With an on-site brewery and eclectic menu, it appears that the 9-month- old Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens at Liberty Station has developed a rock-solid following.
Even with the ability to accommodate more than 800 guests, reservations are still recommended, according to media coordinator Nickie Peña. On any given day, the restaurant is bustling with activity, as patrons feast in a dining room that was formerly a Navy mess hall; relax under the sun in a garden area with flowing water; sip craft brews on tap in the main bar; engage in a game of bocce; and watch flicks in the movie courtyard during the summer.
While waiting for seats, many guests meander over to observation windows to get a glimpse of the brewery, used to produce small-batch, one-off beers for both of Stone’s restaurants (the other is in Escondido), special events and Stone Company Store growler fills.
It’s natural that Stone’s brews are the main attraction here, having brought the company national recognition. Its most well-known brand is the caramel-hued Arrogant Bastard Ale, but the most popular is the golden Stone IPA with a bitter back end — it was introduced in celebration of the company’s first anniversary in 1997.
The other two brews part of the “Core Four” are the Stone Pale Ale, which was the first Stone beer; and the Stone Smoked Porter, originally introduced as a seasonal beverage but now offered year-round.
Although there is a heavy emphasis on Stone brews, customers aren’t restricted to the company’s brand; there are quite a few others that are on draft and bottled.
But don’t expect “pub grub” to nosh on while quaffing a cold one. Stone presents a diverse menu that emphasizes the farm-to- table philosophy, relying strongly on organic Southern California produce — including from its own Stone Farms in Escondido — to create many of its dishes.
Patrons can commence their meals with selections such as Quail Knots — fried quail quarters glazed with a spicy Sriracha honey sauce and sprinkled with seeds, served with a side of Asian slaw.
There’s also the Grilled Baby Back Pork Ribs consisting of tender Stone Smoked Porter-braised pork covered in Korean barbecue sauce that slides off the bone. It’s supplemented with kimchi.
While it’s served all day, one of the lunchtime favorites is the BLT with applewood-smoked bacon, tomato, red onion, arugula, aioli and Stone Cali- Belgique IPA whole-grain mustard on ciabatta. Another crowd-pleasing sandwich is the Lobster Roll. For dinner, a “go-to” is the BBQ Duck Taco Trio.
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station