Where San Diego Magazine Fall 2011

Page 21

(opposite) istockphoto.com/mustafa deliormanli, (This page) istockphoto.com/Cameron Whitman

BREWERY TOURS We dare you to step up to the bar at Escondido’s Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens and shout “Arrogant Bastard” at the ‘tender. Go on; we’ll watch. But you’ll like the outcome. Stone Brewing Co. has sired a line of “Bastard” Ales: Arrogant, Oaked Arrogant, Lucky and Double. Of course, if you’re feeling Sublimely Self-Righteous, there’s an ale for that, or you can always chase down a Dumb Blonde. Public walk-in tours, which are free and include tastings, operate several times per day in groups of no more than 25. Because these tours fill so quickly, visitors must be on the premises to check in; no phone or email reservations are taken. Pick up a pass at the Stone Company Store after 11 am to snag a place. Larger groups of 10 to 35 can make reservations for private tours as well. Pizza Port’s Solana Beach brewery, established in 1987 directly across from the Amtrak and Coaster station, is the lynchpin of the company’s several locations. The casual beach theme is played up here, and at any given time business execs will be bending elbows next to sandy surfers fresh from the nearby waves. All Pizza Port locations serve pizzas, salads and “portzels”— giant, beer-crust pretzels loaded with anything from feta cheese to sundried tomatoes—but the brews on tap vary daily depending on each brewer’s whim. Check the online Tap Cam to see which of the company’s 100 beers are pouring today. In Solana Beach, four large fermenters are set into a sunken brew room, beneath which are the sub-floor coolers. If you want to branch out from Pizza Port’s signature Swami’s IPA, tastings are $4.25 for four three-ounce pours (cost is higher for brews over eight percent alcohol). On the wall next to the fermenters is the “Geek Board,” which tracks the progress of each brew in the roughly 11-day process— not to mention the growing number of pushups a certain employee owes the boss for being late. It’s all in good fun, though—a reflection of Pizza Port’s welcoming, family-friendly atmosphere. An old name under new ownership and location, Mission Brewery opened its doors earlier this year in the old Wonder Bread factory in the East Village. This is a place for fans of the art of brewing, as questions and wandering are encouraged. Plans are being made to “make it a show,” as tasting manager Mike Peterson puts it, to allow public viewing of all phases of the process. As Mike points out, Mission Brewery is a tasting room: no bar bites or food menu here. Dogs are welcome, and patrons can be found strolling through the huge establishment, trying out the ancient 23-foot shuffleboard, or bellied up to one of two long wooden bars. Nearby are six enormous 2,000-gallon fermenters (16 more are planned). The added beauty here is the 1894 architecture, along with the way the brewery has adapted the Wonder Bread factory to its cur-


Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens 1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido, 760.471.4999 Pizza Port 135 N. Highway 101, Solana Beach, 858.481.7332; 1956 Bacon St., Ocean Beach, 619.224.4700 and 571 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad, 760.720.7007 Mission Brewery 1441 L St., East Village, 619.544.0555 Bernardo Winery 13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte, Rancho Bernardo, 858.487.1866 Cordiano Winery 15732 Highland Valley Road, Escondido, 760.469.9463 Carruth Cellars 320 S. Cedros Ave. #400, Solana Beach, 858.847.9463


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