Taproom by Firestone Walker Brewing Company
Taps: 12 / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 64 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
3.9/5 rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
Made a much anticipated stop after a wedding the day before in San Luis Obisbo. Such perfect timing because this was the official release weekend of the 2011 Parabola.
The place was very busy and a little understaffed. We didn't know where to go.... To bar tables or to the restaurant, as there was no hostess or anyone to guide us. A "private" party went to a couple tables in the restaurant so I decided to wait for a table as well. It took a nice customer at the bar to tell me the restaurant was closed and we'd have to eat at a bar table. Not a problem.
Although the service was slow due to understaffing, everyone was very polite and efficient after our first few minutes after we sat. My brother and I sampled the new Parabola which was amazing and we all enjoyed our food as well. The prices very reasonable.
If someone was in a hurry or bad mood. They'd have destroyed them in a review, but we had a nice casual day with no hurry to rush home which made it a very pleasurable experience.
05-22-2011 23:50:42 | More by MrVonzipper
District of Columbia
3.8/5 rDev -8.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
2nd stop on the migration from Coachella to Big Sur 4/18/11.
The taproom had a hard act to follow, Ladyface, and was remodeling the bathrooms at the time so back to the port o potties unfortunately.
We sat in the bar area but I did get to check out the dining area which was nice. The bar area was pretty bland in my opinion. Also, being one table of only 3 in the bar area the service was much slower and sporadic than it should have been. On the upside, free pretzels and damn tasty mustard!
The selection at the time was just ok. Don't get me wrong, Double Jack was real fresh and made me smile but there were no special beers on or anything else that jumped out at me.
I'll stop in again next time I'm driving the 101, or maybe opt to hit the other location instead.
04-27-2011 19:12:19 | More by naproxen
4.08/5 rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
We went here for our anniversary dinner (yeah, my girlfriend is cool like that!). Located about 3.5 miles north of Solvang, it seems to be the happenin' place in Buellton.
Really big building - perhaps their old brewery? Nice looking bar area with lots of seating when you come in, and then the dining area off to the right past the bar. Slightly awkward layout in places with the reception desk facing the wrong way, and some of the partitions not extending far enough along the table-sides. Very spacious and a bit too quiet at times! Nevertheless, a very relaxed space - not dark, but dimmed a nice amount.
The service was very friendly and helpful - they seemed to know their beers and their food. Not always the fastest (likely due to our server working various tables all around the place), but not slow by any means whatsoever, and fully made up with the helpfulness.
As for the beer, they had (I think) 8 beers on tap. If memory serves me right, Firestone DBA, Pale Ale, Union Jack, Solace, Walker's Reserve, Humbolt Hemp Ale, Red Nectar, and something else I didn't recognize (& don't remember). It covers a nice variety of beer, though isn't a giant selection. But, it is actually more than I expected for a brewery's tasting room/restaurant. I had the Union Jack and Walker's Reserve, and the girlfriend had the Hemp Ale. Everything tasted great, and much better than the versions I'd already experienced from the bottle. (Also realized that the hemp ale I'd had before was probably skunked, because on tap it was actually good!)
The food was really excellent as well. They gave us some nice sourdough bread. We both started with the black bean & steak chili, which (with the addition of some Cholula) was amazing... very tender steak in there. She had the Taproom Burger with avocado, and claims it was one of the best burgers she's ever had. (I tried a bite and it was excellent, especially with the chipotle mayo.) I had the fish and chips. The fish was some very tasty halibut, the fries were seasoned/battered, and the slaw was very unique and tasty, made with red cabbage. We finished with the apple cobbler, which was more of a cross between apple cobbler and pie, which (again) was very tasty.
Awesome food, awesome beer, highly recommended!
08-05-2010 02:21:33 | More by mithrascruor
3.83/5 rDev -7.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Had dinner here on a recent trip to Solvang. There was no wait, even on a Sat. at 7:30. The restaurant area was quite nice which you wouldn't have expected by looking at the bar area when you first walk in.
I had a Velvet Merkin and an Unfiltered DBA, their beer selection was small, but thats not too much of a surprise considering they only sell a few beers in stores. The only thing lacking at this place is the selection, some guest taps would have changed that.
The food was excellent, I had the Flatiron Steak and my girlfriend had the Halibut Fish and Chips. Both were really great, and the service was good as well.
This is definitely the place to go for a good beer in the area, and I will stop in again when i'm there.
01-18-2010 17:09:00 | More by tjensen3618
4.05/5 rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Stopped by with buddies for an after-round beer at La Purisma GC. Had to ask for directions from club pro, but easy to find, and easy access to northbound 101. The Firestone Walker standards were on tap, with the Velvet Mirkin seasonal a plus. They had FW XIII for sale $25 including the wooden box which is the best price I've seen (sans sales tax). We arrived during happy hour, the restaurant wasn't open yet. Had some pub grub. Took a look at the restaurant which all agreed was very nice, and all stated they would bring their spouses for a dinner here, which is a pretty high compliment for the atmosphere. The pub was certainly primarily catering to locales, the friendly barkeep seemed to know everybody's name. I had a 24 oz. pour of Union Jack IPA for $6.50, and the freshness and barrel aging shined through more than the Oregon purchased versions I've enjoyed in the past. I would have liked to see more adventurous taps (e.g. Abacus), but other than than a really pleasant stop, will be sure to come back again when in the area. Recommended.
12-23-2009 16:04:27 | More by jdense
3.58/5 rDev -13.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$$
The Taproom off 101 between Santa Maria and SB. It is a nice place. When you walk in the bar area is directly ahead of you, the sitting off to the right a little bit. The tables abd bar seem really nice, atmosphere is good. They have a very large area for parties and overflow on the opposite end of the taproom.
