Thursday, March 10, 2016

Another Visit to Stone!

Clay and I (with wives in tow) had a few in Stone's newish tasting room last Friday night. The tasting room is -as Clay put it- essentially, the hottest bar in RVA right now. To give you an idea of the vibe, we experienced people yelling directions at their Uber driver (they got annoyed eventually hung up), no where to sit for around 30 minutes, and a mixed crowd of older folks, young professionals, and students. Pretty much exactly what you'd expect from the newest bar in RVA.

The decor of Stone's tasting room is minimalist and industrial. If you've been to a tasting room before, you'll be familiar with the setting. Lots of metal and wood, concrete floor, and places to stand and sit. The staff are helpful and prompt despite suffering side glances and snide comments on a few occasions by impatient patrons.

We've arrived.

The four of us had a good time even if the venue is not equipped to be a bar. It would have been better had it not been 35°F outside -there is ample seating in the beer garden. The tasting room is going to be excellent once the crowds die down and the restaurant opens.

That isn't a line, just people hanging out.

The beer selection from Stone's repertoire is grand. On my first order I went straight for the chocolate with the Xocoveza Mocha Stout (pronounced "Chocoveza"). This milk stout is loved by many and is probably Clay's favorite Stone beer. This was my first Xocoveza, so I had no expectations and didn't know it's pedigree. It absolutely blew me away with its complex and rich flavors: chocolate, coffee, cinnamon, chili heat. This may well be my favorite Stone beer this year. It's astound how much flavor this beer conveys. My words will not do this beer service: just drink it and enjoy.

12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout
My next order was the delicious 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout -a mouthful in many ways. This stout has a lot of flavor, but it's not quite the complexity of the Xocoveza. I probably wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't had one before, though. It's a very dark black stout with light brown head. The chocolate, oat, and malt smells are pleasing. In the mouth, the stout is very smooth and the alcohol is prominent. Smooth dark chocolate and surprising syrupy mouth feel make this beer a sipper. I really enjoyed this stout and likely will get a growler or two in the future.

All the people!

The bar with the goodies.
We had a good time and enjoyed the beer! The lighting is a little stark and the decor is spartan, but it's a tasting room -not a bar. If you expect a tasting room with dozens and dozens of Stone brews, you'll be satisfied. It's a great opportunity to taste some of Stone's harder to find beer and connect with the brewery. I would recommend going on a warm day or night. The beer garden will give everyone enough room to stretch out and be comfortable.

Have you been there yet? What did you think? Favorite Stone beer there?

1 comment:

  1. This place is absolutely gorgeous, beautiful and stunning. Even though a few halls are equally appealing and fascinating in their decor, food and aesthetics, I'm tempted to still give these venues in Houston some slight edge.