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Stone Brewing Co.

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Based on:
227 Beers
104,043 Hads
Place Score: 99
Reviews: 304
Visits: 869
Avg: 4.49
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

1999 Citracado Parkway
Escondido, California, 92029
United States
phone: (760) 471-4999

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @stonebrewingco

Place added by: BeerAdvocate

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens website & hours:


Sunday-Thursday: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Friday & Saturday: 11:00 am - 12:00 am
Kitchen closes every night at 10:00 pm
Place: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 304 | Visits: 869
Photo of sideshowrob
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

I've been drinking Stone since a fateful San Diego Conference back in 1998 where I had my first Stone IPA. It's been love ever since.

Location - From the website I was prepared for this joint to be tough to find. I knew it wasn't in my GPS, and to make it worse I took a wrong turn and lost my bearings. I turned down a road with no streetsign that looked rather new. Cresting a hill I spotted a grain silo, and moments later that unmistakable odor of brwing beer was omnipresent. Still, even after driving through the parking lot, and walking up to the door, I spotted NO signs for Stone. I was sure I had the right place, but it was still a weird experience.

Experience is the right word for this place, it's almost like a theme park for beer. I love the rock canal you traverse to get to the restaurant. Are those hop vines trying to cover the trellis? both the architecture and quality of the build are obvious. Well done!

I arrived one day after a smoked porter tasting, and several of the remenants were still on tap. Yum. Also the 07 Vertical Epic, and a great selection of Russian River and other non-Stone taps. A nice touch. There were OUT of he Ruination, which was a tad dissapointing.

The staff was helpful, but busy. Still they did answer beer questions, and seemed to understand that it can take a few minutes to select your next beer. Food FLEW out of the kitchen, almost too fast... but the food was phenomenal. I had the Duck Tacos and the beer-cheese soup, both supurb.

The prices were the only unexpected, unpleasant surprise. The pints were fair, but the dinner menu was a bit higher than I would have guessed - with several appatizers costing in the 10-13 dollar range, and some burgers cresting the $16-$17 dollar mark. It was worthwhile, but they better be careful not to let quality slip!

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Photo of Weedchugger
4.95/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Finally, a road trip down to the World Bistro for my friend's birthday. Yes, I gave this joint a lot of 5's and I'll tell you why...

The atmosphere was exceptional, from the brewery itself to the restaurant to the wonderful gardens. It was larger than I had expected, but very inviting and we felt right at home almost immediately. We also took the tour which allowed me to check out all the oak barrels and specialty casks that were waiting to be sent out. I also got to hold a bottle of 11th Anniversary Ale, no beer yet, but the bottle looks sweet.

The quality was of the highest order. Every beer we had was fresh, Stone or not. I got the last pint of Double Dry-hopped Levitation, which was delicious. So was the 7.7.7 on tap. We also had every Stone beer offered, all winners. Plus growler fills of 10th Anniversary.

We had about three or four people helping us, three bartenders inside and one fantastic waitress outside for our dinner. What can I say? Everyone was cool, friendly and attentive. Zero complaints.

Selection equaled about thirty or so taps and a huge bottle selection. I was hoping for at least one Stone tap to be something I can't get in a bottle, and I got the last DDH Levitation, so I just made it - and it was fantastic. I could have used one more (like two weeks ago at Naja''s I had the Smoked Porter w/Chipotle) but their standard beers were so delicious fresh, I didn't mind. Especially the Arrogant Bastard. There were more great beers there than one person would be able to drink without passing out, so it couldn't have been better.

Between the three of us we had the Ruination soup, a couple cheese platters, steamed mussels, beef hand rolls, pork tenderloin, garlic chicken, giant 20oz steak and a few things I'm forgetting. Everything was delicious and fresh. The hit of the meal though was Mike's Beer Cheese. We were blown away by this stuff and were lucky enough to have three different kinds. Now, I gave the food a 4.5 keeping in mind that while we were there, they were out of clams (my favorite) and the deep fryer was busted (no chips, onion rings, spud buds, etc). Also, the jalapeno in the cheesecake was a little chewy, odd. I think I'd go pink peppercorns for spice in that dish. All in all, we had an exceptional meal.

Value is a relative term, so I'll just say that three guys spent about three hundred bucks, but got a tour with four tasters, several t-shirts, glasses, filled growlers, drinks, appetizers, more drinks, more appetizers, drinks, a huge meal, dessert and more drinks. We all three felt like we got more than our money's worth. You could certainly eat here for much cheaper, but it was a special occasion for us and we did it up big. We'll be back.

