I'm Greg @ Stone Brewing and "The Beer Jesus From America" - Ask Me Anything!

Discussion in 'Ask Me Anything' started by StoneGreg, Dec 4, 2019.

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  1. StoneGreg

    StoneGreg Initiate (0) May 16, 2002 California

    I do appreciate it! Thanks for that. Awesome that Enjoy By was your gateway. That’s hardcore!
    warrendietrich2001, Roguer and eppCOS like this.
  2. 2beerdogs

    2beerdogs Grand Pooh-Bah (4,626) Jan 31, 2005 California
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Just finished 6 pages. Wow! What a read. And thanks for being so damned engaged and verbose in your participation here @StoneGreg .
  3. StoneGreg

    StoneGreg Initiate (0) May 16, 2002 California

    Always good to talk with you Jack! Thanks for the thoughtful questions.

    I’ll do my best to cover everything, but don’t hesitate to point it out if I miss something.

    Do I have ‘new’ insights that I didn’t when I wrote the Too Big, Too Bold, Too Soon blog post? Not really. That was a good encapsulation of the realities.

    Would another country have been better? Perhaps. However, the main ‘faults’ were that it was Too Big, Too Bold and Too Soon. Seriously. Would have been different somewhere else, but I think not all that different.

    Americans were unwilling to pay the price of craft beer when we started. It was a BIG deal. But SOME were. And we, and other craft brewers, were able to build our businesses with the customers that saw the value equation. Many Germans also see this value equation. But not enough to sustain our bold move. Hindsight.

    Unfortunately, retailers will NOT take a beer with less than 6 or 9 months STILL left on the code dating. If an American sees a beer with 60 days left, they (generally) think “Great! That’s a fresh beer!” If a European sees a beer with 60 days left, they think “No way, that’s a beer that’s 10 months old!” Sure, we can put the “Packaged On” date, and we did, but retailers WILL NOT STOCK a beer that does not fit within their parameters. Perception is the game, not reality. It sucks, and makes for a system that provides less consumer knowledge.

    I honestly am not up to date on how BD is doing with the facility. I hope well. I want to see that beautiful place continue on!

    No other insights at this time. I have shared about everything that’s possible...face up, on the table.
  4. StoneGreg

    StoneGreg Initiate (0) May 16, 2002 California

    No wonder my wrists are sore from all this typing. Worth it though. Can’t do it often, but glad I did it today. It’s literally taken MY WHOLE DAY. Yes, LOL, all caps. :grin:
  5. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Pooh-Bah (2,473) Mar 28, 2009 California

    Didn’t see this asked yet but is Enjoy By the same recipe every time? On a homebrewing podcast Mitch Steele states that it’s the same, after the initial recipe change due to Nelson and other hops not being accessible enough. I have been saying it over and over on here that it’s the same recipe. Am I right or wrong?

    An answer straight from the source would be awesome.

    Thanks for all the time you spent replying to the countless posts. Enjoying a stone ipa while reading through them. A true classic ipa that never gets old. Cheers
    #245 GetMeAnIPA, Dec 5, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
  6. herrburgess

    herrburgess Pooh-Bah (2,991) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina

    if a german goes into a bar expecting to pay 2,80€ for a beer (as many do, as you know...and rightfully point out about the cheapness over there) and are instead charged 3 times that (7,80€), it is analogous to an american going into a bar expecting to pay $7 and instead being charged 3 times that ($21).

    we can certainly debate whether the german expectations for such cheapness are realistic, good, sustainable, etc. all I am saying is that seeing prices 3 times what they have come to expect has to come as a huge shock. certainly that isn't hard to understand?
  7. barc

    barc Initiate (0) Jun 13, 2009 Arkansas

    I simply used your Indiegogo numbers and did the math. It would appear there are numbers missing from the Indiegogo website. I understand your reasoning behind the crowdfunding campaign better now that you've gone into some detail and I appreciate you taking time to do so.

    I've never felt Germans as a whole had a conflict with an American brewery, just a conflict about what "beer" should be. While most may be interested in a conversation about beer, getting them to agree that "beer" can be outside a narrow definition is difficult and getting them to drink something "new" or "different" can be even more difficult. And most feel it should be cheap; hell, beer and its ingredients are even subsidized at the federal level.

