The Englishman loves beer (you know being from London and all) and loves trying new brews. So for his birthday it only made sense that we took a little day trip to one of Southern California’s most well-known breweries: Stone Brewing Company.
For those of you who are not familiar with Stone, they are the brewmakers behind such beers as Arrogant Bastard, Stone Ruination IPA and Stone Imperial Russian Stout to name a few. Their beers are bold, strong, and have character. I figured this would be the perfect place to take the Englishman so we hopped on the train and headed south to Escondido.
Stone is located in a very industrial part of Escondido with nothing but buildings and factories surrounding it. But step inside the brewery and you’ll find a bistro, beer garden and outdoor patio that will make you feel like you are anywhere but in an industrial park. After discovering the brewery tours were sold out, we decided to do our own little beer tasting and relax in the beer garden.
Despite the fact that it was quite hot out, I LOVED the garden. There are lots of benches and tables so you can just sit outside and enjoy the scenery while drinking your beer. There’s plenty of room back there so you don’t feel like you are crowded in at all.
To begin, the Englishman went with the Arrogant Bastard Ale:
The verdict? He liked it, even though it was quite strong (definitely too strong for my liking). It had a lot of “character” as promised and was definitely strong. I rolled with the Stone Pale Ale but thought it was a bit too bitter.
*Disclaimer: I can be a bit of weenie when it comes to beers – I usually stick with the pale ale or wheat types, so take my reviews with a grain of salt.
We had made reservations to dine at their bistro, and with tummies rumbling we sat down to lunch inside with a nice view of the gardens. Given that there is not much else around near Stone, the bistro was PACKED. I did like how they stated on the menu that there was no High Fructose Corn Sryup used in any of their dishes. Score for me.
For his next beer the Englishman went with the Stone Imperial Russian Stout which was his favorite of the day. Even me, the beer weenie, really enjoyed this beer also. It’s quite heavy and would be the perfect drink during the winter.
I went with a Hefewizen for my 2nd beer and also had a strawberry-infused iced tea that was absolutely delicious.
On the food front, we started with the Spud Buds – mashed potatoes deep-fried in an Arrogant Bastard Ale batter. Clearly light is not the name of the game at Stone.
The spuds were good – they had nice flavor and the mashed potatoes inside were nice and creamy. Another favorite of the day.
On the entrée front I decided to roll with the Bruschetta BLT Sandwich with Applewood Smoked Bacon, Arugula and Blue Cheese on a Ciabatta Roll.
Honestly it was just alright. They must not have had Ciabatta in-house because the sandwich came on a Hawaiian Sweet Roll which kind of threw off all of the flavors. I was a fan of the additional mashed potatoes on the side though. I had high expectations for this sandwich and it just fell kind of flat.
The same could be said for the Englishman’s entrée of Artisanal Sausages and Cabbage.
He loved the cabbage but found the sausages to be a bit overseasoned and way too spicy. The spicy polish sausage was the high point of the dish.
We finished lunch and headed back into the beer garden to let our food digest and enjoy more beer of course. By this point the gardens were packed. After hanging out in the sun for a while we decided to purchase a souvenir for the ride home: Stone’s Ruination IPA (we wanted to try the double dry hopped version but they were out) and hopped on the train home.
Overall, we both enjoyed Stone Brewing and both agree that you definitely want to go there for the beer, not the food as it was expensive and not memorable. Pack snacks or a lunch to enjoy with your beer instead. The train was also a great way to get to the brewery – highly recommended.
Thanks for the memories Stone! We will definitely be back, especially to get more of that Russian Imperial Stout.
Stone Brewing Company
1999 Citracado Parkway
Escondido, CA 92029