Just when you thought Stone Brewing Co has given up on their project to open a brewery in Europe, the brewery has announced that they will open a $25-million complex in Berlin in 2015! Details after the jump.
While we’ve been expecting announcement of a Stone project in Los Angeles at any moment, we’d figured the long-discussed European brewery RFP was back-burnered by the brewery while they expand the footprint and capabilities in Escondido.
Now, Stone has announced a project to open a brewery, bistro, company store, and – most importantly in my mind – international distribution center in the German capital.
Here are some details from the press release:
“This is a historic moment for Stone. I’ve wanted to say these next words for many years now: We’re coming to Europe. We’re coming to Germany. We are coming to Berlin!” said Stone CEO and Co-founder Greg Koch. “It has been a long time coming and I couldn’t be more proud to say that we are finally on our way to being the first American craft brewer to establish and operate our own brewery in Europe. Once open, we will bring Germany and the rest of Europe a taste of our craft beer vision, and look forward to sharing the unique beers that we have spent the last 18 years brewing.”
“Stone’s future European home will serve as the company’s international hub; a central location promoting goodwill and quality craft beer spanning the globe,” said Stone President and Co-founder Steve Wagner. “With this expansion comes our commitment to brewing bold, aggressive, hop-forward beers in a country with a long history rooted in the art of brewing.”
The company will transform the setting into a one-of-a-kind destination that includes:
- A spectacular, historic, red brick main hall built in 1901 measuring 43,000-plus square feet (3,994 square meters), featuring a vaulted ceiling that will house a custom-built, stainless steel brewhouse, an eclectic farm-to-table restaurant, and retail store featuring specialty Stone beers and merchandise.
- A second 20,775-square-foot (1,930 square meters) building that will be utilized for brewing operations and house fermenters, bright tanks, and packaging equipment and materials. Ultimately, the company’s signature ales will be packaged and distributed throughout Europe from the facility.
- A third 1,300-square-foot (120 square meters) building, situated in what will be the expansive gardens, to be utilized as event space.
The property’s brewhouse will produce year-round and special-release Stone beers to be packaged, kegged and enjoyed on site and eventually distributed. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Berlin will serve locally grown, organic food that complements the harmonious nature and seasonality of the location’s surroundings. As proud supporters of the international Slow Food movement, Stone will ensure that every dish is made from ingredients adhering to Slow Food’s principals of good, clean, fair food. An ambassador of the craft beer movement, Stone will serve an extensive array of exceptional craft and specialty beers from other breweries in Germany, Europe and across the world, both on tap and in bottles.
I’ve got an interview scheduled with Greg Koch this coming week, and I’ll be sure to press him for more details on what this expansion means for the brewery. To me, the most salient aspect of the announcement is not that Stone will operate a brewery in Europe, but that they will use the facility as a beachhead to bring American-style craft brews to Europe and the rest of the thirsty world.
How many of you readers had a formative craft beer experience with a Stone beer? For me, Stone was one of my early introductions to craft beer culture. Sure, i drank craft beer more than macro stuff before I discovered Stone around the turn of the millennium, but I didn’t have a connection to the spirit and passion of the craft brewers until that first Arrogant Bastard. Imagine the millions of unsuspecting Europeans that will be bombarded by Stone’s signature brand of aggressive flavors.
This is one of the most exciting developments in the craft beer world in recent memory. More details to follow!