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Photo of bradybeer
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Met some new friends at Green flash and decided to meet up for lunch at Stone. My wife and I visited last year before the bistro was opened. WOW what a wonderful San Diego beer destination.

You can walk into the bistro via two large wooden doors-when you do enter the bistro you will notice the bar to the left and seating surrounding the bar and if the weather allows you may also sit outside. We opted for a booth inside where we were able to see the brewery.

The beer list is one the best I have seen. They don't have hundreds of beers but what they do have is quality. Other than the Stone beers they offer numerous guest beers from San Diego and the rest of California (Russian River, Ballast Point, and Telegraph) along with a selection of Belgium style beers from Jolly Pumpkin! My wife and I moved from Ann Arbor a few years ago and haven’t been able to get JP here. Stone also offers a nice selection of imported Belgium beers.

The food was good-we split a stinky cheese plate and an order of clams. We were impressed with the food and the prices were reasonable and the service good

Following lunch my wife and I joined our new friends for the 4:00 clock tour. Which was good and we were able to sample four of the brews.

All in all we can’t wait to go back.

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Photo of udubdawg
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

At first glance it would seem obvious to call this "a little pricey", but if it is really my "impression of the prices vs. what you got" then this place is honestly closer to $ than $$$.

The food was fantastic. AB onion rings, mac 'n cheese, trout, and ruination cheese soup. Dessert (strawberry shortcake) was a letdown, but probably only in comparison to the rest of the food - we still finished it with no problems.
5 stars, and worth a visit even if this place didn't brew beer...

...but fortunately they do...and they don't suck at it.
I had the delicious triple-dry hopped Ruination before looking at the offerings from other brewers. Couldn't pass up the Summer YuleSmith and the Hop 15. Both fantastic. Heck, even the brand of root beer they carry is pretty tasty.

Service was efficient and generally helpful - in many restaurants this may have been a highlight, but it honestly pales in comparison to the quality and taste of the food and beer.

Hung out and did the tour and endured the obligatory hazing from the smarmy host - "how can you live in Kansas?!?" Seriously though, it was a good tour, informative and beer-geeky enough for me and still interesting for my "beer is gross" wife. Checking out the barrel-aging beers in the cooler was especially a treat. The host even gave us clear directions to Holiday Wine Cellar.

Tasty samples, and a good store/giftshop. I'm drinking out of a Ruination tankard even as we speak. Too bad they didn't have any 2L growlers.

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Photo of sessycuban
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5

The atmosphere was rather overwhelming. The place smells very strongly of barley. This is indeed a brewery and they are in fact in the business of making great beer.

Overall, I enjoyed my experience at the brewery minus one small tidbit. The individual working the growler fills told me that they did not do samplings, despite the fact that I saw others sample at the very same station.

The annoyance quickly went away after I enjoyed my growler of '05 Double Bastard.


Greg was nice enough to beermail me and explain what happened. They only do samplings with the tour. Small miscommunication.

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Photo of mithrascruor
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Went here for a company party. Very nice looking place with indoor and outdoor seating (adjoining a garden). Quite spacious and classy, yet not over-done.

The overall quality of the beer and food was great. The beer was served in appropriate glassware, and all the beers they had were good ones. On tap were 20+ beers. Half were from Stone and other locals like Lost Abbey and AleSmith, while the rest were a nice assortment of American craft beers and imports. Daily printed beer menu, with an even larger selection of bottles beers on the reverse. My only complaint was that there were a couple Stone beers they didn't have available on tap. In addition, they had a special brew of Arrogant Bastard available on cask, which was a very nice treat.

Service was very nice: everyone was very friendly and knew their beer. There was a good selection and variety of food (suiting almost anyone's taste). About half of the main courses were made with Stone beers, which was nice to see. The majority of the dishes were a bit unique and different, but still solid and not what I would disparagingly call "nouveau." Unfortunately the serving sizes were a bit small.

Price-wise the beers are very reasonable (at least on tap -- I didn't look at the bottled beers). The food is rather on the pricy side, however.

Very nice place. Highly recommended for visiting -- I'll definitely come back here!

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Photo of sleazo
4.05/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

As far as brew pubs go this is one of the better.

The space itself is very large with 20+ft ceilings, a big stone gargoyle relief and a lovely large bar in the middle. The outside is a stone garde(imagine that) with large fire pits. It really is a lovely setting. The look they are going for is Industrial brewery with an outside garden to take advantage of North San diego county's unique geography. The only drawback is that it is a bit impersonal.

Beerwise they coudlnt get much better. Besides the obvious Stone beers which are great they feature alot of the local San Diego breweries like Port and Alesmith. i really like the comradare of the SD brew scene. They also have a number of imports and good craft domestics. I had an Ayinger dopplebock and a Victory Prima Pils.

