What’s this place you ask? A place where dreams and headaches are made…..
Much like its mother location, planted in a nondescript, significantly off-the-beaten-path industrial park in Escondido, this baby locale is not obvious from the street. Had not my in-laws told me about it, I would’ve missed it. Again. It was actually open earlier this year when we visited, and seeing as it’s located just a few blocks from their house on the thoroughfare to downtown Oceanside, I’d already walked by it a half dozen or so times. Likely thirsty. Certainly ignorant. Yet there it was. A beer and garden oasis hidden behind tangerine-painted cinderblocks: Stone Brewery.
Stone’s Ruination Double IPA is one of the best IPAs around — and that’s not an exaggeration; thanks to my good buddy Brad Smith, the most data-driven beer drinker I have ever met, and his two-hundred-plus IPA spreadsheet, I can conclude, both empirically and analytically, that Ruination is a top five IPA. Stone’s Arrogant Bastard Ale is also as good of a good-to beer as it gets.
Feeling festive, however, this time I ordered Dr. Frankenstone’s Monster IPA. The beer-tender told me it was a double-hopped mixture of Ruination and Stone IPA. I think I told him to shut up and then slapped him. Can’t be sure. My excitement largely overrode my head drive that night. Then I lounged in the industrially-decorated and lush garden, while attempting to ignore the two kids that faintly resembled my own kids climbing the rocks and screaming behind me, and indulged. It was, to stick with the theme, scary awesome. So I ordered another. My father-in-law, a beer snob in his own way, was equally impressed with his dark wheat beer, Witty Moron.
Stone’s Tap House is a must stop if you’re in Oceanside and can find it. And since writing this entry has worked up a thirst, I may go find it now. Tell my wife — I don’t think she actually reads this blog — where I am in case I go missing.