If you enjoy beer, there is a great service that lets you take advantage of visiting a number of San Diego’s breweries without having to sacrifice someone as the designated driver. The Brewery Tours of San Diego is one such service that shuttles groups to and from various beer makers in San Diego county for a day of fantastic ale imbibing, the most popular destination being Stone Brewery Co. in Escondido. My favorite was the Lost Abbey brewery in San Marcos, but maybe that’s because it was the first one we went to. It is housed in what looks like a boring, dry office complex, making it bizarrely more appealing as it does not look like beer is brewed and stored there at all. Kind of like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, my friend mentioned when we pulled into the parking lot.
The Lost Abbey specializes in beers made in the way of Belgian monks. The owners of the Lost Abbey are also involved in brewing the fine ales served at Pizza Port, San Diego north shore’s signature brewing company that has meshed with the Lost Abbey’s beers and branding. Beers varietals are extensive and beyond the fragrant Belgian types, from chocolatey stouts (I like) to hoppy ales (dislike) and nutty lagers (like).
Then we moved onward to Stone Brewing Co., which was also interesting, but it did not have the same occult beer warehouse culture that made the Lost Abbey so delightful. At Stone, we pretty much kicked back at the brewery’s outdoor patio bistro and had a few samplers:
Then we ordered a few sausages to round it off. I believe this appetizer is called “Artisan Sausage Times 4.”
The only thing I wished for was a chance to visit Stone’s actual brewing sites to learn about the process of making their ales, as they do for the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam or the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. Overall though, I was thoroughly surprised by San Diego’s microbreweries! I highly recommend going to one.