Foodwise their stuff is good, not great. They definitely score points with originality as this isnt average pub grub. The food is a bit undersalted for my tastes. The cheese platter was great as there were some oozy stinky cheeses.

Pair this with a tour of the brewery and you will be a happy person. this is a great indoor/outdoor place even though it is a bit out of the way.

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Photo of largadeer
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This is one seriously impressive brewery and pub (I use that term loosely). The atmosphere is awesome; the outdoor garden area is surprisingly large and comfortable, covered in vegitation with several small ponds and streams running through it. You can even hear frogs croaking at night. The building itself is more urban and industrial, but no less impressive.

The draft selection is largely local, with a full line of Stone beers along with several brews from Alesmith, Port Brewing and a few well-chosen imports. Pints are $4, I believe - pretty standard for California. They have a great selection of bottled beer as well, all very reasonably priced. Growlers are also available in the retail store area, with very reasonable fill prices.

The food is pretty far removed from your standard pub fare, featuring everything from Indian and Thai dishes to fresh fish and buffalo burgers. Prices are fairly high, but not excessively so, especially considering the quality of it. People expecting standard pub food and prices will be disappointed, but that's no fault of Stone. I, for one, am pretty sick of brewpubs all serving the same mediocre food. Stone offers a refreshing change of pace.

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Photo of wyllder
4.95/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5


Color me impressed. Stone has definitely pulled out all the stops with this facility.

I visited, along with my wife and 15-month old daughter, on our recent trip to San Diego.

The brewery is gorgeous. A huge glass wall separates it from the restaurant area, providing a great backdrop to your dining. Free tours are held multiple times each day, including weekends. Each tour is concluded with a complementary tasting of 3-4 of their beers.

The tap list is exceptional, and offers far more than the brewery-centric offerings one might expect. Of the roughly 30 taps, only 5-6 were hosting Stone product. The beer list was also great, with some 50-60 top flight selections.

The food was very good, though my Chicken Tikka Masala was nostril clearing hot despite being advertised as "mild". I didn't mind so much as I had a cold. In the end, I'll leave the food as the only thing off perfection. This way I can force myself to re-visit.

I don't know how service was beyond our waitress. As it was, she received a 45% tip, and I can easily say she provided the best service the wife & I have had in our post-baby era. Whether it was bringing out a toy to entertain our daughter, finding my wife & daughter when our meals arrived, or being able to tell the difference between two golden ipa's based on subtle color differences, our waitress was on top of her game. This is the sort of exceptional service I generally expect large brewery-restaurants to fall short of. Stone tossed my expectations out the window.

We left vowing to return.


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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

***BEER HEAVEN!!!***

*** Go when the sun goes down...it's like two places in one***

What to say besides F'in A!!! This is beer heaven. Huge modern industrial construction of metal, glass and plumbing meets caveman motif of stones dirt and Earth to give Fred Flintstone and Frank Lloyd wright both boners. After drooling in the gift shop, waltz into the indoor restaurant to the outdoor area of stone lined patios that then leads to a swamp walking path. I think I saw Steve Erwin's ghost wrestling a frog.

A tap list that is to die for but I went 4.5 only because there are some places, (albeit not many) that squeak a few more taps out but the selection that is present with botles and taps is WORLD CLASS hands down.

Food was killer. If you are noticing the prices, click on the STONE website and read Greg Koch's letter...then go there and grub like an historical king.

This might be the closest place to beer heaven I have EVER found. The tour takes about 1/2 hour but it is like a history of beer and not just a blah blah blah tour.

Last swigs: Did I mention the Beer Heaven thing?

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Our last stop on our SoCal beer-cation was Stone. Wow! Gorgeous building and outside seating area. It must have cost a fortune on landscaping alone. The brewery tour was entertaining and one of the better ones that I have gone on. The tap last and bottle list were exceptional. I got to try some Hopsickle on tap for the 1st time. The place was busy and the service was good. We only ate apps so I won't comment on the food except that that food was high quality & the menu/prices were really consistent for a fine dining restaurant. Greg Koch was nice enough to say "Hi" to our table since he knew our posse of beer geeks was coming by & that sort of personal touch is appreciated.

Another must stop on a SoCal trip but I think everyone knows that by now.


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Photo of Afty
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I was in San Diego for a conference earlier this week, so my friend and I played hooky one afternoon and drove up to Stone. We took the brewery tour and ate at the restaurant afterwards.

