We all have that person in our life that is arrogant, bold, abrasive, in-your-face, makes you drink too much, but for some reason you just can't get enough of. Stone in North San Diego is the brewery equivalent of that person. Every time we head south to San Diego (usually en route to the Casbah) we have to stop for a pint, or five. With beers that have alcohol contents of 6, 7 and 8 % their flavors can best be described as a punch to the mouth. Would you expect anything else from an ale called 'Arrogant Bastard'? Stone beers are not for amateurs.
Stone's well crafted and delicious beers are not the kind you would indulge in on a heavy night of drinking. These are beers with flavor, body and long winded tasting notes, so you know it's bound to be good. We've been to Stone quite a few times now, done the tour of the brewery, the tasting, the whole 9 yards. You could say we're a couple of stoners. Getting into the taste, subtleties and description of beer is something that I find to be wholly subjective and ineffective, so I'll spare you the hassle of trying to taste with your mind. That's why God gave us tongues.
Connected to the brewery is a restaurant / bar and their food is not for the weak either, being that many of the dishes feature stone beers as one of the ingredients. We usually just have appetizers, being careful not to reverse the all-important pre-Casbah buzz. Our favorite appetizers are the Mushroom Pillows. These little guys are dreamily delicious mushrooms stuffed with jalapeños and cream cheese that live in a crisp little home made of dough. The perfect home for the explosion of tasty goodness. I wish I had a home made of dough where I would let mushroom and jalapeño live in harmony and free from the gawkers opinions of their sultry love triangle with cream cheese. Other tasty morsels they have include the Spud Buds, deep fried mashed potato balls, and the Homemade Hummus.
Stone not only offers a delicious feast for the hungry, as well as, nectar of life for the thirsty, they also provide a playground for the eyes. Their facility is very uniquely designed from their high ceilings with floating beer displays, to their outside dining area with blooming garden, fireplaces and pond. They even have a gift shop, which we took advantage of on this visit. This time we picked up a couple of pint glasses and beers which would soon fill said pint glasses. When we got home we noticed that there was a warning sticker on the bottoms of the glasses:
Some materials used in the color decorations on this glass contain lead which are known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm.
So it looks like our enjoyment of Stone products will not only leave us with hangovers and bad livers but cancer and sterility. No big.