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Taproom by Firestone Walker Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Taproom by Firestone Walker Brewing CompanyTaproom by Firestone Walker Brewing Company
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

72 Ratings
Ratings: 72
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.11%
Taps: 12
Bottles: 0
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

620 McMurray Rd
Buellton, California, 93427-2511
United States
phone: (805) 686-1557

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: xlperro)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of N1CKOLAS
2.59/5  rDev -38.8%

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.

N1CKOLAS, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of mthomas84
3.58/5  rDev -15.4%

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.

mthomas84, May 23, 2011
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.58/5  rDev -15.4%

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!

barleywinefiend, Sep 26, 2009
Photo of DocJitsu
3.58/5  rDev -15.4%

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.

DocJitsu, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of Retsinis
3.63/5  rDev -14.2%

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.

Retsinis, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of Ilovebeer1549
3.66/5  rDev -13.5%

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!

Ilovebeer1549, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of JCellars
3.68/5  rDev -13%

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.

JCellars, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of Zorro
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%

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.

http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/rate_results/2210/13331/
http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/rate_results/2210/17062/


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.

Zorro, Apr 13, 2004
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

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.

ThreeWiseMen, May 23, 2011
Photo of Soto
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Soto, Nov 30, 2013
Photo of MrDave
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

MrDave, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of semihobo
3.78/5  rDev -10.6%

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.

semihobo, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of DoubleJ
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%

With already alcohol consumed during a short stay in Los Olivos, it decided to cap it off with a visit to the Firestone Walker taproom. The place is divided into two sections, with the bar in the middle of the two. The gift shop, which offers shirts, stickers, glassware, DBA mustard, and bottled beers, is located on the opposite side of the bar. During the afternoon, I saw a number of families here for lunch, which surprised me a bit. Maybe there's something about the food served.

12 different beers pouring from the taps. Standards like the Pale 31, Double Barrel Ale, and Union Jack are available, also a couple of the Nectar Ales brand (Red Nectar, Hemp Ale), and a few tap only options (pilsner, Unfiltered DBA). The beers are available in three different sized, and that's saying nothing about the sampler platter. 20 ounce servings are well priced at $5.50.

While there were several servers at the bar, it did take a little longer than I anticipated to cash out. Also, if you purcahsed something from the gift shop, you will need to pay for it at the bar. Still, it was a very minor dent to an otehrwise good visit.

DoubleJ, Jul 02, 2012
Photo of drewbage
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%

Well, the brewery did use to be on site here back a few years and they used to have the Firestone "Burton Union" system setup. Back in those days the menu was kinda pathetic, frozen mini-gourmet pizzas (e.g. with cactus paddles).

What a difference a few years makes. What had been a side line part of their operation has now blossomed. The old back of house that had the fermenting barrels is now wide open with tall ceilings and operates in the evening as their full fledged dining room.

The front bar area has been spiffed up with more tables and space for the customers. The bar itself pours the full line of FW beers, including the vaunted and rarely seen Unfiltered Double Barrel Ale. Also included on the taps are some of the other products that FW now owns, like the Nectar Ales products (sometimes labeled as FW beers).

Clean, efficient and an oasis between SLO and Santa Barbara.

drewbage, Nov 09, 2005
Photo of naproxen
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%

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.

naproxen, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of tjensen3618
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%

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.

tjensen3618, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of VegasBill
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%

Have been trying to stop here for a while now and finally made it. The atmosphere,think of a big modern empty warehouse that has a bar and restaurant in it. But somehow it comes off OK and while it is not as cozy as the corner beer bar it does have a comfortable feel to it. The food is good at lunch but it changes at dinner to outstanding. They make their own mustard and I ordered the burger for one meal,I had three, and piled the mustard on it WOW.
As for the beer, as stated before the Double Barrel Unfiltered Is outstanding, also I am not a big fan of nectar beers but again theirs is so good. Firestone Walker does a first class job in every way in my opinion and if I can fit it in I will stop here as often as I can.
One more thing, I was there in the afternoon one day and it was slow so I was talking to the bartender and she told me some of the regulars blend the beer, say one half pint of one and one half pint of another, why did I not think of that!!!

VegasBill, Jun 05, 2007
Photo of USCTrojanBrian
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%

Made a stop here on the way back to SoCal from a Northern California beer trip.

Just with a name like Firestone Walker, the appearance is very fitting here. Lots of wood, sorta dark but yet there's high ceilings. Kind of a Western vibe in here.

All the Firestone beers are on tap here, at a good price. There's free pretzels and their house mustard available. Simple menu (I had a hot dog, heh) but good. Interesting cross-section of visitors.

The bar is sort of small and a friend who has been here before says they're always understaffed so it's a bit of an adventure ordering as I witnessed first hand even though we were at the bar.