The tour was great. Stone has a really nice facility, much larger than most of the breweries I've visited. I was especially excited to see the VE aging in barrels in front of the window to the restaurant. The whole place is surprisingly clean for a working brewery. I was also impressed with the giant cold room and all the beer from other breweries that Stone distributes. Our tour guide, Ken, was fantastic. He was entertaining and really engaged us at a level beyond what you normally see. I really enjoyed chatting with him, and you could tell he's a real beer guy. The samples after the tour were pretty big and very tasty.

After the tour, my friend and I ate at the restaurant on site. Atmosphere is nice and upscale. There's an outdoor seating area, and it was open between the inside and outside (no windows). The beer list was tremendous -- maybe 20 taps of craft brews, mostly non-Stone stuff, all high quality. The bottle list was also extensive, maybe 50 or so choices. Beer prices were cheap IMO, $4-$4.50 for the draft beers and just above liquor store prices for the bottles. Seriously, the bottle prices are a great deal. When a bottle of Allagash Interlude costs $22 at a liquor store in Boston, $24 for the same bottle at a restaurant all the way across the country is incredible. Food is pricey ($12 for a BLT, $15 for a burger) but well-made and tasty. I'm willing to forgive the food prices since the beer is so cheap. Gotta keep your priorities straight.

So overall, I had a great visit to Stone and would highly recommend it. Our tour was run by a fantastic guide, and the restaurant rates as one of the best beer bars I've visited.

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Photo of Gatch
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

What an incredible experience. Day 2 of the cross-country Road Trip.

A huge, secluded place on top of a hill. I'm not going to write a story about this place, although I should, but I'll tell you all the great things about Stone Brewing & their Beer Garden.

Tall ceilings, well lit & a nicely decorated interior. It was a gorgeous day, so they opened up the wall leading to the Beer Garden. The Garden was clean & comfortable and we chose to sit outside next to it.

The menu is crazy. It seems so upscale yet the prices are very reasonable. Some of the dishes included Duck Tacos, Buffalo Meat Burgers, and a few types of fish. All came with creative sides incorporating one of their beers. Our server was great and she knew a lot about their beers and craft beer in general. When she couldn't answer a question or if we asked for a sample, she had no problem helping us.

The beer list is ridiculous. Not only are most Stone brews on tap, but they are priced very well. The guest beers were very impressive, with beers from AleSmith, Anderson Valley, and Ommegang. There were also vintages of Stone beers & special releases, like a double dry-hopped Stone IPA. There is also a very extensive bottle list w/ some surprising choices. The gift shop is really nice w/ a cooler full of bombers & 6-packs, a line of wall taps w/ all kinds of regular & special release Stone beers, and the growlers fills are pretty cheap and they look cool. There's also plenty of glassware and clothing to satisfy anyone.

For lunch, the place seemed pretty packed, with only a few tables open. Everyone I was with as well as everyone I could see around us really enjoyed this place. I can't believe I'm almost giving a place a perfect 5, but it really has to be one of the best places to get a beer in the country. If I'm ever in California again, I will make sure I visit Stone Brewing Co. for lunch AND dinner.

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Photo of radshoesbro
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

i'm going to keep this short and simple.

the beer selection is fantastic. they had tons of stuff bottled and on tap. they were celebrating the ruination 2002 release, so i tried plenty of IPAs, double IPAs, triple IPAs, etc.

here's my only qualm with this place. if you're going to have food that's pretty damn expensive it had better deliver. unfortunately the food here is really not worth the cost, not even close to worth it actually. yeah, yeah, yeah, they're 100% organic and most of their food it battered with their beer. i don't care, it wasn't worth the cost. unfortunately this is just another place is san diego that's overpriced.

the tour of the brewery was amazing and their beer selection, as i mentioned, is extraordinary!


After coming here multiple times in the past few months I still agree with my original review. Their food still doesn't quite deliver. However, I have found that the Ruination Soup is quite good. It's just about the only thing that I will order when I'm there. Dr Bill has done wonders for their events, which in years past were somewhat lackluster.

If you are not a native of San Diego you will really enjoy heading up to Stone, but if I were you I would venture into the city, because there are much better offerings further south!

