in my mussels post, i mentioned taking a tour of stone brewing. so i thought i should actually follow-up and write about that. in early april, while i was in san diego, i talked my family into checking out the stone brewing co., although it wasn’t really a hard sell. we decided to head up on a friday evening after checking out wild animal park (which, again, could be a post unto itself). long story short about wild animal park – you need at least a day to get through it, maybe two. lions and tigers and gazelles, oh my!
anywhoo – back to the beer. we got to stone about a half hour before the tour began, so we checked out their assorted gift shop items (glasses, shirts, hats, beer) and news articles until the [free] tour began. you had to “sign up” ahead of time because the tour is limited to 25-30 and you need a pass to get on the tour.
our guide was a young fellow who was in college and just doing the tour as a part-time gig. apparently the perks are quite nice at stone (free beer, in large quantities) which makes me think i might want to move to san diego county…
he was very knowledgeable, not only about the brewery/company but also about the process of creating beer. the lucky bastard guy got to carry a beer around and drink it during the whole tour while we were left to salivate over the delicious sounding beers he described. it was really interesting and i learned a bit about the brewing process – having never been on a brewery tour. i’d recommend it if you get the chance, at any brewery.
the end of the tour included the obligatory “free” samples – which apparently are not legally free because of the knowledge they drop on you during the tour – at least that’s what the tour guide said that the insurance company told them. we got four samples each. they were (i believe):
- arrogant bastard
- smoked porter
- pale ale
if you have ever tried stone – you already know how good it is. however, the fresh pours at the brewery were so much better than any other stone you have tried. right temperature, fresh tasting, just superb.
a couple of very cool features of the tour:
- the main length of the brewery is a large glass wall which overlooks the bistro, or vice versa depending on which side you are on – the tour guide saluted the other stone employees on the other side of the glass each time we passed
- their bottling line is quite special – although i don’t want to ruin it for those who read this and might go. let’s just say it was in a beer related movie, eh!?
so, long story….long, if you are in escondido and looking for something to do, find your way over to stone brewing and learn about their awesome brews – and get a few free tastes in the process.