|Canopy entrance to the fantasy brew of Stone World Bistro|
Last December, my wife and I finally made the pilgrimage to Stone Brewing. When asked, I routinely proclaim Stone to be my favorite brewery in America.
|Front bar where we waited for the tour. Brewery behind glass.|
Not alone in my fan boy status, but I have been with Stone since the beginning. We toured Stone when they were in the location that is now Lost Abbey. Tour is a strong word. We saw the brewery behind a portable tap, drank samples and went home with several bottles, an Arrogant Bastard glass stating that "Fizzy yellow beer is for wussies" and a growler of their RIS before it was famous, a great beer haul that they drinking of is another post.
|Souvenir shop, tasting room and tour start.|
This trip was nothing short of spectacular. For beer, a multiple 5 out of 5 world class rating visit is unique. With too many beers to drink, even with my lovely wife as DD and my own prodigious limits, I ordered a sampler tray to expand my on-site listing to include the IPA, Pale Ale, Smoked Porter, and other good but not top of my scale pours.
|Iconic gargoyle to left of main bar|
Drafts included one of only three Vertical Epic beers that I've ever had on tap, 11.11.11, and two beers that fight for my all time favorites: Sublimely Self Righteous and Ruination IPA. With drafts taking a toll on my reasonable judgement, I went home with a book, The Craft of Stone Brewing Co, and a growler of the double dry hopped version of the 15th Anniversary Ale. Beervana and worth every effort to get here. When the hotel is finished next door, I'm looking forward to getting on a jet plane to my to my beer haven.
|Cousin Mark walking from garden back in the bistro|
The beer alone would make the trip, but I'd show up for just the food as well. In case you missed the magnitude of this compliment, due to my beer obsession, few restaurants not doubling as a beer destination catch my attention. I had a tempeh burger with so much heat that even the fabled hoppiness of Ruination IPA couldn't cut it. I shoulda gone with medium. Gloria had a veggie pot pie that was so good that it's the top of my list for my next visit. Pot pies are rarely vegetarian, so this comfort food is sorely missed. Great veggie options plus local ingredients make Stone a hands down foodie hot spot.
|Bar view opposite of brewery glass wall towards garden|
Just a week before my 46th birthday, it was an afternoon of drinking epiphanies and catching up with SoCal friends and family: the very purpose of my favorite social lubricant.
|Mark, me, cousin Barb, and friends Chrissy and Chris.|
|Gag pic for friends making Mark look small |
and my souvenirs in hand.