Stone Brewing Co. team officially debuted a new tasting room and retail store next to La Grande Orange, Sushi Kimagure and the Gold Line's Del Mar stop. it's a nice space, mostly a bar with 24 taps, shelves filled with everything from beer soap to stout-spiked mustards, T-shirts, glassware, and candles that look like frothy pints of pilsner. Stone is based in Escondido, and this is the first tasting room outside of the San Diego area for the company.
But let's get back to those taps - all 24 flow with Stone's beers, from the ubiquitous IPA to specials like the Anniversary Ale with Green Tea and the "Enjoy By," a special fresh hoppy brew that you're supposed to drink within 30 days of its release. Get four-ounce tastes to full glasses of any of them, and sit outside on the patio (there are a few tables). You can also fill growlers here. In fact, when we left the opening party, there were more than 50 people lined up outside, many carrying their empty growlers super psyched about not having to drive to Escondido.
The tasting room joins quite a beer scene in the neighborhood - Congregation Ale House is basically right across the street, with Lucky Baldwins, Kings Row and Haven Gastropub and Brewery are just a couple blocks away. Throw in whatever they're pouring at Intelligentsia's beer and wine bar, and you've got yourself quite the Old Town beer crawl. And a Metro line right there so you don't have to drive.
220 S. Raymond Ave.; 626-440-7243