Saturday, March 26, 2011

Stone Brewery (Escondido): Lunch, Tour, and Tasting

There are two reasons to visit Stone Brewery: their great beers and the fact that their tour (with beer tastings) is FREE!
(What is NOT a reason to visit, on the other hand, is the food at their bistro)

Actually, perhaps there are three reasons to visit. The grounds around the brewery is lush and beautiful, perfect for a walk or a picnic.
We decided to eat here because we had to wait for the brewery tour (it's free but you do need to get passes for specific times early on, since they fill up quickly). Admittedly, I loved the restaurant's space itself. It is spacious and bright thanks to the large windows.

PhotobucketFor the most part the dishes were either too salty or too bland. The somewhat bland pasta we had wasn't necessarily horrible, but it was one of those "I can make better at home."

The ribs were probably the one decent thing we had that day. Sure, there may be other good ones on the menu.
Not that I have another restaurant nearby to recommend to you instead, but I'd probably only eat at Stone for the convenience. They do have lots of beers, though, including the Oaked Arrogant Bastard ale and wines from other breweries. Well, moving on to the tour.
Out of the breweries we visited, this was the only formal/organized tour.

The 45-minute tour starts with an introduction of what goes into beers. Hops, yeast (see the yeast plush doll sitting on top of the gargoyle?), etc. Here and there were quizzes that can win you a(nother) free beer.

And then comes the best part: a sampling of four Stone beers including the pale ale, the IPA, Smoked Porter, and the Arrogant Bastard.
I'm not a huge IPA fan as I don't enjoy the bitter hoppiness as much as other people, but I do enjoy Stone's from time to time and brewery tour is a good occasion for one of those times.

Stone Brewing Co.
1999 Citracado Parkway
Escondido, CA 92029
(760) 471-4999



Looks like a fun place to hang out for an afternoon!


Good to know about the bistro. I was expecting slightly better than average, but hmm.

H. C.

Yeah, Stone's Bistro is an impressive space but the food; not-so-much (and I think the overly salty dishes are to provoke diners to get more beer! sneaky! :P) I did enjoy their jalapeno-bleu cheesecake though.

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