Taproom by Firestone Walker Brewing Company
Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
2.45/5 rDev -41.1%
I stopped here with a mixed group of beer drinkers and craft beer enthusiasts. It was my second visit at the brewery and I was eager to share the experience with others.
Skipped the food as the options didn’t excite. Picked up some swag in addition to a series of tasters and pints.
The waitstaff was off putting, something that I experienced and was dismayed to find out that others in my party had also felt. Its one thing if you are by yourself and you have a bad experience at a place you like, but it’s another thing when your friends also have that experience. Especially if it’s a special stop. I can’t place my finger on what it was exactly for me—perhaps the server’s inattentiveness, or the ignored requests, or even the automatic tip deduction from the bill. They keep busy, and I’m willing to overlook things in light of rush crowds but taken together it wasn’t an enjoyable visit—which is a real shame, since I’m such a huge fan of their beers and everyone I’ve ever met from FW at tastings, festivals and release parties from the top down have been nothing but friendly folks.
01-03-2012 04:20:47 | More by elNopalero
2.9/5 rDev -30.3%
visited on 26 Mar 2010:
Stopped in on our way back to San Diego from Monterey. Mostly because I wanted to see about the (un)Real ale, but also just to check out another beer spot.
The atmosphere was okay; a bar, some stools, tables in the adjacent room. Lots of large photos of beer and beer-realtedness on the walls. Ducking into part of the brewery in order to use the restroom was cool.
The service was standard, although it seemed just a hint standoffish... and the selection was good. We shared a tasting flight, and the two bartenders of course knew the beer well. I was disappointed by the limited bottle selection; I expected perhaps more of their harder-to-find stuff and less of their standards. Then again, they only had one cold case of bottles on display.
The food was definitely sub-standard, though, even for a taproom attached to the brewery. If the pizza they microwaved for us had been CPK or Boboli, it would have been much better. If we weren't looking down the barrel of LA traffic at rush hour, we probably would have left the pizza and gone to eat somewhere else.
Overall, I'm glad I stopped by, but more because I could check it off on the list than because I thought it was a great stop.
04-10-2010 03:09:07 | More by ocmpoma
3/5 rDev -27.9%
Visited by Wisemen Nick, Peter, Justin, and unwiseman Crappler. (Since been visited multiple times by Nick and Justin. Review has been updated along the way.)
Atmosphere: Appeared pretty dull when we first entered, but after a while, we realized that this place is pretty cozy. The area is very small with very little decor. Probably half a dozen wood tables fill a small side room which is where we sat. Most of the people there appeared to be regulars, and while there was no background music to be had, the air was filled with friendly conversation. Cozy.
Quality: Establishment was very dull and empty in terms of decor, however all of the beers served to us were delicious, and the food (though meager) was pretty damn good too. Wish the pub glasses and snifters were for sale - both were very cool/classy.
Service: Upon arrival, we asked if any tours were still running. Renae (sp?) said that tours weren't being offered that day, but then offered to give us a private tour for free. I thought we'd just get to take a peek at the equipment and get a brief explanation, but we got the whole enchilada! She took us up the staircase and into the brewing area, led us down onto the main floor and showed us the entire process. It was very, very cool! She also offered us free samples of Velvet Merkin and gave us some free snacks (cheese and bread/crackers) later on. Miguel (the bartender) was also very friendly. EDIT (06-13-09): Renae is definitely the friendliest person at Firestone. Not to say that the other employees aren't friendly as well, but... well... actually, the other employees aren't very friendly. If you get Renae, lucky you!
Selection: Wish they had more of their special beers available. We got a round of Unfiltered DBA and a round of Velvet Merkin, but everything else could be found around SLO. The list included: Union Jack, Pale 31, Walker's Reserve, DBA, Unfiltered DBA, Velvet Merkin, Honey Blonde, Hemp Ale, and IPA Nectar. EDIT (06/13/09): No growler fills of any of the seasonal/small batch brews (like Velvet Merkin, Lil' Opal, Abacus, Parabola, Oaktoberfest, etc.), which fucking blows. The only "special" brews available for growler-fills are Unfiltered DBA and Firestone Honey Blonde. Yay...
