In a wild twist to my spring break, I actually threw back a few beers yesterday when Tom and I made an impromptu visit to Stone Brewery.
photo via www.stonebrew.com
Now, normally I'm a wine girl, but I had a grand time getting reacquainted with the world's oldest alcoholic beverage (according to Wikipedia). We went on a super-fun tour led by the highly-entertaining Ken.
That's Ken. He knows a lot about beer.
On the tour, we got a brief overview of how beer is made and learned all about Stone's focus on sustainability and all-natural approach. Their mascot, the stone gargoyle, is charged with warding off "modern day evil spirits such as chemical preservatives, additives & adjuncts." In addition to using natural products, Stone meets 50% of its energy needs through the solar panels on the roof of the brewery and all of the food served in the onsite bistro is organic and locally grown.
During the tour, Ken frequently touted the joys of home brewing. Now, I bought Tom a Mr. Beer home brew kit for his birthday in December and he has been having fun experimenting with different recipes, so we were nodding knowingly as Ken explained how easy it is to make an excellent beer at home. That is, until Ken said, "If anyone offers you a bad home brew, you can be sure he made it with a Mr. Beer. A Mr. Beer kit is a toy, a novelty item...it's like trying to cook a gourmet meal with an EasyBake oven." Ouch, Ken.
High fructose corn syrup, consider yourself warned.
After the tour, we enjoyed a complimentary tasting of four of Stone's most popular brews, including the unexpectedly popular Arrogant Bastard.
Just as Ken had warned us it would, the beers stimulated our appetites, so we were stoked to learn that Stone participates in the great San Diego tradition of Taco Tuesdays. A few avocado and calamari tacos later we were on our way home, now deeply ashamed of the Mr. Beer kit hanging out in our kitchen but happy to have discovered a new, fun place to take visitors once the zoo has lost its luster.