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Photo of joecast
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

toured the brewery about 18 months ago, long before the bistro opened. seen the vblogs, tried the beers, heard the hype. this place had some high expectations.

it delivered.

i seriously couldnt stop shaking for about ten minutes after walking in to the place. looks massive, but still feels very inviting. homey almost (no, not like the clown). had a table just inside the retractable glass wall which was opened. nice view of the bar, the gardens, the tour going through the brewery. and all was well.

ok, lets go over the important stuff now. the beer. had pliny the elder, then a double dry hopped levitation, and finished off with pliny the younger. also enjoyed at the table was a double dry hopped tenth anniversary. plenty of stuff on tap, and quite a nice bottle selection too. if you cant find something you like, you dont like beer.

service was friendly and quick. she seemed interested in how we were doing, and what we wanted to eat and drink. not a beer geek, but humored us (meaning me) in our geekdom.

and the food? had the smoked porter soup, and the buffalo burger. both were fantastic. really tasty. the onion rings were good, without knocking our socks off.

if you're put off by thinking its too expensive, check the website. their menu has all the pricing on it. beer prices are very reasonable with the rare stuff being a bit extra, and the food is very much worth the money for what you get.
so basically, i loved it!!

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Photo of DogFood11
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This stop to Stone World Bistro was the end of our journey starting at Pizza port Carlsbad with stops at Green Flash (fumigating), San Marcos Brewery, Churchills, Lost abbey and finally Stone. We cabbed it from our hotel nearby and showed up around 6pm on a Saturday. We had to wait a short 20 minutes for a table and the seating crew were well trained and attentive to everyones needs.

Atmosphere is alot different than what I was expecting. It has a corporate feel to it and the demographics were generally white collar. It was the opposite of "rowdy". I didn't notice any TV's and the "Hang out and have a pint" vibe was missing. In fact we had planned on having a meal and then just hanging out sucking down some brews but after dinner we decided to split.

The food was outstanding. The talapia was so tender it flaked off with just a grazing of the fork. The mac and cheese was excellent as well with tons of sausage and a rich creamy cheese mixture. I had the double dry hopped levitation and a Russian River IPA and both tasted fresh and well taken care of. So good that I had to get a growler of the Levitation. My wife enjoyed the french press coffee and the ginger bread and something I can't remember but the fact remains she loved it.

The trip back to the hotel proved to be challenging as the wait staff seemed surprised that we asked them to call us a cab. Not bad service at all in fact we felt bad because the girls had such a hard time finding a cab to pick us up. A word to the wise if you get a hotel and want to cab it you might want to set something up beforehand as it took an hour to get a cab to drive us a couple of miles. We should have walked in hindsight.

Notes: This is not an afterwork hangout where you watch the game and have some pints. Stick to the neighborhood pub for that. This is rather an upscale restaurant that happens to have some of the best beer in the land.

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Photo of triggersd
4.05/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

No one can take it away from Greg Koch and Stone crew. When you drive up to the World Bistro & Gardens you immediately realize your drive was worth it! Impressive venue includes a grand view of the on site brewery, a zen-like garden, and an atmosphere other establishments fail to achieve. This place is clearly someone's baby. A fine execution of vision and passion are delivered to everyone worthy of the trek to Stone Bistro & Garden. Before I visited rumors led me to believe that I'd have to break out the AMEX to finance our meal. The menu prices aren't too bad, although you will spend a little more here. This is well justified as many of the items available you simply won't find at your average restaurant or pub. There is an attitude that resonates beyond the Arrogant Bastard in everything Stone. It's a take it or leave it kind of thing. My criticism? How many people can you tell you're not worthy before they begin to believe you? Be ready for sub par service. I hate to report it, but it's true. If you're into the concept and enjoy good food and beer you can somehow manage to overlook their service issue. In all fairness this is a new establishment with details to iron out. The staff is friendly! You shouldn't be led to think otherwise. The attraction and publicity received here are due to the fantastic beers Stone has turned out over the years. Let's hope the Bistro doesn't rest on its laurels and continues the passion that opened the doors in the first place. Beer float anyone...yes, oh yes. One last suggestion...The Stone Motel next door so we aren't tempted to drive home...bring a DD!!!

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Photo of
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Stopped in 4/11 for dinner, and went back 4/13 for a tour.

Atmosphere is exceptional. Lots of wood and stone (go figure!). Plenty of seating, indoor and out. Very high ceilings. Nice, central bar area. Two big rows of tap handles, showing what is on, and if it is still available. Nice 1 acre garden area out back you can roam around in while drinking your beer.

Quality was very good. All the beer tried by myself and the group was enjoyed, especially the "flight" of vintage IRS we tried for dessert.

Service was prompt, both at the bar and in the dining area. No complaints. When we were told there would be a 30 minute wait to eat, they seated us off to the side of the bar, and kept us busy with some appetizers and beer.

