My friend Shellie did a indie-gogo type crowdfunding event that was a partnership beer with the Bruery in Placentia, CA (Orange County). The bottle was ready for pickup so we made our way down to Escondido to get it. If its your first time, use your GPS. There are no signs to tell you where this place is, and you’ll end up in a tree lined parking lot, and to the left, a pathway leading into some tress and an industrial looking office building. That’s the place.
Since it was mine and Stephen’s first time at Stone Brewing, she suggested taking the tour of the brewery with lunch after. So we made a 12:00 tour, and a 1:00 lunch. Note to self: give yourself an hour and a half after the tour, to give yourself time to do the beer tasting. The tour is $5 if you are tasting (you get a souvenir glass) or $1 if you’re not tasting. Pay the $4 more, even if you’re not drinking. The taster glass is worth taking home. Kids are free.
We were 1/2 hour early so we went to the outside bar, got a drink and made our way to the gardens to relax. About 11:50, we made our way back to the lobby for the tour.
Noah was our guide and he did a fantastic job. It was sort of scripted but he also ran off the cuff, which made it more customized to his audience. Unfortunately for us, it was a Sunday so the factory wasn’t bottling. It was still a brilliant tour, which took about 45 minutes and you end up at the lobby for the tasting.
Our lunch was right next door at the bistro, and we were seated inside, but right were the glass doors lift open, so we had a bit of outdoor light filtering in. We had a great server, who didn’t rush us, but was quick enough to grab his attention if we needed something.
We ended up ordering 8 flights of beer, generously served in 5 ounce pours. We paired our food with a bunch of appetizers from the sausage and kraut, the brussels sprouts, the fried olives, and the duck tacos entrée. Later, we added more brussels sprouts (they were THAT good!), the charcuterie plate and the pretzels. Of course, we added dessert!
Some beers we liked, some we didn’t even finish. The sharing of appetizers was probably the best solution for our beer tasting, and we could have passed on the charcuterie plate… it was just ok. We spent about 4 1/2 hours at the bistro, and our water glasses were filled regularly (as well as our trips to the bathroom) and we never felt rushed. Stephen really enjoyed the openness of the bistro, and said it was a very well done place.