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Stone to Open Production Brewery and Destination Restaurant in Berlin

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by Keene, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. Keene

    Keene Managing Editor (525) New York Sep 11, 2009 Staff Member


    Stone to Open Production Brewery and Destination Restaurant in Berlin
    By Ben Keene

    On the eve of their 18th anniversary, Stone Brewing Company revealed plans today to open a production brewery and a destination restaurant in Berlin, Germany. The news comes nearly five years after the brewery published a formal Request for Proposal. With the announcement, Stone, the 17th largest brewery in the United States, took its first step toward becoming the first American craft brewer to independently own and operate a brewery in Europe.

    “It’s daunting, humbling, and exciting,” says CEO and co-founder Greg Koch. “After years of searching and negotiating we’re opening in a beautiful historic property. And it’s in the amazing city of Berlin.”

    Serving as an international hub for the growing company, the location includes three main buildings on more than two acres of land in Mariendorf, roughly six miles south of the city’s Brandenburg Gate. Anchoring the site is a distinctive red brick main hall built in 1901 by the Imperial Continental Gas Association, a British company that introduced gas lighting to Berlin in 1826. Encompassing more than 43,000 square feet of interior space, the main hall will house a farm to table restaurant, a retail store and a custom-built brewhouse when complete in late 2015 or early 2016. The two other buildings on Stone’s new gasworks property will be used for special events and to produce and package beers for distribution and consumption on site. The company expects to spend more than $25 million on renovation, construction and landscaping.

    “This will be a definite boost to the local craft beer community,” Koch insists. “We made friends with pretty much everybody and there is real interest in American craft beer here. They’ve been extremely supportive.”

    And for his part, Koch sees the expansion project as a chance to extend the reach of craft beer in general. Along with a selection of their own aggressive, hop-forward beers, Koch says that Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens Berlin will offer draft and bottled beer from breweries in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. But, he adds, Stone currently has no plans to brew any traditional German styles. Instead, some of the first products to emerge from the new brewery will be part of a limited release series collectively referred to as Stone Groundbreaking Collaborations.

    Sold in commemorative 1.5-liter bottles for $50 each, the collaboration beers will be available exclusively through a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, which the company also announced today. Proceeds will go toward expediting construction in Berlin and the company’s other expansion project East of the Mississippi.

    “We’re selling futures,” explains Koch. “Each one of the crowdfunding beers is going to be over and beyond. And once they sell out, that’s it.”

    The series will launch with three products: Imperial Royal Imperial Saison du BUFF, a beer Koch describes as “an uber version” of the Saison that Stone first released in 2010 with Victory and Dogfish Head, SPECIAL bashah, a second take on the Black Double Belgian IPA brewed once before with Scotland’s BrewDog in 2009, and Super Duper Arrogant, a Strong Ale that revisits an earlier collaboration between Stone and Birrificio Le Baladin of Italy.

    For more information, visit: http://www.stonebrewing.com/berlin and http://igg.me/at/stonebrewing
  2. Todd

    Todd Founder (1,685) Colorado Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member

    Thanks to @Keene for the last minute interview with @StoneGreg. And here's Stone's PR with more details.


    Stone Brewing Co. to be First American Craft Brewer to Own Brewery in Europe

    Iconic San Diego-Based Company to Open Production Brewery and Destination Restaurant in Berlin

    ESCONDIDO, CA (July 19, 2014) – The 10th largest craft brewer in the United States, Stone Brewing Co., today announced plans to open a production brewery and expansive destination restaurant in Berlin, Germany. With an anticipated opening in late 2015 or early 2016, Stone is making an initial investment of more than $25 million to renovate a historic gasworks complex in Marienpark Berlin, turning the more than two acres (9,290 square meters) of indoor and outdoor space into a world-class operation that will welcome beer enthusiasts from around the globe. Stone will be the first American craft brewer to independently own and operate a brewery in Europe. Stone Brewing Co. – Berlin will encompass three components: a brewery and packaging hall, a Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens restaurant and a Stone Company Store.

    “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 own 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 highlight 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 principles 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.

    Additionally, the company launched an Indiegogo crowd-participation campaign today, so fans can participate in the venture by purchasing special collaboration beers to be brewed with award-winning, renowned craft brewers from around the world at Stone Brewing Co. – Berlin once the facility is operational.