Selection was excellent. Probably 15 or so Stone offerings, including some brewpub only things like Double Dry-Hopped IPA and Ruination on cask. Given that the IRS had just been released, they broke out some vintages (on tap). We tried 2003, 2004 and 2005 in addtion to the 2007. Probably 20 plus other tap offerings, mostly California stuff (Pizza Port and Russian River come to mind), as well as a sizeable collection of bottles (4 Lost Abbeys, Russian River, various Belgians). Finding something to drink wasn't a problem -- making a choice was quite difficult.

Food was the only area they didn't hit on all cylinders. The appetizers were OK, but not as good as we would have liked. We also wished they were a little more "finger food friendly". That being said, the meal itself was very tasty, and not your typical pub grub. Very hard to characterize, but seemed to have strong asian/Thai influence. Oh yeah, the food is as flavorful as the beer, so don't expect it to give your palate a break...

Value. Beer was very reasonable in my opinion, ranging around $4 a pint. Same price for higher ABV offerings, just smaller serving (8oz). Food was more expensive than the burger and fries you get at your local, but it was also way up the gourmet scale compared to a burger and fries. Don't expect to get away cheap, but the food is certainly worth the money.

Overall, a great two visits. We enjoyed the beer and food, the store offers a bunch of stuff (you know you want a big Ruination mug....) and beer, the tour was fun and informative, with free tastings afterwards.

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Photo of jletts
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The Stone Brewery/Beer Shrine sits atop a hill all alone, surrounded by vacant lots and fields of grass. You know you're there when you crest the hill and see the steam rising from the vats and the huge stone block structure sitting all alone surrounded by massive parking lots. There is a large outdoor garden, complete with a fire pit, but I opted to sit inside. They had four vintages of the Stone Imperial Russian Stout on tap. I tried the 2003, 2004, and 2005 with dinner. With all the good stouts on tap I had to let the beers choose the dinner. Even their food is extreme! Super spicy Thai, seven layer garlic chicken, rich mac and cheese with ale marinated sausage...I decided on the pub sausage plate as to not overpower the stouts. I didn't review the beers as I was eating and having too much fun enjoying them, but I found distinct differences between the vintages. The 2003 was so mature it tasted like a barley wine born from a stout, with a very well balanced profile and a syrupy mouthfeel. The 2004 had more burgundy, woody, cocoa taste with a slight metallic finish. Certain distinct flavors stood out in this one, which was very different from the homogenous feel of the 2003. The 2005 was approaching the 2007 in flavor and was starting to resemble a stout once again. Service was excellent and I managed to eat dinner and drink 3 excellent aged stouts for $30 (with tip). Not a bad deal though many other dishes were priced rather high. This is a must stop if you are within, say, 50 miles of it!!!!

Update: After eating there about 10 times now I can say with all confidence that every ingredient used in the cooking (not to mention brewing!) is of the highest quality. Hence the high-priced food...but definately worth it if you want the quality of the food to match the outstanding beer.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Visited twice in two days on a recent weekend with my wife and some friends, afternoon visits both times.

A wonderful atmosphere, both in external forces (the weather) and by the design of this open, airy, and very pleasant place located in the middle of an industrial-zoned part of town. Atmosphere is very "stone"-like. Highest kudos to the Stone people for this destination.

Quality of eveything was top notch. Still had a lot of newness to everything, and that's OK. I'll be interested to see how it is in a few years. Service was very good, little tastings (free) to see what something is like, little tasters if you want to try a bunch of things, and full servings if you know what you want. 25 or so taps of mostly local (San Diego and Los Angeles area) beers with others form No. Cal and further also represented. Bottle selection from the US and Europe is very nice, although I never got that far.

One of our two servers really confused the style of my Craftsman beer, and she really had my head scratching. But at least she knew something about beer, which is several cuts above most servers in the world. Everyone makes mistakes. Service was quite good otherwise.

Food was quite good- hot chicken tikka masala one day (exceptional), buffalo burger (very good) the next. I wasn't a big fan of the onion rings, too much batter drowned out the onion part (but that really is a minor distraction of the overall whole).

I reserved my score on food, not because it wasn't very good (it was), not because it wasn't very creative (it was), not because it wasn't beer cuisine in its finest sense (it was), but because after 2 meals in 2 days, I realized that it wasn't something I wanted to eat on a regular basis. It was really really good, but to me, it's really really "once in a while" food.

Overall, I really like this place, and will be back. Highly recommended.

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Photo of bosco7
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Visited at the end of February 2007. My girlfriend and I were in Southern California and I decided we needed to check it out.

We arrive and there is almost a two hour wait. Initially I am bummed out until I see a sign in the merchandise store that reads: BREWERY TOUR TIMES. I am stoked. Perfect time killer if not a reason to visit in itself. The tour guide was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. I was a little disappointed because the tour was a little dumbed down for the masses. But he managed to keep my beer-hating girlfriend entertained which was a huge plus. Free beer at the end the tour was a huge plus too (Pale Ale and Smoked Porter).

