Today we bring you the first and last of our trip - leaving the squishy middle for tomorrow.
Stone Brewing Company
Overall, the building (pictured below) was disappointing. The atmosphere is best described as corporate and cold. Sure, we get that "stone" and "cold" go hand in hand but you would expect these arrogant bastards to be aiming more for stone and "cool" or stone and "badass." Instead, you get stone and corporate. The food was good. The beer was better (particularly our Ruination IPA). Still, you leave the place thinking that the gargoyle motif is little more than a marketing gimmick.
So, while the atmosphere wasn't everything you might expect in a brewery the staff were excellent and friendly. There was a steady stream of locals coming through to purchase kegs, which is a testament to the quality of beer. There are a lot of breweries in the San Diego area so this wouldn't be at the top of our list. However, we'll still drink their beer.
Stone has this weird atrium type thing. It was like going to the beirgarden - with my mom.
Um, would a sign kill you? Something that maybe indicates a brewery?
San Diego Brewing Company
The San Diego Brewing Company is quaintly located in a strip mall off a major thoroughfare. You know, the type of locale that says "Oh, right; I need an oil change." The magic happens on the inside.
SDCB is a wonderful mix of in-house brews and micro-brews from across the land. It's the type of place where you order a beer and watch the game. So, that's what we did. On one television we're watching Sharks-Red Wings. On the next television the NFL Network highlights the Buffalo Bills Super Bowl XXV season. Aside from the last 2 minutes of the Bills highlight reel we were in heaven.
The staff were friendly and more importantly answered endless questions about both the beer and food menus. The inhouse brews were very good, having sampled the Old Town Nut Brown and Hopnotic. We followed up with John Henry's 3 Lick Striker Ale - we were warned about its power but we hit the bottle anyway. We attempted to sober up with a monster burger and fries - apparently a house specialty.
Hey, where is the Jiffy Lube?
Yup, it's a sippin' beer.
Tomorrow: the squishy middle.