    Downloadable Media Fact Sheet: stonebrewing.com/press/StoneBrewingCo-Berlin-Fact-Sheet-english.pdf

    Jason likes this.
  3. bccocx

    bccocx Champion (820) Texas Jan 13, 2007 Beer Trader

    Are there any craft brewers that operate breweries in multiple countries outside of the Duvel group? This is incredibly exciting news. I'm very happy for Stone Brewery. They'll be a great representative of American craft brewing over in Europe.
    jrnyc and GetMeAnIPA like this.
  4. Jason

    Jason Founder (1,525) Massachusetts Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member

    Todd likes this.
  5. Is Brooklyn Brewery's thing rolling in Sweden yet? That is the only other one that I am aware of at the moment.

    Congrats to Stone!
    bccocx likes this.
  6. Jason

    Jason Founder (1,525) Massachusetts Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member

  7. Jason

    Jason Founder (1,525) Massachusetts Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member

  8. PlayaPlaya

    PlayaPlaya Savant (295) Illinois Sep 19, 2012

  9. Jason

    Jason Founder (1,525) Massachusetts Aug 23, 1996 Staff Member

    See "Flexible Funding" ... it will reach its goal regardless.
  10. Well brewdog have raised countless millions through their crowd funding for their international bars and expansion so I imagine a better and bigger brewery like Stone should have no problem with any crowd funding they may want. There are plenty of craft beer people willing to give money away for things like this

    It'll be interesting to see how well it goes, I wish them luck
    Jason and Beervana like this.
  11. ArrogantB

    ArrogantB Champion (770) Colorado Jun 9, 2006 Beer Trader

    I love Stone and plan in buying their beer today but this is pretty typical of corporate America. If people are dumb enough to hand over money (outside of buying their products) to help them expand then more power to them.
    lateralusbeer, Jason and RblWthACoz like this.
  12. Earlycsquid

    Earlycsquid Advocate (520) California Jan 7, 2013 Beer Trader

    It's good to see Stone not "selling out" to "the man" by trying to go in for some sort of, you know, "small business loan" for expansion.

    Forms and bank loaners - YOU'RE NOT WORTHY!
    RblWthACoz and ArrogantB like this.
  13. ArrogantB

    ArrogantB Champion (770) Colorado Jun 9, 2006 Beer Trader

    Why take out a loan with interest when beer geeks will just give you the money? We've seen it before with all these reserve clubs.
  14. pjkelley82 and RblWthACoz like this.
  15. jmgrub

    jmgrub Savant (475) California Nov 20, 2010

    I'm so happy for Stone I mean who cares about all the other small businesses that would benefit if Stone, a super low risk, successful business took out a business loan instead of panhandling from their customers. Greg Koch is a pure genius and and American hero.
  16. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (845) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    Finally, a reason to go to Europe.
    johntangus, KFBR392, BlumBeer and 6 others like this.
  17. tzach

    tzach Aficionado (215) California Nov 16, 2013 Beer Trader

    Cool as it is to see them expanding overseas, the coming to fans hat-in-hand thing is kinda tacky. If I'm going to 'invest' in Stone, as Koch says, I don't want a shirt--I want shares.
    cjgiant, Briesch, KFBR392 and 13 others like this.
  18. Whether or not the goal is met, Stone will still be opening the brewery locations in Berlin and Eastern U.S. The Indiegogo campaign is to help expedite the construction of both restaurants and beer gardens - Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens. In exchange for our fans' contributions, we're offering special collaboration beers. If craft beer fans are able to contribute to the campaign, GREAT! If not, there will be no hard feelings.
    Beervana likes this.
  19. Lutter

    Lutter Advocate (660) Texas Jun 30, 2010

    Surely this is a joke, @StoneGreg ... $41 for a shirt?

    If you're using IndieGogo purely for non-traditional marketing (which I'm assuming, as $1,000,000 isn't a drop in the bucket compared to the costs associated with building 2 destination breweries/restaurants), you're doing it wrong.
    KhakCane, nsheehan, gamanley and 4 others like this.
  20. Padraig

    Padraig Savant (255) United Kingdom (England) Jan 14, 2013 Beer Trader

    The whole bringing craft beer to Europe mesage in the marketing is fairly hilarious.
  21. Would you drink Stone - Berlin brewed beers?

