Last Wednesday, Michelle organized a surprise outing for me. Well, I ended up guessing what it was that morning, so maybe it wasn't a complete surprise. But it was a wonderful treat! Michelle arranged to pick me up from work early (good start to the surprise already!), and we went to Stone Brewery to do their free brewery tour. We've always said that we wanted to do the tour, but we had never actually done it. Now, I'm glad that we finally did!
The tour is free. You just have to get there early enough to reserve a spot. Michelle went beforehand to secure our tickets, just in case a large group came in. We arrived about 30 minutes ahead of time, so we had a quick drink in the bar.
Black Market Hefeweizen from Temecula, and I had Lightning - Old Tempest from Poway, served on cask. Both were delicious.
After our drinks, we got started on the tour. There were about 12 of us. They walk you around all the big beautiful stainless steel brewing tanks, and tell you a little bit about how beer is made. Our tour guide reviewed the ingredients in beer (water, barley, hops, yeast), and explained how the different variations in just those 4 ingredients create the multitude of beer varieties we can enjoy. We tasted the barley and smelled the hops.
On a related note, that same morning that we did the tour, Stone had a large media event where they announced some exciting new expansions. I can't wait to see how their plans turn out. It's exciting to see a local North County brewery doing so well.