Taproom by Firestone Walker Brewing Company
Ratings: 67 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
2.59/5 rDev -38.5%
I have been a long time fan of Firestone, but have never made it to the taproom. Living in San Luis Obispo, I usually go to the actual brewery to fulfill my cravings. I happened to be heading south this last weekend, and decided it would be a great idea to grab a pint and refill my growler. Initial impression was good, place was clean and cozy, but the goodness pretty much disappeared once I hit the bar. The bartenders were incredibly rude. I was shocked at the plain disrespect I received.
It is unfortunate that I now have this bad taste in my mouth. Make your way to the brewery in Paso Robles if you have the choice. Far nicer, and more humble staff, and some new brews on tap that are not even sold in stores. The taproom only offered the usual brews that I can pick up in virtually any store around here (except for the unfiltered DBA). I will not be returning to the taproom.
02-25-2008 16:42:41 | More by N1CKOLAS
3.58/5 rDev -15%
Went for the release of Parabola on May 21st. We arrived at lunch time and the place was pretty crowded, we had to wait a little while for service but the waitress was friendly. I thought the inside was a nice design, kind of a rustic decore. The crowd seemed to be mostly locals or bikers stopping for something to eat. They had 12 brews on tap and all seemed to be priced very reasonably. My friend and I both got a burger and he got a side of chili too; the food was excellent. This is a place id definitely stop in for if i was in the area but I wouldnt go out of my way to come back.
05-23-2011 15:43:03 | More by mthomas84
3.58/5 rDev -15%
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
3.58/5 rDev -15%
The exterior is a little rustic and inviting. They've just added an outdoor patio dining area. The inside has two distinct sections: an informal brewpub area and a more elegant (certainly not formal dining, however) and dimly lit dining area. A decent variety of food items are available, but they are a little too pricey. Service ranges from average to condescending. In fact, the last time I was there, one of the Firestone boys was one booth away, but the waitress was still passive-aggressive and not remarkably helpful. They do have a healthy array of FW beers on tap. Parabola and Union Jack to name two the last time I was there. Don't go for the service. Go because you respect the magnificent FW beers and enjoy the fun events FW coordinates/sponsors.
04-25-2012 02:24:47 | More by DocJitsu
3.63/5 rDev -13.8%
Was camping in Buellton over labor day weekend, and hitting up this tasting room was on the list of to-do's agenda I had.
Stopped in at about 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Large place, although we sat in the bar, I did do a walkthrough of the main room. Large vaulted ceilings, with a small stage for live music I imagine. Rustic design, lots of large wood beams, wood floors, clean, and fitting for the area. They also have a small shopping area with some FW swag.
My friend and I sat just off of the bar, and ordered the French fry sampler, with sweet potato fries, classic string fries, and garlic fries, all good for fries.
We each had two beers. He had the Oktoberfest & the unfiltered double barrel ale. I had the Robust Porter & the Hefeweizen. Solid, but most pretty easy to get in bottles, except the Oktoberfest and the Hefeweizen, both were good, but didn't quite mark a highlight I hoped for in the visit.
Little tough to balance out this review. Being that it's both a restaurant, and well established, quality craft breweries tasting room.
Overall, nice visit, but I guess I just hoping for more. As a brewery tap room, it was an average experience. Only 8 FW beers on tap, and most are readily available in dozens of bars all over so-cal, so I felt it under represented FW, at least this visit. Not saying I expected kegs of Parabola, 14, Abacus in abundance by any measure, but perhaps a Black Xantus, Velvet Merkin, or even just more taproom only specials, (it's a 15 year old brewery, I've experienced more variety in a 15 month old brewery) and as a restaurant, it works as family dining, but not a place I would hang out a lot in for the beer draw, given the tap list this night, and just the vibe of the place. Maybe it was the kids in highchairs sitting near to me as I sipped a beer, lol.
