#2 Review by slowrunner77 from Reno, NV, United States
Score: 4.8 | Selection 10 | Atmosphere 10 | Service 9 | Value 9 | Overall 10 |
This place is like the Playboy mansion of breweries :) Giant wooden doors, a huge outdoor beer garden with trails, koy ponds, movie nights, gargoyles and caves inside. The beer is among the best in the world, and the food, while a little steep, is locally grown and mostly fantastic. Absolutely LOVE this place!
8/15/2012 6:36:38 PM |
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#1 Review by EyeChartBrew from CA, Liechtenstein
Score: 4.4 | Selection 9 | Atmosphere 10 | Service 9 | Value 8 | Overall 8 |

Met up with the a gang of other folks on a mellow early Sunday afternoon. Like the most of the crew, I'd been to the past few Stone Anniversary parties at their new brewery location, but this was my first time actually inside.

Wow. They really did a bang-up job with the looks of this place. Seemingly every detail showed that some thought was put into it. With the name like Stone, of course there's going to be lots of stonework about. Case-in-point? The men's restroom, which doesn't even bother having a mirror above the sinks. Instead? More artfully displayed rocks!

At the same time, lots of distressed looking metal-work abounds, including using rebar for the upstairs hand railing. Not all pristine and uniform stainless steel -- they wisely left that to the brewery itself, fully on display through the windows -- but metal with some patina and oxidation, and then sealed, to give it a much warmer look.

And I haven't even covered the gardens, which are still a work in progress. When all is said and done out there (which has it's own dedicated bar, `natch), it'll definitely give Karl Strauss' Sorrento Mesa location a run for it's money.

Onto to the beer. I got there a bit before the rest of the crew, and had a glass of the Levitation -- nice and fresh, naturally. Chatted with Greg Koch for a while, who later on made it a point to not only visit our table often, but also gave our crew a nice tour the gardens-to-be. Cheers!

Anyway, the bar area is interesting, with all the tap handles (and available bottles too) displayed well above the bank of taps, with red LEDs showing what was pouring. When it comes to some of the taps, like the Pizza Port taps, it wasn't always clear what exactly was pouring. But that's just a minor quirk that I'm sure they'll work on.

BTW, the bar service was sharp, even if they're still figuring out which beers get which glasses. ;^)

Once the rest of the crew arrived, we had a nice-sized 8-person table laid out. Brunch was still being served (and would be until 3pm), which I thought was a little odd, but oh well, never a bad thing to have a variety of choices! I was in lunch mood (as was the rest of the folks), and worked our way through the menu.

The kimchi plate was tasty -- and I don't normally go for kimchi... :)

I thouht my Garlic and Ruination Beer Cheese soup to be pretty tasty, though I think I would have liked to have had it either cheesier or "garlic-ier". Robert's Sweat Potato soup looked good, and was actually thick enough to think about getting some Naan bread for dipping!

Of what I saw at my end of the massive table, the main courses consisted of a few orders of the Duck Tacos, the Tikka Massala (the "hot" was not nearly hot at all), and a stir-fry rice and Brussels sprouts dish that I thought was pretty tasty. (Yes, I actually like Brussels sprouts!).

I didn't have desert, but some of the guys gave the cheese cake a thumbs up.

For drinks, the only thing I thought was bit, well, pretentious was how the place handles non-alcoholic drinks. Now, don't get me wrong, having gourmet sodas is very cool -- I really dig the Virgils' Root Beer -- but that might not fly for some folks. Ditto for iced tea. While there is a certain panache' to having your very own french press at the table, to steep and pour your own hot tea, I think it's getting a bit "beyond the pale" if folks just want some iced tea. Plenty of bottled gourmet iced teas out there, no? And I confess that I'm curious how they would respond to folks asking about some hot coffee after a long dinner. "Here a french press, knock yourself out"? Not a huge deal-breaker for me, but I can see it being an unnecessary annoyance for Designated Drivers.

(P.S. How about adding iced coffee's to the array of non-alcoholic beverages? Plenty of those in bottled form too).

Service? A "B+" to the bar-staff, but a definite "A" to our table server.

Anyway, a great time was had by all. Yes, it's out in the middle of no-where. But this would be a great "date place", or a place to take the folks on in-laws for a meal and some drinks. Or, for that matter, just drinks with the guys!

Now, if they can just get Old Guardian flowing through the one-and-only hand-pump.... ;^)

Many thanks to Greg & Staff for the hospitality!
//TB

1/13/2007 8:19:54 PM |
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