Our Trip to Stone Brewery

   The last thing we did on our San Diego trip was the thing I wanted to do most….our trip to Stone!

When I think of craft beer, Stone Brewing is one of the first breweries I think of.  They are like the Bruce Lee of brewing.  They took a look a traditional craft brewing at the time, and tossed all rules and tradition out the window.  Setting themselves apart from the rest, they are true icons of the craft beer movement.  This was the nicest brewery I’ve ever been to.  It was sort of hard to find the place, not because it was complicated direction-wise, but the building looked like some cookie cutter office park and we had initially driven past it.   Parking was almost impossible as the lot was totally full.  Once we got in, it was like stepping foot into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.  Ok maybe not that extreme….but I was pretty happy.  The eating area is amazing with a huge outdoor section in a lush Japanese garden that actually had trails which led to little social areas with fire pits, chairs, mini bars, it was awesome.  We sat down outside, each table having one of those heaters in case it was a bit chilly.  I wanted the beer on cask which was some sort of special IPA with ginger (if I remember correctly), but they were out of the cask.  I was upset..but not really, there were tons of beers to choose from.  The cool thing about stone is that they carry other craft beers from other brewers.  I was in the mood for a cask brew….

I was able to find several different IPA’s to enjoy and we also sampled some others.  You were able to get sample flights of basically whatever you wanted.

The food was average, not bad at all, just not “amazing”.  The portions though were truly American.
In the back, you can see where the trails go off into the Stone wooded wonderland.   It’s amazing to see something like this when you see that the brewery is just some business park.
I wish every table I sat at looked this way.

    The visit to Stone was pretty awesome.  I was not leaving San Diego without stopping here!  The Merch Shop was pretty nice as well an reasonably priced.  I picked up a shirt and cap and Nicole picked up one of these:

San Diego Pretty Sweet….

   I’m terrible at blogging, I fully admit.  I keep forgetting.  But I remembered now!  That’s whats most important right!?  Well, Nicole and I are in San Diego and it’s been awesome.  San Diego is way better than San Fran.  Last year we went to San Fran, it was nice……beautiful scenery, great weather, begging, 20 year old homless, etc…….San Diego?  Great weather, beautiful scenery, great beer, great food.   San Diego wins.   Nicole and I have enjoyed our time here.  I love Buffalo, but man, after this winter, San Diego was like heaven.  Nicole couldn’t even drink…..shes a trooper.  I’m not going to lie.   The main reason I wanted to go to San Diego was to drink amazing beer…and that, I did.  As I type this, I haven’t even gotten to Stone yet!
Let me start with this……the staple of the west coast, is that you cannot get good pizza.  I was proven wrong.  I fully admit.  Chicago and New York are kings for pizza, and from everything I have experienced and from everything I have heard, there is shit for pizza on the West.  I was proven wrong this weekend, and pleasantly impressed!  Woodstock’s Pizza on Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach is tasty!  Delicious Pizza and top notch beer.  One thing I noticed while in San Diego….every place you go that is able to serve alcohol, has great beer.   We have come a long way in Buffalo with our craft beer scene, but there are still too many places that have a predominant menu of Bud, Coors, Molson, and Sam Adams.

Lets Get back to Woodstock’s.  I ordered the BBQ chicken pizza with a pint of freaking Union jack from Firestone Walker.

I’m a pizza snob.  One might even call me “a dick”.  Whatever, I’ve worked pizza since legal working age, so I know it.  Woodstock’s is as good as you’re going to get not being from NY or Chicago.

     My stepfather and I went out one night after the ladies were asleep in search of a beer oasis.  We found it at the Taproom.  Let me start by saying, that if you are on the West Coast, you should be constantly searching for Russian River’s Pliny The Elder.  I won’t even go into detail about it….if you are into craft beer….do some research. Needless to say, we were lucky enough to run into a freshly tapped barrel which they get only once a week, and gets kicked in a little more than a day.  It’s easily a top 5 IPA of all time.  I had one of those, along with Russian River’s “Blind Pig” which is an IPA, and then Stone’s Ruination on Cask.   The Ruination on Cask was like liquid gold.  If you don’t appreciate cask beer, then you can’t say you are a fan of beer.  With a cask beer, you taste beer in its purest form. If you think of it as just “flat beer”, than you failed to grab the pebble from the master’s hand.  You fu*king failed to capture a fly in the chop sticks and sure as shit didn’t perform the crane kick from a stoop.  The Ruination Cask was sick, and was the best beer I had while in San Diego (so far, I have yet to reach Stone!).

Are you kidding?

Ruination on Cask

Pliney

This trip has been sweet so far.  I’ll have more updates as they come.  I can’t wait till Stone!

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