Been coming here mostly for festivals but also random stops when in SD since 2007. Actually my first stop here ever was a very short one on 070707 because the power went out shortly before I arrived.
The beer lineup is usually quite good. On anniversary party days if you dont want to spend the money on tickets to the fest you can try half a dozen years of anniversary beers on tap. Winter Storm is a great event for trying a bunch of other vintage stuff (Old Guardian, IRS, Vertical Epic) and the festivals (Sour Fest, Oakquinox, and probably Pour It Black) are a good time as well. At some point recently theyíve expanded the number of taps to a ridiculous number. They also usually have some good guest taps going as well.
Service can be very hit or miss. Actually more like decent or miss. Good service is hard to come by here. Some of the bartenders are friendly but usually the best youíll get is a neutral experience. If you get unlucky or ask the wrong question youíll get ignored or get some asshole response. The food is pretty good but very expensive. I love coming here for the beer but I do my best not to interact with the help.
Iíve been here a bunch of times, but somehow never got around to review it. I was there yesterday, so I figured I would review it this time.
This was the first time I have ever just gone straight to the bar as we were not too interested in eating this time. The initial service was decent, nothing outstanding. However, after our second round, the two bartenders completely ignored us. I have ordered a couple drinks from the bar before (after finishing up a meal) and was always served quickly. I could understand if they were extremely busy and no one was being served, but the three of us were the only ones being flat out ignored (we watched the other bar patrons being served constantly).
We finally just got up and headed to a table and grabbed a couple appetizers after sitting with empty glasses at the bar for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
The service at the table in the bistro was excellent as always.
The beer list is always excellent, with an enormous bottle list and 32 taps (and having 07.07.07 on cask is never a bad thing).
Food has been excellent every time I have been here, although it is on the expensive side. Being vegetarian, I generally stick to the tofu stir fry, and it is delicious and you get quite a large portion.
The atmosphere is second to none, especially in the brewery world, and part of the reason why I enjoy going to Stone so much.
The reason that I still give Stone a high rating is because this is the first time I have ever had anything close to a bad experience there. As I said, I have been here several times and the staff in the bistro, the store, and on the tours have been incredible.
Itís like an adult Disneyland. Except for its location and the lack of signage this place is almost perfect. Great ambiance, great service and a large IPA centric tap list. Make the trip, you will not be disappointed.
The facility itself is stunningly attractive (though the lack of any signage out front is surprising). The bar/ restaurant area is large and sprawling. The outdoor patio area is massive and leads right into the gardens, which seem well kept. The tap,list had all the standard Stone beers but only a few specials, one of which was not going to be available until 4pm in the afternoon (I was there before 1pm). S that was a little annoying. They also have a firly impressive bottle menu including beers not made by Stone. There is a well-stocked gift shop with lots of apparel, books, bottled beers (including some specials) and a growler bar. All in all itís definitely worth checking this place out, but I really couldnít see myself spending a long time here.
A very nice place to visit, though a bit of a haul if your hotel is by the airport. This fact does not detract from the visit in any way, particularly when you convince your boss to drive home. The beer selection is great, and down right excellent if hops are your thing. The food is superbly prepared. Prices are reasonable, though in CA terms. The wait staff are attentive and knowledgeable.
I had not done my research on how elaborate this place was before coming, but holy shit! This is the most extravagant "brewpub" / restaurant Iíve ever been to. The grounds are huge, with gardens, tons of seating, an inside and outside bar, etc. Beer selection is phenomenal, with many Stone rarities, and many guest taps. Didnít have food at this Stone location, but it looked great, though a bit on the pricier side. Service was excellent. Overall, for atmosphere, this place cannot be beat, and is easily worth the trek out here. What a place.
Wow. All I can say is wow. I had business in Burbank and made the drive to check it out, and I am very impressed by the brewery, the grounds, the beer list, the everything (except the food, which was good, not great). World class for sure.
So Iíve been to over 700 breweries in 20 countries and often frame my travel itineraries around beer. When Iím home, I like to try different beers as often as possible. But Stone is often the source of many of my favorites, and Iíve been wanting to visit Stoneís "homeplate" for many years. Iíve had trips to the San Diego area planned a couple times that got scrubbed for various reasons (including a pesky little brain tumor) and missed whatever opportunity I mightíve had to visit the original location. But Iíve wanted to go here forever. So this time, when I finally had the chance to get to SD, I framed an entire day around visiting Stone, and booked some sh*tty hotel room in Escondido specifically to spend some time here. WHAT A BUST. So on a Sunday night (granted, Valentineís Day), we were told we couldnít get a table, that they were "totally booked." But there was no indication of some special V-Day event, and for the 45 minutes we lingered around one of the bars, we saw at least a dozen empty tables the entire time. The whole vibe of this place comes across as overly snooty. Not a single member of the staff acted like they could give a sh*t if you were there or not, there was no effort to reach out to us as customers. We waited in line for 20 minutes at the bar while the indifferent bartenders stood around with their noses in the air, moving at the speed of fermentation. Of course, when we did get beers, they were stellar (props to the brewers). We mightíve stayed and jockeyed for a much-coveted seat at one of the two bars, but instead had our $40 round of 4 beers, got suckered into spending more at the quite impressive gift shop, and left. I was so, so, so disappointed with this visit, and realize now that Stone has become something on the verge of the "wicked" Anheusers, Millers and Coorsíes that everyone despises so much. I canít say Iíll abandon their beers because theyíre so damn good ... But DAMN, did this place suck. Brewery #734.
(Visited 04/2008): I was excited to finally have a chance to visit Stone on a recent business trip to San Diego. The brewpub is located in a suburb of San Diego called Escondido and is not too far off I-15. There is no signage but the building is pretty obvious. They have a fairly large private lot.
The walk up to the building is amazing, with huge boulders lining the walkway. You can catch glimpses of the massive beer garden that had to have cost a fortune in landscaping alone. The interior is every bit as impressive. Visitors are met with the Stone store in the lobby and then ushered into a gigantic space that looks like a converted warehouse. The entire brewing operation is viewable behind big glass windows. The bar is on the left with seating everywhere else. More stonework adorns the interior, and there is a tree right in the middle of the dining room. All in all the place has a tactile feel, it makes you want to touch everything.
The beer selection is very good. Unfortunately they were out of 2 of their own beers (including a pub-exclusive cask beer) but more than made up for it with the extensive guest list. Brewers like Green Flash, Telegraph, Port and Ballast Point were all represented.
Service was good on a busy weekday evening. Our server had a thorough knowledge of both Stone and guest beers.
The food was honestly a major letdown. While I can appreciate Stoneís commitment to local and organic food, I know for a fact that you can make better food with those constraints than what we tasted that evening. Especially for the ridiculously high prices. I had the mac ín cheese and it was bland and uninteresting, and for $16.50 that is inexcusable. To put into perspective, I had a similarly priced truffle mac n cheese in Vegas since and it was phenomenal. My collegueís duck tacos were similarly unimpressive.
Despite the negatives, I would absolutely come back here again (altough I would probably eat elsewhere first). No craft beer lover should visit San Diego without putting Stone at the top of the list.