I bought my share of GF Double Stout, Hop Head Red and West Coast IPA back in the day. That first batch of Silva Stout, delicious and a nice discount if you bought a case, still brings back great memories. It was fun to hang out at the Vista brewery and talk to Chuck Silva about his beers (he once shared a Cantillon with me and some others, too). But once they moved to Mira Mesa, it was all downhill. They ruined WCIPA, retired other beers, bought and ruined Alpine, launched that awful Cellar 3, ruined Silva Stout, etc. etc. I loved old Ballast Point stuff -- OG Sculpin, Sea Monster Stout, that killer batch of BA Piper Down, etc. -- and hanging out at the Home Brew Mart and learning something new almost every time I went. And their anniversary parties at their old brewery and even the first one at Liberty Station were great fun. But then they put everything into Sculpin and dumb adjuncts and have never been the same. Stone was definitely a gateway craft brewery for me. Back when I lived in Ohio at the turn of the century, there was this one bar that had good bands and bombers of Arrogant Bastard for cheap; I had some great times with that. I used to like a lot of their beers but never loved them the way I did some of the other breweries that started popping up. Still, I liked their attitude, craft beer advocacy and ethos, though I guess they've dropped at least the "no advertising" part because I saw a Stone ad on Twitter this morning. Still, all three of them helped pave the way for a lot of the breweries that we love today, so I don't want to pile on too much. I would love it if any of them were to come out with a new home run beer, but I'm not holding my breath.