Okay this is my LAST California visit post (mostly because I’ve been back for two weeks). How can you go to STONE Brewery and not post about it? You can’t.
I didn’t realize how early you were supposed to show up for a brewery tour (2 hours!) and had to finagle my way in. I mean, this brewery is 75 miles from my parents house and I didn’t want to have to wait another 2 hours! Since it was only lil ole me they said it wouldn’t be a problem that I got there 15 minutes before the tour. But note that if you want to go in a group, get there EARLY. There’s a store, a restaurant, and gardens to peruse while you wait.
We were treated to a 10 minute mini lecture about the ingredients that go into every beer.
A few steps away and BAM giant fermenting tanks. The white barrels were vigorously bubbling the whole time. The shear size of this operation was amazing.
Beer ingredients + fermenting = these bottles that are ready to go out to stores! The 20 minute tour ends in a tasting of four of their beers. Did I mention the whole tour was free? Well worth a drive, right?
On Wednesdays this summer the brewery does a free showing of a film with discounted dinner items in their garden. This, like the tours, fills up and getting there early is a must for good seats. The films are pretty good too. Office Space, The Big Lebowski, Army of Darkness…. you get the idea.
The vegetarian option for the Wednesday night that I was there looked great and a good price to boot!
I opted to have a fancy dinner with friends at the restaurant instead.
Garden fresh salad with organic locally grown greens with a hop vinaigrette.
Tempeh Sheppard’s pie! Description on the menu-
Chock full of spiced tempeh, carrots, zucchini, corn and onions, topped with mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese. Served with a side salad. Boy, those tempeh shepherds sure knew how to eat, and they liked it spicy! (Can be made Vegan on request.)
I was very happy with what I ordered and would recommend it to anyone, vegetarian or not.
Dessert: Fresh Berry, Blue Cheese Jalapeño Cheesecake (description menu)
Luscious cheese cake with just a touch of Shaft Blue Cheese, beautiful local strawberries, and a whisper of jalapeno – enough to hint at warmth but not destroy the smooth goodness of this marvelous dessert. On the top are preserved jalapenos in a sweet syrup.
This was off for me. There was just SO much going on flavor-wise I wasn’t sure what to make of it. It wasn’t BAD at all it was… well, interesting. I say try it and see what you think. I have friends who love it.
I would go back for appetizers, beer, a movie or just to hang out every time I visit home. MMmmm Stone Brewery.