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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
93
outstanding

81 Ratings
Ratings: 81
Reviews: 36
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 11.69%
Taps: 13
Bottles: 0
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1400 Ramada Dr
Paso Robles, California, 93446-3993
United States
phone: (805) 238-2556

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @firestonewalker

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: Todd)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 81 | Reviews: 36 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of elNopalero
2.45/5  rDev -41.5%

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.

elNopalero, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of ocmpoma
2.9/5  rDev -30.8%

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.

ocmpoma, Apr 10, 2010
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3/5  rDev -28.4%

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.

ThreeWiseMen, Dec 15, 2008
Photo of mickeymac
3.26/5  rDev -22.2%

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.

mickeymac, Apr 19, 2006
Photo of Arbitrator
3.28/5  rDev -21.7%

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.

Arbitrator, Sep 07, 2010
Photo of Floydster
3.43/5  rDev -18.1%

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

Floydster, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of tastyville
3.44/5  rDev -17.9%

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...

tastyville, Dec 05, 2013
Photo of BigB415
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%

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.

BigB415, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of arnold931
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

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.

arnold931, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of Rumrunner
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%

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.

Rumrunner, Jul 07, 2005
Photo of Swimsum
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%

Made a run up to Paso to check this place out with the roommate and a friend. Set up is you walk in and face the bar, merchandise off to your right and seating area off to your right. The brewery is accessible through the back.

There were nine beers on tap. The standard four (Pale 31, Double Barrel, Walker Reserve, and Union Jack) were present along with Nectar IPA, Red Nectar, the Unfiltered Double Barrel, a Bavarian Hefe and their barleywine Abacus. The standard four were also offered as a standard sample. Their special beers are rotated on two taps to three taps.

EDIT: They have changed their serving sizes and prices since I first did this review so here's the update: they now offer 10 oz or 20 oz pints (sorry don't remember the prices), Mugs, Samplers, and special pours (think Abacus, Double Jack, Double DBA, etc) are into like 8 oz snifters. I'm pretty sure Mugs and samplers are still $6 as well as the special pours. As stated earlier, the prices of the pints escape me at the moment.

Free pint glasses were received if you wanted to try get a sampler. Since the standard four are readily available in SLO (and we have all had them), the bartender let us make our own sampler which was pretty sweet so bonus service points there.

The seating area is rather dull and is basically just a big room with some tables and two small tvs. However it's a nice place to talk with your friends and the people who come in.

We were offered a tour of their brewery which was nice. Also got some free samples to see if we wanted a full pint or not (different from the sampler itself). Food is no where to be found aside from some pretzels you can buy for $0.50. Mustard is also available.

Overall it was a pleasant experience and was much enjoyed by everyone who went. We were told that they were going to be releasing another beer shortly so possibly be heading up there again sometime soon for that.

Did offer six packs and some 22's to go. EDIT: Growers were $15, $20 or $25 depending on the beer being filled. All of the normal line up can be growler filled as well as the Unfiltered DBA. I was able to fill some special releases (Double DBA) and heard Double Jack was being filled but cannot fill things such as Abacus or other barrel aged beers I'm guessing.

Swimsum, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.66/5  rDev -12.6%

Stopped in here on Wednesday about noon and there were about 5 people there. It is off 101, exit on the right. Pay attention to directions or you may give up on it. Just follow the road...The taproom itself is nice. Upon walking in the bar is ahead with some stools, wall seating to the right, small patio outside and the major seating is to the right upon entrance. You might want to to get up and go to the bar. if you sit down and wait for service...you wont get it and this is typical Firestone. They dont have to cater I suppose. You must go to bar to get a adrink otherwise you can forget being waited on much like the Buellton location. Beer was DB, Union Jack, Pale, Porter,and Opal that was overpriced(majorly) and a few more. It was pricier than the Buellton location. My chief complaint is this. You find alot of their limited production brews/rare and wanted beers down along San Diego and LA. Very rare you find the special brews at the Firestone locations. Maybe they forgot about us who come or came on routine basis. Who helped them build their empire.
///
11/8/08-Visited here for the 12 release and service was exceptional. Still thik selection should be expanded to host more of their prized beers.

barleywinefiend, Nov 09, 2008
Photo of MrDave
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

MrDave, Jun 10, 2014
Photo of davegray
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

davegray, Nov 14, 2013
Photo of jwhancher
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%

Came by on 6/13/11 after a day trip to Big Sur on my way back from Long Beach. Was in the area so why not. Visited the restaurant yesterday and felt like closing the loop.

Walked into a display of a little overpriced Firestone merchant area. Looked at a beer tasting book. Would come in handy but at $5 a pop not reasonable IMO.

