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Stone Brewery

Reinvented at Liberty Station
If you come to Stone, you get a beer. This is a cardinal rule: no matter if you are a wine drinker, margarita sipper, or prefer your booze straight up in a shot glass—at Stone, everyone drinks beer.

And why wouldn’t you? With over one hundred beers in stock and forty on tap, there’s something for everyone at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens at Liberty Station. The selection runs strong towards Stone’s own craft brews, like their trademark Arrogant Bastard Ale or Stone IPA, but they feature a wide variety of other local breweries, like the San Diego-based Saint Archer and Green Flash brewing companies.

Stone Brewery’s newest restaurant location is three times the size of their home base in Escondido, though the on-site brewery is much smaller. The emphasis here isn’t on making beer, but serving it—the food is more a vehicle for beer drinking, as each menu item comes with a recommended beer pairing. Craving a grilled cheese? Better match that with a Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale for maximum effect. Almond-crusted Tilapia can only be properly enjoyed with a mug of Stone Levitation Ale.

An outdoor “movie theatre” is furnished with lounge chairs made of salvaged brewing barrels.

But it’s not necessary to limit yourself to one kind of beer. Readers of the magazine Beer Advocate voted Stone Brewery “All Time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” in 2011, and its Imperial Russian Stout was voted No. 2 on the list of “All-Time Top Beers on Planet Earth.” Credentials like that should not go untested. Luckily, you can order a sampler of four different kinds of beers—make sure to give the flagship Stone Pale Ale a try, as well as the ultra-hoppy Stone IPA (provided you’re a hops enthusiast).

Despite the size of the new Stone location—55,000 square feet of space, which makes it one of the largest restaurants in San Diego—it is peculiarly difficult to find. There are no banners proclaiming its grand opening, no clear entrance and no signs or street numbers visible from the Historic Decatur Road that runs alongside.

According to hostess Ariel, this is a deliberate choice.

“There’s no signs, no advertising,” she said. “We really want it to be a discovery for people. And if you go to our property up in Escondido, it’s the same thing—we rely on word of mouth.”

Even with word of mouth, the Liberty Station location is a tricky find. The key is to look for is a nondescript beige building with the words “Barracks 14” printed along the side; Stone’s new location is a modified Navy building, originally built in 1923.

The restaurant’s military roots show through in its unique décor: walkways and gates built of rebar, airplane-propeller fans and sheet-metal decals. These touches, combined with arching ceilings, roughly hewn stonework and rugged wooden pillars, create an expansive, rustic-industrial-fused atmosphere for guests.

Stone Brewery in Escondido

Though the indoor dining areas are more concrete and stone than greenery—the main dining area, which can seat 700 and boasts banquet-style ceiling-to-floor red curtains, was once the navy mess hall—the outdoor courtyard creates a more relaxed ambience. A bocce ball court, four full-service bars, two separate private event rooms and an outdoor movie theatre round out the seemingly endless Stone property.

A bocce ball court, four full-service bars, two separate private event rooms and an outdoor movie theatre round out the seemingly endless Stone property in Point Loma.

For all that Stone is one of the best microbreweries in Southern California, it’s hard to muster the will to drive all the way to Escondido for the full World Bistro & Gardens experience. With Liberty Station open, you don’t have to. Make your way to Stone this summer and swap the wine for an afternoon of finely crafted beer—sit back and enjoy the hops.

Robert Masterson and Ryan Reschan had the winning entry.
Coconut IPA Wins Annual Stone Brewery Contest: Homebrewer and Dream Villager Staffer Will See Beer Produced
Stone Brewery is one of San Diego’s most iconic microbreweries—and in the craft beer capital, that’s a hefty title to hold. Each year, beer enthusiasts gather for the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) Rally and Homebrew Competition in Escondido to taste and judge 30 different beers.

This year, one of Dream Villager’s own, Robert Masterson, came out on top. Homebrewer partners Masterson and Ryan Reschan, both of whom are members of the Society of Barley Engineers, crafted a coconut India pale ale that wowed the judges and edged out a vanilla chai-flavored stout for the win.

R&R Coconut IPA—winner.

“India Pale Ale,” IPA, is a beer style within the broader category of pale ale and was first produced in England in the 19th century.

“It’s a tropical IPA, so it’s got mango, pineapple and coconut flavors,” Masterson said. “The typical IPA has a decent amount of bitterness, but tropical-ness is what we were going for. It’s a fruity, hoppy IPA with coconut at the end of the flavor.” Initially, when Masterson and Reschan were in the brainstorming process, they hit upon the idea of doing a piña colada IPA.

“We thought that an IPA would be a good one for Stone Brewery,” Masterson said. “We started out with that, and then just simplified a recipe a little bit, put less ingredients in there. By the time we were on our second batch we removed the pineapple, had it just be coconut, and had the other flavors coming from the hops, not using actual fruit.”

Stone Brewery, in collaboration with Masterson, Reschan and the Rip Current Brewing Company, will be producing the island-inspired IPA just in time for summer.

The beer will be marketed with the label “R&R Coconut IPA,” the R&R a nod to the creators, Robert and Ryan.

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