During the beer tasting our table became available. Walked into the dining room and was instantly impressed. The ceiling was huge, the window looking into the brewery was huge, the retractable window looking out on the beer garden was huge, and most importantly the selection of beers was huge. Very impressive atmosphere.

Not much vegetarian options on the dinner menu but they modified dishes for us and were very good (the desert was the best dish, english pudding of some sort). I didn't really care because I was here for the beer. I started with Stone's double dry-hopped Levitation Ale and it was 10 times better than the bottled variety. Then I had Alesmith's IPA witch was the star of the night in my eye. I ended with the Collaboration Ale from Avery and Russian River Brewing Companies witch was a great find (although I think I like Russian River's better than the mixture). Too many beers to try in one night.

This is the most lavish brewery/ brewpub I have ever experienced. A must visit.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.95/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Everything about this place makes it a beer lover's Heaven. The unique architecture, with high ceilings, abundant stone, and contrasting wood gives this place a real modern but elegant feel. A fountain in the middle of the indoor restaurant area adds to it as well.

On to the beer. Was there for the Winter Storm in which all the taps were filled with Stone's regular beers and a bunch of their old and rare beers. The second time I went was a regular night and they had the usual Stone releases on tap, as well as a ton of other great offerings such as Alesmith, Bear Republic, Russian River, and many others from CA and the west coast. If that weren't enough there is a great bottle selection.

The service has been great every time. Bartenders are right on top of things.

I haven't eaten much of the food but I will say it looks interesting and tasty. I've only had the arrogant bastard onion rings (great) and the fried garlicy mash potato ball things (pretty good) with their smoked porter dipping sauce (very good). The beer is a pretty reasonable price, but the food seems to be a bit pricey.

UPDATE 6/10/07
Went for Sunday brunch and had the Duck Tacos plate. Very good except they put so much of the smoked porter sauce on the duck its hard to get any other flavors. However, the flavor of the smoked porter sauce alone is great anyway, so you can't complain too much. Also ordered the "really soft and stinky cheese plate" which was very good. The food at brunch is a lot less expensive than the same food at dinner so brunch may be an option to save a bit of money when eating.

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Photo of arizcards
4.15/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Da Boss and I had the pleasure of visiting last Sunday for an early afternoon lunch. Being a huge Stone fan there was much anticipation for this visit!

Atmosphere & Quality- Was awesome. There was no expenses spared in putting the restaurant together. The architecture was interesting, very open and inviting. Large stones were inlaid at various parts of the place with stone inlaid walls. The bar was set in the middle of the restaurant, offering a nice venue for people watching. Restrooms were even extremely nice. The restaurant was open to a sunny February day with a view of the lovely gardens-very nice.

Service-Even though the restaurant seating was maybe 1/2 full, we were told there would be a 30-45 minute wait. That was no problem as it allowed us to mill around the shop portion of the restaurant to check out the wares and all the deserved media attention Stone has received. We decided to sit at the bar to start a beer before being lunch. However, though the three bartenders were very busy, they did not even glance our way despite serving walk-ups to the bar right next to were we were seated. After 15 minutes of this nonsense, we were finally alerted that a table was ready. Our server saved the day and took good care of us at lunch.

Selection-The beer selection was awesome! I believe there was 30 beers on tap and maybe 60-75 bottled beers. The food selection was OK but the Brunch menu was pretty limited.

Food-I have to admit that most of the food we ordered we have never had before in our lives. We tried the Deep Fried Mashed Potatoes as an appetizer. We shared the Duck Tacos and the Buffalo Burger with Onion Rings for our entrees. The food was pretty smackable.

Value- The one thing that surprised me was that this was a fairly pricey place food wise. The type of food served does not match your typical Stone beer drinker. However i can understand that they are reaching out to try to grab the upper middle class market with the wonderful architecture and the bistro food which is good for the success of this place. I did see folks in the restaurant matching this description and not drinking beer.

This is definitely a destimation for a visit!

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Photo of Stoneman78
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Well, here comes my first BA review...