Food: Not any food to be had other than pretzel sticks and mustard. We were fortunate to get a little bread and cheese later on, but food is essentially non-existent. With that said, the Firestone Double Barrel mustard was very good. EDIT (06-13-09): They now charge for pretzels. Lame.
We paid $4 a pint. I don't think anything cost any more or less than that. Free samples to boot. EDIT (06-13-09): No longer the truth. I haven't seen any free samples since that first visit, and the new serving sizes are 10oz. nonic ($2.50) or 20oz. nonic ($5.00). If you ask, you can get a 25oz mug for $6.00.
12-15-2008 03:32:58 | More by ThreeWiseMen
3.26/5 rDev -21.6%
When I moved to Paso Robles, I thought I'd spend some time at the FW Taproom. It's only 4 miles from my house, but I haven't been back since my initial trip. The place is warm and inviting enough, and the service is prompt and friendly. However, this place could be so much more. The lack of food really detracts from the enjoyment. It would also be nice to find some taproom specials that aren't widely available in stores or bars and restaurants. As the matter stands, FW beers are so widely available on tap in this county that the taproom has little to recommend it.
04-19-2006 02:38:45 | More by mickeymac
3.28/5 rDev -21.2%
Stopped here for an hour or so on our way to San Luis Obispo for a short getaway.
We came around 2pm on Sunday. The place was fairly empty, with no one at the bar, so we sat there and ordered food and beer.
The pretzel was soft and chewy; quite good, and I enjoyed the mustard. The three-cheese pizza was tasty. Both felt like something that was prepackaged and heated up, though neither was bad.
The taplist had the standard lineup as well as a brewery-only beer (Ibarra Buzz Coffee Porter), a couple of Nectar offerings. No anniversary beers on tap or sold to-go this late in the year; not that I really expected it. A 20oz pour was $5, 10oz was $2.50, and tasters were $1.50.
The service was humorously inefficient. At all times there were two to four people manning the bar, but they could not stay on top of 5-6 people in line. Even though we were seated at the bar with only one other person, it took 20 minutes to get a second round of beer. Granted, I didn't try too hard, aside from trying to catch their eye, but that was pretty hard. It seems like they haven't figured out a system to organize the bar yet.
Merchandise is sold all around the bar: caps, shirts, glasses, chilled beer to go. I didn't get anything.
09-07-2010 17:36:45 | More by Arbitrator
3.43/5 rDev -17.5%
First stop of our last day up along the Central Coast, walk in and see a bar with ten taps, mugs, shirts, and other accesories for sale to the right of it, then some tables, and an outdoor patio on the other side, can see the brewery through the windows and walk upstairs to look around too, the bathroom is actually in the brewery pretty much, crazy how much equipment they pack into a small place, I ordered a snifter of the Bourbon Barrel Aged Double Double Barrel Ale for six dollars, my girlfriend and her friend got a sampler with four beers including Hemp Ale, Hefeweizen, Unfiltered Double Barrel, and Union Jack, for six dollars and it came with a free souvenir pint glass, other beer choices were Double Jack, Pale 31, their porter, Nectar IPA, and standard Double Barrel, sat down and had a bag of Rold Gold pretzels with the Firestone mustard for fifty cents, walked around a little bit and were on our way, the guy working the bar was pretty rude and in a hurry when nobody else was ordering, asked him one another question and got a very short answer, cool place and especially for this area, as you know Matt brews some great stuff, too bad I missed Slo-Lambic by a few days, I will revisit here when I am in the area again for sure, cool atmosphere with a lot of tourists, they do tours Saturdays too, recommended
09-02-2009 03:45:34 | More by Floydster
3.44/5 rDev -17.3%
This review is by no means a review on their beer. Their beer is still among my favorites. I remember when they didn't have that restaurant across from the brewery. I remember the taproom in the brewery was amazing. You used to be able to get tulips of Velvet Merkin on tap. I remember I tried to bribe one of the bartenders there to fill up a growler for me. I got turned down. The place was quaint, they didn't serve food and the bartenders cared about their beer and the customers. The place had high ceilings and a smaller floor plan with bench seeting and bistro tables. There were complimentary pretzels and peanuts. Well they have since closed this taproom to open up the pretty average eatery across the street. The bar is cool- they have a stainless conveyor belt with some of their beers along for the ride. The selection of beer is great, too. Sometimes they have their UDBA on cask which is amazing! The food reminds me of what I can get at TGIFs or Chili's. Not really the type of food I'd want to pair with their fine beer and pay that much for it. I used to live 7 minutes away. I counted. I loved going there but then they shut the small taproom down and opened up the pretty average restaurant. I just went to the bar anymore and it was kind of a bummer...