  22. herrburgess

    herrburgess Poobah (1,035) South Carolina Nov 4, 2009 Beer Trader

    I'd say it's about time! Why on Earth should anyone be expected to leave one's home country to experience various beer styles??? :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
    wesbray likes this.
  23. Jadjunk

    Jadjunk Savant (400) Georgia Dec 6, 2009

    So, does anybody know if they're planning on coming to the east coast anymore (NC, SC, GA)? Or do you think they went this route instead?
  24. wesbray

    wesbray Advocate (550) Alberta (Canada) Feb 29, 2012 Beer Trader

    According to their indiegogo page "Our mission is to take the glory of craft beer across the globe, so we’re opening up TWO new breweries. One in the U.S., east of the Mississippi. The other, in one of the fatherlands of beer: Germany.".
    StrappingYoungLad and Jadjunk like this.
  25. LaneMeyer

    LaneMeyer Advocate (550) California Mar 20, 2011 Verified

    Thank God Stone is bringing craft beer to Europe. Those poor Europeans, finally they can get a decent beer without having to drool over watching us Americans sipping on our Arrogant Bastards.
    bushycook, CWBlues, rails and 6 others like this.
  26. Hell, that's a bargain compared to those faux "vintage" T-shirts from Dogfish Head for a Squall IPA release from their partner, the now apparently bankrupt "Rogue's Gallery" *. Their T-shirts started at $48 (without shipping cost added) and went to $60>up.;)
    [* Yeah, link is to a European retailers' site with prices
    in Euros - it was the best one page example on the
    'net I could find for their products, but you get the idea.]​
    herrburgess likes this.
  27. LaneMeyer

    LaneMeyer Advocate (550) California Mar 20, 2011 Verified

    Wow a black t-shirt with big printed letters spelling out 'New England' for only 60 Euros. That's only $80 plus shipping. Seems legit :rolleyes:
  28. mmmbirra

    mmmbirra Savant (410) Italy Apr 19, 2009

    I'm curious what the availability will be outside of Germany. I imagine probably fairly limited. If I could get my hands on it I'd be very curious what the price will be for someone like me, living in Italy.
  29. Padraig

    Padraig Savant (255) United Kingdom (England) Jan 14, 2013 Beer Trader

    The 'craft' markets in the UK and Scandinavia are the m
  30. hoppytobehere

    hoppytobehere Advocate (730) District of Columbia Aug 10, 2012 Beer Trader

  31. Kanger

    Kanger Advocate (635) New York Sep 3, 2013 Beer Trader

    I love Stone, but there are tons of smaller craft brewers who need our support more.
  32. Well, whew! Thank goodness for that! I feel a lot better now. o_O

    It's always disheartening when people who are in a position to set new standards for corporate behavior and set a tone for how things could (and should!) be completely muck it up. It's also disheartening to see how little positive reaction we are seeing from people, and the negative blowback (deservedly so), in regards to what should be a highly celebrated event.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
    toddw8, jmgrub, lateralusbeer and 3 others like this.
  33. The whole Berlin project seems a bit "religious" to me. You have an evangelist type figure asking for money from the congregation to help build a new temple so they can spread the word about craft beer to the soulless locals. I can imagine Stone workers going door-to-door on their bikes asking if the locals have "heard the good news about craft beer" and handing out pamphlets.
    Jaycase, zid, CWBlues and 20 others like this.
  34. Well Stone workers go to many doors to let people know about Craft Beer...like when they drop off Modern Times and Mother Earth or Lost Abbey to bars all over San Diego. Or when they hold massive beer events and invite a shit-ton of brewers to come and participate. Or when their bistros pour a plethora of Craft Beer made not only here in SD but from all over the world. What a bunch of religious fanatics!?!?!?!?!? Craft Beer evangelists...I would rank Stone near the top of that list, and that hardly is a bad thing.
  35. HotCarlSunday

    HotCarlSunday Zealot (95) New York Apr 15, 2014

    They should be embarrassed. This is a joke, right?
  36. Aside from their cornerstone regular beers, I haven't had anything from Stone I would buy again in a long time. This display of Internet panhandling by a successful business is pretty much the nail in the coffin for me. Bye, Stone.
  37. BoneyardBrewer

    BoneyardBrewer Savant (385) Michigan Apr 24, 2005 Verified

    bccocx, jmgrub and RblWthACoz like this.
  38. You should know your local history better because I have temporarily lost count of how many breweries in our home state that are operating on account of the SOLE reason that they went directly to their customers and friends with benefits (i.e. investors) hat in hand and because of that are precisely where they are at today and will be positioned to handle what they need to tomorrow.
  39. jmgrub

    jmgrub Savant (475) California Nov 20, 2010

    RblWthACoz likes this.
  40. rgordon

    rgordon Advocate (600) North Carolina Apr 26, 2012 Verified

    In truth, the beer in Berlin is not up to standards in other German regions. My bet is that the end product will be a huge success. The world continues to shrink, and Stone's line-up will certainly make a statement in Germany. It's a ballsy move IMO.