Last Saturday, I went to Stone Brewing Co. for the first time.
My friend Ryan picked me up around 3. Oddly enough, it took us an hour to get from Tustin to San Clemente (normally a 20-30 minute drive). But it worked out perfectly! We arrived around 5PM, right before they were going to hand out passes to the last tour of the night (7PM). We were #20 and #21 in line(-ish), and they only let 25 people in. So we got our passes and then fought our way to the cocktail area for some food and pre-tour beers. We had the jalapeno/cilantro hummus and the unbelievably good Spud Buds (beer and garlic mashed potatoes deep fried in beer batter with a side of Ruination IPA BBQ sauce). I ordered a Pliny the Elder to go along with our food but they had just run out. I ordered a Ruination instead and it was pretty great as uszh. After killing some time, we made our way to the tour.
I learned many facts about beer/breweries. Here are the ones that stuck out in my mind (I have yet to verify some of these, but here they are):
- The matriarch of the family would make beer for her family weekly because the water quality in the olden days (unspecified) was so poor.
- During this unspecified time, the kids who drank beer were more productive, happier and healthier than the kids who drank only water.
- Beer offers essential nutrients.
- The lime-wedge-rubbed-around-the-rim trend started when people wanted to sanitize their used/unwashed bottles and glasses. The used/unwashed bottle thing still happens in some countries today.
- Men who drink beer regularly have better prostate health.
- Women who drink beer regularly have better bone density.
- Something about beer being good for skin? I vaguely remember our guide talking about this.
- Wort smells like Grape Nuts (after all, beer is just fermented cereal water).
- The brewing area of breweries is really warm and humid.
- A cold walk-in-fridge full of hops smells like heaven (my opinion, but really, FACT, know what I mean?)
After our tour, Ryan and I got our 4 free pours (including the Smoked Porter, my other favorite beer from Stone) while he waited for his growler to get filled with the ’09 Double Bastard (it was a special release). Shortly after, Tim and his brother and sister arrived, and we finally sat down to dinner around 9:30. I had an Avery White Rascal, pretzels with the most amazing whole grain mustard I’ve ever tasted in my life (I started eating it on its own like a real lady with good manners), and the tempeh shepherd’s pie (so good, but I was pretty full of beer at that point so I took it home).
After a stroll through the garden we all went home. It was lovely. My mom has plans to take us back there for my dad’s birthday in September. I can’t wait.