I recently moved to San Diego and have had the pleasure of going to the Stone Bistro twice in recent weeks. The first time, I spent some time at the bar on NYE afternoon partaking in the infamous "Stone Storm". I was by myself, but had a great time talking with the bartenders and other beer lovers for several hours. The second time I went for my birthday on January 13th with a group of ten people. We were able to do the tour first which was informative and fun, highly recommended. Here are my overall impressions:

Atmosphere: Wonderful exterior landscaping with lush greenery. Nice clean industrial look inside. The ever-expanding brewery is connected to the bistro so there are huge ceilings and a very open feel. The interior is decorated in a fairly contemporary style, and I really dug the pebble-look of the restroom. I think there could have been a little more of the "Stone" style in the decoration for more individuation. I also am surprised that the bar is quite small considering. Likewise, the bistro is somewhat cramped for space given high demand and limited floor space. The bistro is in the middle of nowhere in Escondido which can be good or bad depending on your perspective.

Quality: From walking down the path to the restroom style, this place is really a class act. Everyone from beer aficionados to casual diners can find something appealing and exciting in this setting. They have done a good job "classing up" your standard brewery feel, and the food and drinks certainly add to this high standard.

Service: Amazing! Being by myself on NYE, I had a blast shooting the breeze with Padrick and several of the bartenders. They were very attentive and were happy to talk with me about everything Stone-related. You can tell that everyone here really loves their job. At dinner, the waitstaff were prompt and courteous.

Selection: In addition to a wide range of current and vintage Stone varieties, there keep an amazing selection of microbrews from across California and the country. Stone is part of the San Diego Brewer's Guild and they really feel strongly about extolling the virtues of their fellow breweries. The "Stone Storm" was an amazing experience with over 50 Stone beers from the past 5-6 years on draft.

Food: The food is wonderful and tasty. Being with a large group, I was able to sample a good deal of different dishes. Favorites included: AB onion rings, stinky cheese plate, and beef rolls. Most of the entrees were great, but I think the buffalo burger is the absolute best. The only negative here is that almost *everything* on the menu uses some sort of beer ingredient. I loved it, but some of my dining companions thought this was a little overboard; some more non-beer dishes would be a nice complement to the great menu. Most dinner options are a little on the pricey side as well.

Overall, the Stone Bistro has quickly become one of my favorite restaurants in SD. I look forward to taking family and friends up there as much as possible in the coming months to enjoy great food and beer in a wonderful atmosphere. Coming home with a fresh growler of Oaked AB or Double-Hopped IPA from the Tap Room is a great bonus too!

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Photo of jeffjfindley
4.9/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Yesterday was a very, very good day. My girlfriend took me to the Stone World Bistro & Gardens, and it was wonderful.

It started with the tour, which was extremely well navigated by our guide, Matt. He was very candid and informative, and obviously enjoys his job a great deal. Seriously, though, it's difficult to imagine having a difficult time enjoying working at such a great place. My only gripe about the tour would be that there were'nt any surprises among the samples offered at the end. It consisted only of the staples in Stone's lineup. Also, the facility itself, though grand feels a little cold & impersonal. This is understandable, being such a new building. I think that in a couple of years it will be a little more "lived-in" and cozy. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a stronger gargoyle presence. I guess I got spoiled by the New Belgium tour, which leaves one with a delirious feeling of Willie Wonka-esque magic.

The gripes end there. Ashley waited on us, and she did a fantastic job delivering the goods when we sat down for dinner. We started with the Soft & Stinky Cheese Platter, which comes with flat bread that they make from the spent grains from the mash, and it was bloody outrageous. My girlfriend had a Stone Smoked Porter (a great match), and I had Alesmith's Brown Ale, which I'd never had and will definitely have again.

That brings to mind one of the most striking, and telling attributes of the restraurant, and Stone itself. Their beer selection consists of far more than their own formidable beers. In addition to a great selection of imports, they had selections from Victory, Ommegang, Alesmith, Avery, and many other craft-breweries that in any other industry would be competitors. This exhibits the camraderie and sense of collective purpose these small companies share, and I loved it.

The entrees were absolutely incredible. I ordered the Thai Curry Pork Tenderloin, and my girl got the Septuple Garlic Chicken thing. Both were fantastic, starting with their appearance. They looked like they were made in someone's kitchen. A really, really good cooks kitchen. As promised, every ingredient was obviously fresh and delicious. For dessert I had the Stone Pale Chocolate Tart (very spicy!), and she had the Smoked Porter Cheescake. Both were great, but I liked hers better.

If you know anything at all about Stone, you know that they built their reputation by practically redifining the term "over-the-top" in their ales. Don't expect their food ethic to deviate from this ethic. Like Double Bastard, it's adventurous, breathtaking, brilliant, and absolutely unique. My palate was totally shattered by the end of the experience, and I am absolutely certain that Greg Koch would have been thrilled to hear it.

In other words, go.

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Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido, CA
99 out of 100 based on 304 ratings.