Beer list the same as the restaurant with what looked like one new addition. Was looking for Parabola but no dice. Woman behind the bar was very informative but after asking her if tours were available today on a Monday she gave me a long descriptive answer. A simple no would've sufficed.

Nice to see a Cicerone certificate displayed behind the bar. Didn't try the food. Noticed a couple of pizza options were unavailable.

Overall, a nice side trip. Didn't feel all that quaint, but was visiting by myself. Perhaps if the room felt a little smaller, I felt I could have struck up a conversation with a fellow beer nerd. Glad to have stopped by to check the place out. Would have loved to do the tour - maybe next time.

jwhancher, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of Goalcam
3.86/5  rDev -7.9%

Beer menu is pretty good with some rarer beers available. The bar food menu is more limited than the restaurant and the negative is that the restaurant has short hours. I would certainly advise them to keep the restaurant open more throughout the day and definitely all day on the weekend. Tours and a nice little shop with the full beer selection are also available.

Goalcam, Aug 01, 2014
Photo of dblinkhorn
3.86/5  rDev -7.9%

I went to the taproom last night to try the new Firestone 10. It is their blend of 10 separate brews combined to make a 10% ABV barleywine. It was very good. Anyway it had a good atmosphere. I was there on a Friday so there were a lot of people. They all seemed friendly and were having a good time, but I didn't talk to anyone except my girlfriend. They have a couple of TV's in the sitting area adjacent to the bar playing a baseball game. The interior is nice. It has large, round wooden tables set on top of oak barrels. There is a patio that was closed at the time due to rain. The ceiling over the bar area had nice wooden supports and rafters. There is a viewing window on the other side of the bar which shows the inside of the brewery, where you can see two large fermenting tanks and part of the bottling process. Also, if you use the restroom, you have to go back into the brewing area, which is neat.

The service was good even though it was busy. The women behind the counter was friendly and answered all of my questions.

The selection was all Firestone beers (except the seasonals which weren't in season). Also, they had a tap of Red Nectar beer as well. I'm not sure if they serve food, but I doubt it since they had lots of pretzels and mustard and no visible place where they would cook it. Also, I didn't see any of the other patrons with food other than the pretzels.

The prices were reasonable. I paid $5 for a snifter of their brand new beer, 10. After that I had a pint of the Walker's Reserve for $3.50. I also ordered two waters for $1 each.

It was a nice taproom with a good atmosphere and an expected brewery selection. The prices were also reasonable. A great place to get brewery-fresh beer, too, because the beer is brewed literally only a few yards away. Recommended, especially if you are a fan of Firestone beer.

dblinkhorn, Oct 15, 2006
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%

Really cool setup, you have the big ass restaurant and bar area on one side of the street, you have the smaller tap room & gift shop on the other.

Tap room has I dunno, around a dozen taps, some real cool gems like Helldorado (awesome) were available. Lots of polished metal around the area, some neat spots away from the bar w/ small tables to sit at. Tomme from Lost Abbey came and sat a few feet away from us. I recall Largadeer was in between. Gift shop prices were all over the place, some stuff was inexpensive (festival trucker hat $10) some was expensive (oxford companion to beer $50). Service at the taproom was better than it was across the street, despite having less help and a bigger crowd. Props to the taproom girls. Even the thicker ones have it going on if you follow.

On the other side of the street, eh, less people, more bartenders, slower service. Food was good, good burgers, good fish, good steak, good everything. Televisions around the bar. Huge vaulted metal shed type walls and ceilings.

While its not quite Sierra Nevada or Stone in terms of a beer mecca destination type of amazing acreage or lot its on, I'm telling ya, this place is close, and definitely the best option within hundreds of miles.

Beerandraiderfan, Jul 12, 2012
Photo of mverity
3.94/5  rDev -6%

The place looks great; however, it' feels more like a restaurant with the beer as an after thought. The beer was excellent as I'm accustomed to from FW. Our server was okay, but not too knowledgable. Good variety of beer styles, and the wine list looked good as well. The food was crazy overpriced and not very good. I'd only go back to scoop up some take home beers or to grab a pint.

mverity, Sep 28, 2013
Photo of Such_a_b-tch
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Such_a_b-tch, Sep 21, 2014
Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -4.5%

drewone, Jun 03, 2014
Photo of DCLAguy11
4/5  rDev -4.5%

DCLAguy11, Nov 14, 2014
Photo of Mikeb8
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Mikeb8, Apr 14, 2014
Photo of aquazr1
4/5  rDev -4.5%

aquazr1, Jun 06, 2014
Photo of berlinabb
4/5  rDev -4.5%

berlinabb, May 30, 2014
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Taproom by Firestone Walker Brewing Company in Paso Robles, CA
93 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.