Stone Brewing Co.
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Active Beers: 146
Beer Ratings: 85,445
Beer Avg: 3.91
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 398 | Reviews: 271 | Show All Ratings:
3.05/5 rDev -32.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 5 | food: 2 | $$$$
Stone World Bistro is dead to me now.
$3.00 valet parking? Really? Barry Manilow's "Copacabana" as reinterpreted by some easy-listening flamenco guitarist wafting over the loudspeakers?
Stone went from being the underdog with attitude back in the day (small brewery, awesome anniversary festivals, underdog attitude) to being... well, arrogant bastards.
Their anniversary festivals are now very produced affairs and have an extra VIP component that requires you to pay double to get access to rare beers. If you don't pay extra, you get common variety beers from the participating breweries. But it's for charity, so if you don't like it, you're a bad person. And too poor, apparently. I remember the festivals back before new brewery, the ones with only one session, an embarrassment of rare beer riches and plenty of places to sit, eat and drink.
Just this last weekend, they released an undisclosed amount of 2006 Double Bastard bottles with no warning about the mobs that they must have known would show up and snap up every available bottle in the first 15 minutes of the event. Dare to show up 30 minutes after the start of selling and there is not a single bottle left. Hell, the crowd had even dispersed, like it never happened. Wasted a trip down from Los Angeles? Too bad. You should have known, chump.
And now they're publishing books about how awesome they are.
Their beer is great, but I think I'm about done with these people. There's plenty more craft beer out there of equal quality without the headaches.
And now more detail specifically about the Bistro...
I have visited the Stone World Bistro and Gardens at least a dozen times since they have opened.
The food concept features sustainable, organic and local foods. Great concept, except the food is not very happening on a flavor level. I have had almost every entree throughout the last three years or so and have found the very best to be only so-so. For what this restaurant charges for its food, there ought to be a world-class chef curating the menu.
The service is sadly lacking, as in slow and inaccurate. This has not changed over the years. This extends even to the hostess, who wanted to deny seating for my party because only five of the eight had arrived. After using a little logic with her, they said the manager decided to let us be seated. Good move, as we ordered lots of food and beer between the five of us before the rest of the party arrived, who ordered almost nothing.
The ambiance of the physical space is fine: architecturally impressive, beautifully executed and manicured. I love it.
The beer selection: awesome. All Stone beers, plentiful guest taps and, during special events like the annual Winter Storms, rarities from the cellar. This leads us to the problem areas...
Overall, I have to say I am as disappointed with the way the Bistro and even the company is run as I am impressed with the concept (not execution) and physical place itself.
10-11-2011 17:32:01 | More by charlzm
3.11/5 rDev -31.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 3 | service: 2.25 | selection: 3 | food: 4.25 | $$$
Oh, Stone. Why so arrogant? Oh, well. It is just your nature I suppose.
The first couple times I went to Stone I was impressed by their selection and by the tour that they hosted. Then things quickly changed. The beers that they offered were not as special as they could be. The atmosphere is stunning with the decoration they put into the place, but they seem to have fallen off of their core capability - producing "craft beer."
The last couple of offerings I have had have not impressed me. The flagship is not bad, but because it has been around for a while, it has become less exciting.
Staff is not so friendly, really becoming a place to feel like you are getting the shaft.
Please change this Stone. Deep down I believe in you.
08-23-2013 20:27:43 | More by abaer123
3.15/5 rDev -30.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 1 | $$$
Beautiful place and great beer. The food was billed as bistro cuisine. Other than the salad, it was actually gross. I'm easy to please. I like everything from 5 star to dives, but this was just bad food. I tried everyone's stuff in my party and it was across the board. Service and time it took to get anything (it wasn't packed by any means when we were there) was just as bad. There shouldn't have been a way to ruin this beautiful place, but they managed to do it.
