Sunday, July 22, 2012

Road Trip Day 11: Escondido, CA

Stone Garden
This morning we drove from San Diego to Escondido, California, where we had tickets for the Stone Sour Beer Festival. We easily made our way out of town, waving goodbye to the beautiful city with magnificent weather. Escondido was about 45 minutes north of San Diego and we made our first stop at the Hotel Mediteran. I had seen this hotel online, but wasn't really sure about staying there until it was recommended by someone we met at one of the breweries the day before. So we reserved a room and headed out to the beer fest.

Stone Brewery is located just outside of the downtown area. It is a huge production facility with a large restaurant, and even more inviting, was their large outside garden area. Stone uses this garden for a number of events, including movie nights, book clubs, and corporate events. The brewery is normally very busy because of the great beer that they produce, but the sour beer fest brought out so many more. It was crowded and very hot out, but definitely a great place to enjoy the California sun and some great drinks.

Restaurant at Stone Brewery
Stone production facility
The fest was huge. It was spread out all over the garden, so we covered all of the grounds throughout the day, grabbing a drink and running for any shade we could fine. Did I mention that it was HOT??  We ran into our friends that we had met the day before and made small talk, and then quickly moved on to try some more brews. A couple of hours in, we decided to head inside and try to get on a tour of the brewing facilities. They have an enormous production area and the host was very entertaining. The best part was that there were more free samples with the tour. Good stuff!

After the tour, which took about an hour, we headed into the restaurant area to grab a snack. After relaxing in the air conditioning for a while longer, we headed back out to try the rest of the beers at the fest. We met some more fun people and spent the rest of the afternoon chatting and sipping from our samplers.

Stone Beer Garden
After taking in everything that we could, we decided to head back to the hotel for some R&R. We stopped through Carl's Jr., another food place that we don't have in the midwest, and a quick fix for our hunger pains! We then checked into the hotel, went to our room (which was very clean and newly remodeled), and relaxed in to cool, quiet place.

It was late afternoon at this point, and after another day of drinking...we needed to just sleep. So it was an early night, but we were ready for some much needed rest. Nothing overly exciting, but Stone was amazing and the sour beer fest was an event to remember!

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