    Thank you again for taking time to reply.
  8. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Grand Pooh-Bah (3,076) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
    Pooh-Bah Society

    This of course assumes one can pin down the actual definition of "craft beer". :wink:

    Why not consume both? :wink:

    Way too many winky faces in my posts.
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  9. rgordon

    rgordon Pooh-Bah (2,627) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I think what we are dealing with is the corruption that people are willing to do to further feather their nests. That something may be legal does not mean that that very legality wasn't crafted for someone's benefit. I Iook specifically at archaic franchise laws that protect wholesaler's "ownership" of brands. It is a remnant of prohibition and reeks of corruption. There are pieces of our general character that just may be beyond repair or remedy. The world moves on.
    As a young fellow I always found new beers to instruct me about the history of beer and I am very happy about how things now are. This is enough for me. And I thank and praise Stone Brewing for their strident and important posture.
    meefmoff, StoneGreg and Ranbot like this.
  10. eppCOS

    eppCOS Grand Pooh-Bah (3,844) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado
    Pooh-Bah Society

    What a great discussion. All this, after 7 pages, makes me (finally) want to visit the Stone places in San Diego. Going to start planning by beer-cation today. Cheers @StoneGreg ! Thanks for taking the time...
  11. errantnight

    errantnight Initiate (0) Jul 7, 2005 District of Columbia

    I mean, I think I'd be lying if I said I think it could survive year round in the marketplace. But I would absolutely buy that 12 pack I just made up. And as long as they could restrain themselves to like once, MAYBE twice a year, I would absolutely buy variations like it (as The Bruery is doing with their 12 beers of Christmas box, give me the Vertical Epic 12 pack...inventing the 01.01.01 they never brewed). They've done reduxes before (rebrews of anniversary beers and vertical epics), I can't imagine it moves the needle a ton in sales (given the cost associated), but as long as they weren't losing their shirts over it I selfishly think it would be a great marketing angle by playing into their relative seniority.

    I still enjoy Stone's beer despite my getting tired of their shtick (just a personal preference over time), but I haven't been inspired by a lot of their recent offerings (to clarify, have purchased some of everything, but find that they strike a similar itch to just getting a Stone IPA when I'm thinking Stone, not that the beers haven't been consistent as always). But I'd absolutely pay them to indulge some nostalgia.
    #251 errantnight, Dec 5, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
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  12. jageraholic

    jageraholic Maven (1,366) Sep 16, 2009 Massachusetts

    In case you are still answering questions, what was up with 2018, Stone's year of the Loral hops? I was excited with all the new releases that came out that year like Ghost Hammer, Stone Exalted, Fear/Movie/Lions and Inevitable adventure all featured loral hops prominently and they all started to taste too similar.
  13. garthbrennan

    garthbrennan Initiate (0) Dec 12, 2017 Tennessee

    Apparently a recipe that was brought back, that was originally brewed up by a group of Ladies connected to the brewery.
    StoneGreg likes this.
  14. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Grand Pooh-Bah (3,076) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
    Pooh-Bah Society

    What beer are you holding in your avatar?

    My guess is Stone Russian Imperial Stout (RIP).

    That or Smoked Porter.
    #254 AlcahueteJ, Dec 5, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
  15. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Grand Pooh-Bah (3,076) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Hey, I'm the same way!!! (sort of an inside joke about me not caring about beer prices...well, it's sort of a joke, but not really)

    @meefmoff @steveh
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  16. rgordon

    rgordon Pooh-Bah (2,627) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I like the beers and don't buy them often. This just may be changing. The arrogance thing was always off-putting to me but I know that it has always been a joke that happens to be true. Sometimes things are simply real and need to be embraced for historical truth.
  17. steveh

    steveh Grand Pooh-Bah (3,988) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Good to know you're in that elite top percentage of beer drinkers Mr. Dupont. ;-)
    AlcahueteJ and meefmoff like this.
  18. StoneGreg

    StoneGreg Initiate (0) May 16, 2002 California

    You are right...same! Thanks for the good word!
  19. philhyde

    philhyde Devotee (399) Jul 22, 2010 Oregon

    Well now I'm thirstier than ever for Enjoy By...., and that ever present Oregon dilemma isn't going to make it easy!
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  20. Brewday

    Brewday Initiate (0) Dec 25, 2015 New York

    How's China going. Are you serving in plastic bags.
    #260 Brewday, Dec 5, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
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  21. StoneGreg

    StoneGreg Initiate (0) May 16, 2002 California

    We fell in love. Happens sometimes!
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  22. StoneGreg

    StoneGreg Initiate (0) May 16, 2002 California

    Pretty sure it was a Stone Smoked Porter. I don’t generally drink imperial stouts in pint glasses!
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  23. StoneGreg

    StoneGreg Initiate (0) May 16, 2002 California

    It’s going well. Stone Shanghai is an awesome place and has been rated in the top 2% of all Western restaurants in the city of 23+ million. Super proud of our team there. We don’t serve in plastic bags, but if that’s your preference you can bring your reusable drinking bag with you when you visit and we’ll see what we can do for you.
  24. StoneGreg

    StoneGreg Initiate (0) May 16, 2002 California

    Not sure I fully understand your comments. Are you meaning that since we have a beer called Arrogant Bastard Ale that you believe that everything we do comes from an arrogant point of view? If so, it’s a wholly inaccurate and unfortunate reductionist point of view. This article from a few years back covered it well: https://www.stonebrewing.com/sites/default/files/beverageworldarticle_031511.pdf