I have mixed feelings about this place. The first few times I visited I was terribly disappointed in the service. However, I have made recent trips this summer and was surprised by the improvement in service. They are often understaffed, especially during the busy afternoon crowds. It looks promising but I am hesitant to give it a good rating on service due to my past experiences but its looking better. I am also continuously disappointed in their selection. Firestone has lots of great beer(Parabola, Abacus,Saucerful of Merkin, and more) These beers are VERY RARELY on tap at their own taphouse. I was going here every weekend but I stopped because of their distribution practices and quite frankly I am tired of having the same beer over and over again. To me that is a foul and a big one. Unfortunately I live on the Central Coast so I am stuck. You wont find anybody here to speak knowledgably about beer. Instead you might a get tourist or local who just drinks and does not know what they are drinking.
///2 Nov 08-Ok. Service was slow and bad once again today. Some things never change...and the same beers AGAIN!
///26 Sep 09- $27 for a growler of Double Jack? Are you kidding me? That is w/o the glassware!What a rip off! House pints are nearly $5. From a place as abig as FW you would think could have cheaper house pints but nope, they are hyping the beer and price. Screw these guys!
09-26-2009 20:23:04 | More by barleywinefiend
3.85/5 rDev -7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
We stayed in Solvang one night during our central coast trip and this was the obvious choice for dinner, first thing I noticed when I walked in was that Double Jack and Abacus were on tap, that won me over right there, place was huge and looked a production brewery on one side even though it is not, probably lmost as big as the actual Paso facility now that I think about it, atmosphere is cool with a big bar area including a dart board, dining area right next to the kitchen, bunch of labeled mugs around which made me think they have some kind of club where the locals get their own glass and have it filled for a discounted rate, place was wide open and clean, one of the nicer dinners I have had in a beer establishment in some time, people working were nice but a little confused when I asked questions, employees seem to be having a good time which is a good thing, other beers available were pretty standard inlcuding pale, double barrel, porter, hefeweizen, hemp ale, etc., my Double Jack came in an oversized wine glass for six dollars and did not have any more than six ounces in it, was not too stoked on that after having full pints of it for a dollar less back home beforehand, food was good but expensive, fried chicken special was seventeen dollars and came with a reasonable amount of mashed potatoes with tasty gravy, small amount of watermelon and corn on the cob, overall it was a fun experience and glad we went, would go back in the future
09-15-2009 00:56:41 | More by Floydster
3.89/5 rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
stopped in here while on a Santa Ynez Valley winery run, i was the only hophead in a car full of grape heads so i was pleased i was thrown a bone to stop at a brewery, and what a selection.
they didnt have anything to crazy on tap when i stopped. and being with a bunch of wine afficionados they werent as stoked as i was, so we didnt stay too long. just enough for my friend to have the sampler, and i had a pint of the Walker's Reserve Porter. rather tasty. we sat at the bar on the cusp of the dining room, so we saw most of the food arrive at the tables, and man did it look good.
the establishment itself looked appealing, clean, and interesting without being erudite or eclectic. a long bar and bar room precedes the dining rooom and was friendly and cozy
the service was ok, nothing to special, but adequate and helpful
if i ever find myself in that area of Cali, i will make it a point to stop here
06-12-2009 03:17:31 | More by sinstaineddemon
3.78/5 rDev -9.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$
Easily accessible from 101, just off the highway.
Pretty typical atmosphere for a brewpub place, I snagged a table in the front room to watch an NCAA basketball game on TV. Smallish bar right when you walk in and what looked like a mammoth seating area in the back. Definitely family friendly, at least at the dinner hour.
Beers were fine, I tried the four mainstays via their sampler ($6 for four 4oz samples and a souvenir pint glass) and then had the honey blonde and the rotational offering, Lil' Opal. I was excited for a low ABV (below 4%) Belgian but it was pretty watery. Beers were fresh and tasty but all were pretty mainstream and there weren't that many to choose from. Plenty to keep you busy on one visit, though.
Service was great, our waiter was working a lot of tables but still got to us often and took care of water, beers, food, etc. Food was also solid, you can tell the chef takes his job seriously. There is a nightly special, on the night I visited it was pasta with seafood. When I inquired about vegetarian options, they offered to whip me up the pasta dish with no seafood and more vegetables. Not only do I appreciate the flexibility, but it was pretty tasty to boot. Sides, salad, dessert etc. were also good although not mind-blowing.
Total bill for a few beers and several courses for 2 was about $75, probably could have kept that down with cheaper food selections. Pints are $4. Nice place, not too adventurous but good people and competently operated.
04-12-2009 18:22:03 | More by semihobo
4.5/5 rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Visited this afternoon following a holiday trip to the Central Coast. Hadn't been here in at least 5 years and many changes have occurred. Primarily, the actual brewery is now in Paso Robles. The Tap Room/Bar has been expanded into the former space occupied by the brewery. Lunch is served Friday - Sunday. The service was quite good. We had the burger and a specialty sandwich. Both were very, very good. While waiting we enjoyed some pretzels and spicy house mustard.
Beers on tap included the usual: Pale Ale, Union Jack, and Double Barrel Ale (DBA). I believe they also had an unfiltered DBA. The highlight was a special seasonal beer called Velvet Merkin. It is an oatmeal stout. Fantastic!!! Inquired about other offerings and was told that a keg of Saucerfull O' Secrets is soon to be tapped. But here's the best news - They still have a few bottles of the 12th Anniversery (even after I picked up a couple). Better hurry though, they're going fast.
01-03-2009 03:02:25 | More by wethorseblanket
Taproom by Firestone Walker Brewing Company in Buellton, CA
92 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.