Get Stoned – Slow Food and No Fizzy Yellow Beer

We have been fans of Stone Brewery and their knock you in the face with flavor beers for a while now.  So the new Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens immediately made the top of our to-do list for the San Diego area.

stone brewery

Stone likes to be different and even considered to be some very arrogant bastards when it comes to their beer.  So of course, nothing about the Bistro & Gardens is average.

First thing you can’t miss is the out-of-the-way location…And I say out-of-the-way because it’s in a non-descript business district yet it was crazy packed!  This isn’t just the next hot spot in a trendy neighborhood; this is more a pilgrimage of cult followers (and a few curious cats looking for a good buzz).  The parking situation was a bit tricky.  It was a challenge to find regular parking much less a spot large enough for our RV.  We ended up locating a shopping center about 2 miles away, parking the RV, disconnecting the car and driving back over to Stone!

parking lot

Once we were finally in, we were greeted with a long line for beer, a beautiful open-air patio and a one-acre organic beer garden.  I don’t know if it was all the anticipation, the heat or the ambiance but that first beer was oh so sweet on the lips!

beer line

beer garden

There are no TVs and its 100% smoke-free indoors and out!  After a walk through the garden and learning of their commitment to “slow food” we forced ourselves to stick around for dinner.

view from above

 Slow Food is the absolute opposite of fast food.  It’s all about using locally produced veggies and natural meats (no crazy chemical enhancers or petri dishes involved.  You know… real food.  Come to find out Stone is the largest restaurant purchaser of local, small-farm organic produce in San Diego County.

Here are a few of my favorite stone statements about slow food: “We do this not just for the simple principles of freshness and sustainability, but also because fresh, local and organic tastes better. It’s also better for you and the world in which we live. It does cost more, and our prices reflect some of that reality…..we have sworn off all things mediocre, NO MATTER HOW POPULAR. We do not serve any industrial adjunct beers (aka “fizzy yellow beers”) as they do not represent the best in beers in our opinion. Instead of generic orange-colored cheese varieties, we select flavorful artisanal cheeses. We are 100% high fructose corn syrup free, as we don’t think that ANYTHING that uses cheap sold-by-the-drum sweetener tastes as good as food and drink that’s made with actual real, natural sugar. No, we’re not health nuts, we’re quality nuts! The fact that actual real food is better for you than the “food-like” substances that folks commonly eat is beside the point. Or is it?”

That pretty much sums up exactly how we feel about food and beer and wine and well, I think you get the idea.  So back to the experience.

One of the best reasons for visiting any brewery is the chance to sample lots of different beers and a few that might be limited release or only sold at the brewery.  So, of course, that’s exactly what we went for.   The vertical epic was like Christmas in a bottle!  It was lovely and definitely epic, until I remembered it was a limited release and almost sold out (we purchased the last bottle in the restaurant, and the last 2 bottles in the store…Now it’s really SOLD OUT J).

last one

The food was creative, well prepared and…I’m not even going to attempt to give you super accurate information on the food… because my memories might be slightly skewed.  By the time dinner was over, I wasn’t qualified to operate heavy machinery much less give a proper description of anything I had eaten…but the photos look yummy and Jason swears the taste matched.

stone foodtofu and mash

Speaking of heavy machinery, our waiter was super nice and didn’t want us taking off without seeing the brewery.  So we got a quick private tour!  Maybe he was just trying to ensure a good tip, either way, we were happy to take him up on the offer…and goof around a little in the process.

stone bible



Obviously we loved it and if you are anywhere near the area; it’s a great place to spend a sunny afternoon.  However, if you plan on eating we suggest making reservations to avoid the long wait!

If you haven’t ever had a Stone beer before, make sure to read Brian’s You’re Not Worthy post.

If you’re passionate about putting good stuff into your body give us your take on Stone, Slow Food or Craft Beer in the comments below…we’d love to hear your two cents.  Cheers!

Disclaimer – Stone didn’t pay us to write this, heck we didn’t even ask for a free dessert.  We love slow food, quality craft beer and good people looking out for Mother Nature.

Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (18)

  • Awesome write-up! The best thing about brewery visits for us is the bed is usually never far away! Even though the parking lot at Stone is cramped we still manage a way to squeeze in Stanley. Love this place and didn’t know that about the ‘slow food’, looks like we have another reason to come back and visit, as if we wouldn’t have anyway! Also, another can’t miss in the area is Lost Abbey. Ha! I say that even though last time we were there we missed it. There are so many excellent breweries in that area, it is tough to admit but I just could not manage to squeeze in one more. The best thing about that is, gives us just one more reason to return!


  • Marc

    Jason and Nikki…loved the write up and had to comment because on our departure from the campsite today I was sporting my Stone Brewery t-shirt. Thanks for the great read and I’ll try to be more social next time we cross paths…not the most social person by nature but I try…it was a pleasure talking with you two.
    As a side note…only issue I ran into was a leaky gray water valve and a scar I inflicted on the side of the camper during loading because I didn’t account for the cross grade.

    Well thanks for the reminder I need to visit San Diego again and I’m going to make sure to follow your Blog. Also, my daughter loved your cat (singa) as he took a liking to chasing her casting weight from her toy fishing pole.

    -Marc (Guy in the arctic fox TC)

    • Hey Marc,
      Sad you guys were only in town for a night and I’m glad your shakedown trip was a success! Next time you go camping Pacifica has a great spot right on the water and it’s only a few minutes drive from SF.
      Also I know you mentioned you’re heading to Utah next, we had a killer experience at Zion and Springdale:
      If you have any questions we do read every comment so feel free to ask and hopefully we can help.
      BTW – you’re little girl must have some cat whisperer in her because Singa rarely plays with “little people” 🙂

  • Hey Guys!

    Therese is one of your followers and headed out to Los Angeles to Berkley to pick up her son. Her plans are to drive up the coast to Santa Barbara but I was telling her about Stone Brewery. She needs a beautiful drive about 2 hours up or down the coast ’cause they are headed to Arizona after a short road trip in California and then back to Texas. Send suggestions to her, She loves good beer and I know you are the experts! Love you, miss you!

  • Koop

    I’m a fan of Stone and visit the brewery whenever I’m in southern California. Looking forward to getting back to San Diego this fall. Thanks for the great write up, whetted my appetite!

    • Wish we were passing through again…I would like to go back and spend the entire day indulging and lounging around the gardens. Have fun, we’re jealous you get to visit often.

  • There is a place I need to Visit – looks great!

  • Suzeebee33

    Bummer, We just left San Diego a week ago. My son returned home from Deployment from the Navy and we met him in Coronado.My youngest son (24) traveled to Hawaii to Join my Oldest son (25) on the final leg of the trip home. The USS John C Stennis returned home from the Middle East on April 29th. To save money on Hotel and dining out, we pulled our Camper out there and stayed in a camp ground in San Elijo State Park. Full Hook ups because we had 5 in our camper. This would have been a great place to celebrate his home coming. You may want to check out the Pick your Own Strawberries and the Flower Fields off the 5 on Cannon Road..

  • Glad you guys enjoyed Stone as much as we did. It’s a great place.

    And thanks for the linky, btw.

    Happy travels,

    • Brian, when we’re travelling non-stop its so easy to forget great things…and you reminded us of how much we love Stone. Safe Travels.

  • Lou

    Omg!! Love this brewery! Levitation is a favorite :). Thanks for the great story. Can’t wait to visit again.

  • hmm…we may have to add the brewery to our fall trip!

    • Yes you do! If you like beer and food you will love this place.

  • Susanna

    so cool! you are both adorable, best wishes!

  • Mark of SJC

    As usual, awesome write up (and the perfect destination for us on a nice day with the top down…designated driver on board!).

    Hey, I thought Wendy was going to be replaced with “Wendy 2.0” ….did I miss something?

    • Mark,
      YES the DD is a must at Stone because their brews are crazy strong (in both flavor and Alcohol content), or you can sleep it off in the sunny garden like we did!
      You are correct Windy was supposed to be replaced but we had to gravel at her tires to take us back….read the full article here (don’t worry it’s short :))


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