years ago. Happy birthday and congrats on your graduation.

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