    This might illuminate as well (should that be a goal):
  25. jageraholic

    jageraholic Maven (1,366) Sep 16, 2009 Massachusetts

    Touche! appreciate your Q&A here. Have always had a soft spot for Stone. I'll be buying a 6 pack of enjoy by and a mixpack this afternoon to enjoy. Cheers!
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  26. rgordon

    rgordon Pooh-Bah (2,627) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    No. It was and is just an angle of marketing that didn't appeal to me. I think I know who you are and I trust that. I've liked your group for many years.
    #266 rgordon, Dec 5, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
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  27. Jbbogin

    Jbbogin Initiate (0) May 8, 2017 Florida

    So I just watched beer Jesus. Sad to hear after all that you had to sell. Do you know how well BrewDog is doing since they took over? And if they are doing well why is it that Stone couldn’t do as well to be able to stay open
  28. jdoncbus

    jdoncbus Initiate (0) Jun 17, 2006 Ohio

    I was excited when I heard you may build east coast distribution in your home state. Either way, you introduced a lot of people to the world of craft beer (me as well back around 2003) and for that, a tip of the cap to you sir.

    -An Ohio Hayseed living in a flyover state
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  29. Hoochman

    Hoochman Initiate (0) Aug 28, 2010 New York

    Stop by the brewery in RVA and ask if you can speak with one the brewers.
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  30. Ahonky

    Ahonky Initiate (0) Feb 13, 2018 New York

    Greg, do you still feel confident that Stone will remain independent? Many of your long-standing comrades have said the same, and many have eaten their words.
  31. sludgegnome

    sludgegnome Pundit (864) Mar 26, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Greg, any chance Stone will start producing IRS again? I miss it quite a bit. I used to buy a case a year.
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  32. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Initiate (0) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona

    @StoneGreg I really have enjoyed reading all your replies to the folks here. So good to see you back, its been a too long. I always enjoyed your previous participation here on Ba and hope you will still pop in as your schedule allows going forward.
    Cheers to all the great beers you make and to all the new ones yet to be born, Happy Holidays to you and your family.
  33. CheapHysterics

    CheapHysterics Initiate (0) Apr 1, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I miss that beer more than any other beer that I can no longer get. I used to buy a bomber or two every single time I went to the beer store.
  34. TheMachoMan

    TheMachoMan Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2013 Kentucky

    Hey...so what's your take on black IPAs/black ales? I've been told more than once in shops/taprooms that it's a 'dead style'...?!? Not cool, it's one of my favorites! Your Sublimely Self-Righteous IPA was certainly a winner (which I miss, haven't seen it--or as much Stone, period) since I moved to KY from IL. They're harder and harder to find (Old Louisville Brewery makes a good one that's regular), and with all the various taste explosions in every other direction I don't see why more black IPAs aren't out there...thanks!
  35. StoneGreg

    StoneGreg Initiate (0) May 16, 2002 California

    It has always been our goal to remain independent, and that’s true today. However, it’s really up to the marketplace. If independence is a differentiator that people value, and vote with their dollars in that direction, we will have the power to remain independent.

    However, if as one poster commented, consumers make purely price driven decisions and buy non-independent ‘craft-ish’ brands instead because they’re a couple bucks cheaper, then it becomes more challenging to remain independent.
  36. StoneGreg

    StoneGreg Initiate (0) May 16, 2002 California

    We have made the Stone Totalitarian Imperial Russian Stout a couple times over recent years. Did you have a chance to try that beer?
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  37. StoneGreg

    StoneGreg Initiate (0) May 16, 2002 California

    Many comments and questions in this direction on this thread, and I appreciate them all! In fact, I heartily agree. It’s really up to consumers, as believe it or not it’s YOU that drives the market. Not just you of course, but consumers hold way more power than craft breweries do!
  38. waytogo

    waytogo Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2012 Louisiana

    Hey Greg, unless I missed it thru all the posts (though I think I read all of them), I didn't see an answer to my selfish question. Post #29
  39. rgordon

    rgordon Pooh-Bah (2,627) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    In Germany good beer is ubiquitous and not generally considered anything but well crafted beer. Craft beer is likely an odd concept to many in Germany. I'm sure this is changing, but I'm an old Bamberg conservative and have always been perfectly happy with the many stellar local brews.
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  40. Scottsbeer

    Scottsbeer Initiate (0) Nov 3, 2017 Florida

    Greg, after over 2000 years even OG Jesus doesn't have the entire world following his command. You need more patience . Who knows you may even sway the Portman Group.

    (BTW your letter to the Portman Group was hilarious to me but those offended, pompus asses probably didn't get the humor).
    #280 Scottsbeer, Dec 5, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
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