06-20-2013 21:42:12 | More by cletusdog
3.2/5 rDev -29.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$$
This place is both amazing and disappointing at the same time, or so my first experience was anyway. First off, there are no signs to let you know where it is, odd given that Stone is such a big brand, so you have to just follow the directions, ok whatever that's cool you don't want just ANYONE finding the place except for the truly driven. You begin by walking into a large retail store and growler filling station. Lots of glassware, clothing, etc to buy. Pretty fun to check it out. The restaurant is truly top notch facility with excellent decorating. We sat down at the bar after we were told that there was a wait, even though there were large sections of the restaurant empty, I can only assume they were understaffed. We sat at the bar and ordered an Alesmith Speedway stout. The bartender had to change the keg and he disappeared...and only re-appeared after about 15 minutes! In the meantime the other bartender noticed we were sitting there looking around and hooked us up with menus and our beers. The food was pricey but I figured we may get a lot so I wasn't upset until the food came. I ordered the BBQ sandwich and it was no bigger and came with nothing special that would warrant the price. After lunch we walked outside to see the set up out there and it was awesome! Overall, I would go to see the building, shop, and sit outside but I would avoid eating here and my experience with the staff was only mediocre.
05-31-2011 20:38:33 | More by kbutler1
3.55/5 rDev -21.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 2 | $$$$
Great looking place. Nicely organized draft selection - the majority of them seem to be beers that Stone distributes - but they have a pretty good book, so that's not necessarily a bad thing. Pricing on the beer is at the high end, but there is a pretty big mortgage to cover. Their attempts at an eclectic bistro food offering has been disappointing across several visits, and the food costs are pretty high for what you get. They do put on some nice special tastings from time-to-time like verticals of their epic, anniversary, IRS and OG. Their festivals always offer a good time & a good value, are very well organized & always improving.
08-30-2009 18:27:04 | More by stoad
3.58/5 rDev -21.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 5 | food: 2.5 | $$$
Man... I find it difficult speaking ill of Stone, but the last few experiences pushed me over the edge.
Staff- I get the whole "arrogant bastard" marketing vibe of Stone, but arrogant, snobby 18 year old hostesses, waiters, and waitresses is enough for me to not drive the extra 20 miles, and stop short at Pizza Port where I'll spend half the money for double the food and drink.
Food- You get a little food, for a lot of money. Some dishes are better than others, the buffalo burger is great, tempeh shepherd's pie was delicious, but most of the entrees fall flat, and the portions are tiny. Not worth the money, and certainly not worth the drive.
Beer- This is the only reason I would ever stop here again. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge Stone fan, this isn't a critique of the brand, but the bistro. They have a huge bottle offering, great tap selection, and they often tap aged, and variations of their beers. You cant beat this beer selection
Did I mention how obnoxious the hostesses are?
The facility is gorgeous, they've got a great tour, and the garden is beautiful. I would encourage every Stone fan to make their pilgrimage and pay their respects to the gods, but I personally don't see myself making a 40 mile drive to Escondido anytime soon.
04-23-2009 22:15:59 | More by QUERCUSAGRIFOLIA
3.65/5 rDev -19.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5 | $$$
I just returned from an unforgettable trip to the San Diego area. Several friends and I went on a 5 day beer tour of San Diego County. Our first stop was Stone which I was looking forward to for months. It is a bit hard to find but when you drive up, it looks amazing. Walking in it's truly a beautiful site. You can sit in the bar and look at the brewery through the glass. The atmosphere is A+. The tap selection was large but some of Stone's truly arrogant beer was not available. The wait staff was somewhat knowledgeable but as a brewer not as knowledgeable as I hoped when visiting a brewery. The food was disappointing for the prices. We were waiting on an appetizer and missed the start of the brewery tour. We asked if we could join 5 minutes late and explained it was due to waiting for the appetizer but was denied. We saw some beers being offered at the tasting room that were not offered in the bar. We requested some samples but were told no. The beer was only for take out. We indicated, we don't have a fridge or a place to keep a growler but we were ignored. I love Stone's beer thus the reason for driving through 2 hours of traffic to get there but I don't think I will go back. I felt I was a burden instead of a child in a candy store which is the feeling I'm used to feeling when attending breweries as a brewer and beer lover. We also visited, Alesmith, Port Brewing, Carlsbad and Solana Beach Pizza Ports, Green Flash, San Diego Brewing, Coronado, Ballast Point, Liars Club, O'Briens and the San Diego Brewers Guild Festival.