12-05-2013 03:04:05 | More by tastyville
3.45/5 rDev -17.1%
I went to Firestone Walker on a rainy saturday afternoon on my drive down to San Diego from Northern California to take the 1:30 tour. You can see them from the highway and they are pretty easy to get to. I walked in to the bar and on my left was the dining area. This isn't a restaurant they just had light food like snacks. They do have a restaurant more south though but I didn't go. In the bar area you also have a small cooler with beers to go and a little gift shop with shirts, glasses, etc. I bought a standard pint glass. At the bar you have the usual options, a sampler, half pint, regular pint, flights. With the flight you can get a regular flight with all the regular Firestone beers or you can customize it. Each flight was $6 whether it was customized or not. They have all the Firestone flagship beers like DBA, union jack, etc and some nectar ales. When I asked if they had Black Xantus on tap the bartender looked at me like I was from another planet and then I had to clarify the kind of beer it is and he said no. Maybe I mispronounced Xantus and he didn't understand. Then I asked for a customized flight and before I could say what I want he pours me a regular flight, it made me a little frustrated that he didn't listen but I tried the flight and then I went back and got a sampler of the barleywine for $1.50 then I went on the tour which was free. The tour was a lot of fun and the person hosting the tour was very nice and very knowledgeable. She took us all over the factory and gave us the Firestone Walker history with pictures. The place ended up packed while I was there so people like going to get good beer on a rainy day in a town with not much to do. If you're in town or passing through check them out.
03-24-2011 02:08:24 | More by BigB415
3.5/5 rDev -15.9%
Nice location. It is in the middle of wine country. The taproom is like a regular bar/restaurant with a great beer selection. I was dragging my wife around California touring breweries, but she loved this place. They had a blueberry/fruit ale that she loved. I don't remember the name. Worth a visit.
10-21-2013 23:39:19 | More by arnold931
3.58/5 rDev -13.9%
I stopped in here to have a quick pint and to check the place out while on a road trip from southern California to northern California. A very good spot for a quick refresher pint or to have some tasters. Not too many though if you are the one doing the driving.
Located at the brewery, the taproom bar is small. There is an adjacent room next to the bar area with some tables and chairs and a very small patio. The atmosphere is pretty plain. Marble like bar with a wooden facade around the tap area. Plenty of wood gives this place a rustic feel. The atmosphere does not have to be overwhelming. This is a tasting room and not a club. Overall it is comfortable and relaxing.
The service is fine. Just one bartender serving when I was there. She did an excellent job and has a great rapport with the locals. A very friendly bartender.
I did not have any food. I don't think they offer food here other than pretzels and snacks.
The selection is Firestone Walker beers. I recommend trying the unfiltered double barrel ale or the nectar IPA if you have not had them before. Beers are served in a selection of four tasters or by the pint. They also sell growlers. I noticed on the website they stated they have Friday Firkin nights. I don't remember seeing a hand pump while I was there so I don't know if they still do this or not.
This is a simple tasting room and a good place to stop if one needs a break from driving but does not want or need food to go along with their beer.
07-07-2005 19:56:53 | More by Rumrunner
Taproom by Firestone Walker Brewing Company in Paso Robles, CA
93 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.