I enjoyed my visit, good service, nice place, good beer, but suppose with visiting a lot of breweries inside their actual brewing facilities, I enjoy that experience more. You feel the passion from the owners/brewers, hopefully meet the brewer, and it enhances the experience. Also, most breweries have either their full lineup on tap, or a few of those kegs for holiday weekends. This just felt like a good brewpub, or restaurant with solid craft beer. I've been to the main/original Firestone Walker location in Paso Robles, & preferred it there for some reason. Maybe since it because it's a smaller tasting room, not sure. Anyhow, it is worth a visit if you’re in the area, as there are only two breweries (well three if you count the one in Solvang) within 10 miles of this area.
09-20-2011 00:36:54 | More by Retsinis
3.66/5 rDev -13.1%
Checked out this taproom on the way back from visiting UC Santa Barbara with my son. Gives a whole new reason why I want him to go to college there!! Cool atmosphere...great beers...better than average food. I recommend the Wookey Jack (8.5%) and the Double Jack IPA (9.5%). Do what I did...have your prospective UCSB freshman drive you home after!
04-13-2013 22:28:40 | More by Ilovebeer1549
3.68/5 rDev -12.6%
I live in the area, so this is one of the few solid hang-outs in a small town. The place has a nice rustic feel that's very welcoming.
The service is up and down, the waitresses definitely are more friendly if you're one of the "good ol' boys" who are there several days a week, if not daily. But it's still a fun place.
The food is great! the seared ahi is definitely their strong point, although the burgers are great too.
The only down sides are the sometimes grumpy servers, the good stuff running out, and the CHP that sometimes wait down the road.
08-15-2011 22:20:15 | More by JCellars
3.73/5 rDev -11.4%
There is an interesting story about why this place exists. Originally this was to be a brewery. Problem is that Buellton is in Santa Barbara County and this county is anti-business with a capital A. The county wouldn't give them a permit to operate a brewery so they made it in to a taproom and restaurant instead.
To get here take the "Avenue Of The Flags" Exit off Hwy 101 and it is right there on the East Side of the freeway.
The interior is a cross of lots of oak and brushed steel and chrome in what is your basic sports bar. Both bar and tables space is available.
As of right now the place is not yet finished, the restaurant part is being installed. The restaurant will go in the big room that was going to be brewing space.
So basically what they feature is their beers super fresh on tap and 2 beers that are not bottled.
If you stop here you must try their IPA and their Unfiltered Double Barrel Ale.
Beer is $3.50 for a 16-oz glass and $15 for a growler or $10 to fill your growler.
I will re-review this place after the restaurant starts up, which is supposed to be in June.
04-13-2004 02:35:21 | More by Zorro
3.75/5 rDev -10.9%
Stopped in to pick up some batch 2 Parabola this afternoon. JustinA1 and I also hung around for a snifter of Parabola and some free pretzels and mustard.
The interior of the Buellton taproom looks almost identical to the one in Paso, except it opens up to a restaurant. Same decor: lots of wood, a bit rustic, clean yet plain appearance, and lots of Firestone-Walker memorabilia. The atmosphere was pretty quiet, even though the taproom was more than half full. Feels like the local hangout.
The Buellton taproom serves twelve different Firestone beers on-tap, essentially the same amount as the brewery in Paso. You can order beers by in 4oz. samples, 20oz. imperial pints, and 25oz. mugs, and each size is reasonably priced. Our Parabolas tasted excellent, and I'm sure they take great care with serving all of their beers.
I've only got one gripe about this establishment, and that's service. The bartender that served us was pushy and unfriendly. She seemed fairly nice to some of the other customers, but we certainly got the could shoulder during our time at the bar.
Aside from service, Justin and I actually liked the Buellton location better than the Paso Robles one. Check it out if you get a chance. Maybe our server was just having a bad day.
05-23-2011 02:07:27 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Taproom by Firestone Walker Brewing Company in Buellton, CA
93 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.