11-09-2007 17:49:49 | More by bkanderson3
3.65/5 rDev -19.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | $$$
I have been to Stone World Bistro several times and finally decided to review it.
I am a HUGE fan of Stone beers but I have to say the bistro leaves me cold.
The beer prices are on the high side compared to Pizza Port and the quality is no better, if as good.
Also, the service isn't very friendly from my experience. It's fairly insincere. I am from the south so maybe it's just the California attitude, but I find other places in North County are nicer and I've lived here long enough to know the difference.
The beer selection is excellent of course, but some of the strong beers you would get for $5/pint at Pizza Port are $4.50-5 for a half pint at Stone. I'm not a cheapskate, but I don't like being ripped off either.
I haven't tried the food since I'm vegan and options are limited, which is understandable, since they have to cater to the majority.
The tour is excellent and I would recommend it to anyone. Growler prices are excellent as well, as opposed to Pizza Port.
So...go for the tour and definitely get your growler filled, but once in the bistro might be enough. There are better places to drink in San Diego county, and since Stone beers are available almost everywhere in the county, the bistro seems like a grand idea that just missed.
12-15-2007 14:10:38 | More by spazaru
3.65/5 rDev -19.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Well took the group out of the downtown area to make the 45 Minute drive to the brewery. Kind of exciting that I would actually go to the home of great beers. The building is kind of very non descript and not labeled at all, just kind of an odd looking building with a mondo parking lot. I wondered If we were there.
This is it we found after kind of blindly walking through an ivy covered tunnel. Very crowded and kind of excited upon entering the door to the spot . the initial impression of the door / lobby staff working the counter area was not too swift. kind of rude and a little bit of the "we can't be bothered & how dare you interrupt our discussion". This kind of threw me for a loop. But we area here for the beer not a 5 star restaurant experience. The gift shop is nice and full of all kinds of Stone goodies, they have a growler filling station manned by much friendlier staff. I think they could benefit from some signs that point you where you need to go for tours, just beer etc.
The grounds are nice. after we found a place to get to for ordering an appetizer the experience went a complete 180 Great staff , knowledgeable and friendly .
** Note there are limited release beers available in the growler filling station Not avail. in the restaurant area**
Food was great the beer cheese soup is really good. Stay away from the wild boar ribs ( tough, chewy )
07-17-2011 15:18:59 | More by BigDub
3.68/5 rDev -18.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Stopped by here on recent trip to SD...one necessary stop. It was on my friends' list of things to do in the area that they had been putting off. Atmosphere was excellent w/the gardens, pond, waterfall, trees, etc. The frogs made me feel like I was back home in the country, even though we were in the middle of a light industrial zone. We stood by the bar outside and waited for a table, and walked around the grounds and checked out the store. The quality of brews and the food were excellent. I had duck tacos, and all 4 of us were very pleased w/the fare. Tried CaliBelgique for the first time, and several others with which I was already familiar. The service was the only part that was lacking...servers were very polite, but we had to wait well past our reservation time, and only when a member of our party went to inquire about a table with a different hostess/point of contact did we actually finally get a spot. After we sat no one stopped by for about 15 minutes, and we had to go ask if anyone was planning on stopping by. The bartender was too rushed to answer any questions, although the bar was not that busy at the moment. All in all, the service did little to mar an excellent evening w/great friends, food and brews. One of the highlights of my trip. Highly recommended.
03-03-2009 15:17:14 | More by BoitSansSoif
Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido, CA
100 out of 100 based on 398 ratings.