Stone Brewing Co.
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Active Beers: 146
Beer Ratings: 85,176
Beer Avg: 3.91
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 396 | Reviews: 270 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by augustgarage:
4.28/5 rDev -5.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Certainly the largest brewing facility I've visited, with a parking lot nearly as large as those provided for sports stadiums. As you enter the immense double-doors you pass through a schwag room where you can also get your growler fills, kegs, etc. Into a second room there are a few reclining chairs where you can sit back and enjoy the view of a large stone placed in the center of the room. This theme continues into the main seating area surrounding a well organized bar with cliff-like outcroppings leading to bathrooms below and a second (private?) seating area above the action.
Behind a seating area you find floor to ceiling glass looking on the brewing operations (free tours are available at scheduled times). Across the large room there is another wall consisting of enormous windows leading into a very large outdoor seating area for larger groups. There are great photos and videos of the space on the stoneworldbistro website. The atmosphere reminded me at times of a beer-centered version of Harris Ranch; the feel is corporate yet there was also an air of a theme park, patroled as it was by armed off-duty police officers in casual clothes.
The rules about ordering food are confusing - you can only order off of the bar menu while seated in certain areas, the appetizer or desert menu in other areas, and lunch or dinner from the main seating areas but only after certain times. That said, the wait-staff went out of their way to accomodate our requests, providing our ravenous group with pretty much whatever food we asked for. Service was friendly but harried, and a little slow overall. The facility is very busy though, so they deserve some slack.
The beer menu is extensive and draught and bottle prices are both reasonable with only a slight mark-up of the former. They were out of all the Evil Twin beers I tried to order, and I'm not sure the Craftsman saison I ordered was what I actually received, but the 16oz pour of Stone Smoked Porter was decent and the 8oz pours of ’t Gaverhopke Koerseklakske and Alesmith Speedway Stout were exceptionaly fresh and flavorful. I didn't inquire, but I expect these are among the cleanest tap-lines (35 in all) in the county.
The food is a bit overpriced, but well prepared. Their fried/stuffed mushrooms were tasty, the cheese plate was unusual (though portions were very small), the lime/chili chips were fresh, and the boar ribs were lovingly prepared and super-tender. Their brownies were among the best I've had. Everything utilized fresh ingredients, and up-scale twists on traditional bar food.
All in all, Stone is very much worth a visit if you are in the area - I cycled there with 30 other people from downtown Los Angeles, so our appetites and thirst were mighty by the time we arrived, and the bistro did not disappoint. Lost Abbey (in Stone Brewing's old space) and Churchill's are just down the road in San Marcos so you could easily make a day of brewery/beer-bar hopping.
08-14-2011 17:41:19 | More by augustgarage
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