Very accessible, just off the freeway and a must-stop if in the area. Behind the bar they have a fridge case with some of their beers to take home if needed, a small gift shop at the entrance. Nothing fancy, but not low-rent either.

USCTrojanBrian, Jun 20, 2008
Photo of Floydster
3.85/5  rDev -9%

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

Floydster, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of JayTheFinn
3.85/5  rDev -9%

This is a great place to stop into as part of a day-long visit to the area. You have the famed pea soup at Andersons in Buellton, pastries and more in the Danish town of Solvang, and Chumash Casino all within about 5 minutes of the Firestone taproom.

I tried the Double Barrel which was decent. Though I wish I'd tried the Walkers Reserve, cuz my brother said it was awesome. I'll be going back for sure sometime soon and will have a better review of the beers.

As noted below, the lunch menu is limited at best. However, the diner menu is more extensive it seems. So don't come here before supper expecting to getting more than glorified appetizers. Go to Andersons to eat, then come here for the beer!

JayTheFinn, Apr 02, 2006
Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.85/5  rDev -9%

Reviewed from notes

My wife and I and a friend took a trip up to the Taproom a short time after the release of Parabola. That of course was my only reason for heading up there because it is about a 3 hour drive from my house.

When we got there we decided we would also stay and have a bite to eat. The atmosphere was pretty good there was about 20 locals in there at the time having lunch and everyone was in good spirts.

When we sat down the waitress came over and she had a bit of a pour attitude who knows maybe she was working too hard that Sunday afternoon. My buddy and I ordered a Parabola on tap and it came in a pretty cool little 6oz snifter and the parabola did not disappoint. I ordered a bacon cheese burger and let me say that burger was absolutely amazing cooked perfectly and was the best part about the trip up there.

When the waitress asked if we wanted anything else we said yes all three of us wanted to order our full alotment of Parabola and then she hit us with the bad news "sorry we are all out." That of course did not make me happy at all especially since we called the night before and the lady we talked to informed us that they had plenty of supply left so thats why we decided to make the trip up there. So of course we left with a bad taste in our mouth.

My buddy some how through BA got ahold of someone who works for Firestone/Walker and the guy after hearing our story allowed us to purchase a whole case directly from them and they would cover the shipping cost. If it was not for the gentleman doing this this review would have gone the complete opposite of they way it did. So a big cheers to that gentleman who's name is escaping me right now.

Overall impression of this place is if your in the area it is definately worth stopping in and have a bite to eat and drinking a brew. They always have their great beers on tap and even some in bottles that you can purchase and take with you. It has a great atmosphere which I'm sure would be even better at night. So if your ever up in the area stop by and have a bite and a brew.

DarthKostrizer, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of bradybeer
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%

Having developed a taste for Firestone-Walker Brews as of late we decided to stop by this location while driving from San Diego to Santa Cruz.

As mentioned by others this is only a taproom. This is very easy to find, as it is right off the 101. This place is very large-the dinning area is to the right when you enter. The bar is straight ahead with more seating to the left. Seems to be very large for being out of the way.

We tried a sampler of six.

Firestone-Walker Double Barrel filtered & unfiltered

Firestone-Walker Special

Hemp Ale

Firestone-Walker IPA

Red Ale


All of the beers were well made and drinkable-the stand out for me was the unfiltered Double Barrel.


Since we assumed there would be a good food selection for lunch we were famished when we arrived. Word of advice-if you plan on eating here for lunch-don’t. The selection was thin, the quality was sub par-and it was expensive on top of that. We had the Plowman’s Plate-and for about $10 we should have received more meat and cheese-other than this selection there was a turkey sandwich, chili, and a salad.

Service was excellent our bartender was friendly and helpful.

Beer prices were good as well with pints at about $4 and the sampler at $6 for what looked like 3 oz samples-and you got a free pint glass.

I would stop off again-but next time I may try the Paso Robles location.

bradybeer, Feb 04, 2006
Photo of ALECOHOLIC
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%

I stopped in on a "wine tasting" weekend. The unfiltered dbl. bbl. is fantastic and I brought home a growler. There were two bartenders when we stopped in. The female seemed new but she looked great. The male barkeep had lots of info and the growler fill was perfect. The exit is Ave. of the Flags / McMurray. I had a pizza and my girlfriend ordered a flat iron steak. The pizza was generic but the steak was superb! It is a great stop if you happen to be hungry, thirsty or ready for a break from the 101 race. I will stop in again.

ALECOHOLIC, Nov 29, 2005
Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.89/5  rDev -8%

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

sinstaineddemon, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of MrVonzipper
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

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.

MrVonzipper, May 23, 2011
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Taproom by Firestone Walker Brewing Company in Buellton, CA
94 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.