Stone Brewing Announces Restructuring & Layoffs

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Keene, Oct 13, 2016.

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  1. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    This will help clear up a few things but may not contain the specific information you want:
  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,290) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania


    I am indeed aware of the "True Craft" aspect but all of the press I have read concerning the VMG investment lacks the detail of whether the $90 million investment is dedicated towards this venture. Maybe some of the $90 million will be used for "True Craft" and some will be used by Stone Brewing for their use (e.g., retire some debt?)?

    I was hoping that since @mwa423 works in the industry it might have the specific details on what's up here.

  3. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    That's why I said it might not contain all the details you were looking for.

    However, given the wording of the original announcement (which can also be found in at least one national online news source) Stone has created a new company called True Craft which is where VMG has put it's money. Typically the legal aspects of this kind of deal make it highly unlikely that Stone would be able to do more than borrow money that belongs to True Craft. Doesn't help much to retire one low interest debt for another. :-)
  4. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,290) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    It does if the interest rate is even lower and perhaps VMG Stone Brewing Coinvestment, L.P. would be willing to do that for Stone Brewing Co.?

    Regular people refinance their mortgages when interest rates go down to save money (interest payment amounts).

  5. jasonmason

    jasonmason Devotee (497) Oct 6, 2004 California
    Society Trader

    I think this is something that may be a "law of unintended consequences" thing. The industry did a great job (for the most part) about educating the customer about the importance of freshness. Right up to the point that now a whole bunch of 6-week old beer is being looked at as undesirable by those same customers.

    It's very good for the consumer to be aware of the importance of freshness when it comes to certain styles. It is undoubtedly ideal for a brewery's reputation for the customer to be drinking the best representation of their beers. But how is that all going to shake out for the bottom line?
    RobH likes this.
  6. westcoastbeergeek

    westcoastbeergeek Initiate (0) Sep 16, 2015 Canada (BC)

    Reflection of the industry adjustment we are seeing with crafty beers, fight for local and the big craft battle that's been slowly escalating over the last 5+ years. Feel bad for the 5%, that's never fun and tough economically. Hopefully they can find new employment at a local brewery, I'm sure any newer brewery would be happy to hire someone with experience there.

    THANAT0PSIS Champion (802) Aug 3, 2010 Wisconsin


    The average or worse beers I'm talking about definitely are cheaper than $15 a sixer, but so are the really great breweries I mentioned with New Glarus at around $8 a sixer depending on location, CW around $10, and Lazy Monk around $9 for a four-pack of pint cans; none of these three are having trouble either, from what I can tell, so I guess there's that.

    Most of the average or worse beers sit around $9-10 a sixer, which is more expensive than better regional brewers like Sierra Nevada, Deschutes, Bells, and Anchor.

    I don't really think it's for transitional reasons because most of the average or worse breweries do not traffic in transitional styles but rather whatever trend is popular. Not to mention New Glarus is a premier lager brewer (which can be easier to palate for newer craft drinkers), and Spotted Cow (as much as I think it's overrated) is usually the transitional beer in WI.

    I have to believe the main thing is either they feel brand loyalty related to locovorism, or they simply do not know better, or maybe they even have acquired a taste for beers that people like us beer nerds deem lackluster.

    It is worth mentioning that Wisconsinites seem particularly enthused about supporting local products. New Glarus's entire marketing strategy is based around "Only in Wisconsin;" Wisconsin cheese has a similar cult-like feel to it; see also Wisconsin bratwurst companies and the runaway success of farmers markets even in very small towns throughout the state.

    I forgot the most egregious example of a bad brewery in WI: Leinenkugel's. Of course they're Big Beer now, but they sell very well, likely partially as a beer for people who don't like beer with the shandies, but also their branding focuses on how they're still a local brewery.

    I try not to begrudge anyone their preferences, but when/if it starts affecting brands that I love and that are clearly of higher quality than brands that succeed on something other than merit, well, I have a problem with that. Yes, things are obviously better now than when BMC reigned supreme, but it would not surprise me that much if Stone and their other big regional brethren preferred the landscape then to now. Even if you only count "good" local breweries, most states have at least one, and many have handfuls. A combination of local and good quality is going to be hard to beat for beer shipped from the other side of the country because it has every advantage: freshness, local recognition, local presence, and cheaper probably due less logistics cost.

    Nonetheless, there is nothing I can do but support the breweries I think are great. It's just a shame when it affects people in a very real way like here with Stone. I hope all those affected find work they love even more than Stone. I am wary of Stone's future, and the future of those other breweries that have less diversified product catalogues. Time will tell.
    #127 THANAT0PSIS, Oct 17, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
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  8. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    It's my opinion and I'll back that by observations of cans I see dated on the shelf. There's a resurgence here in local beers, and it's more than supporting local. Burial makes outstanding beers by anyone's definition, as does Wicked Weed, multiple beers in different styles. They're outstanding beers that are always fresh. Now most Ca beers as an example outside beers like Enjoy By this isn't true. I know damn well Alpine/ Stone/ Ballast Point makes great beers, but they suffer on the shelf, they age and sit unloved. I guarentee Pernicious isn't a Trillium beer , or Heady, but it's a damn good beer, and if it's 5 days old it destroyes most IPAs sitting on the shelf. I buy local because it's really good and really fresh, there's plenty of local stuff that's fresh that I avoid like the plague. The local craft here is booming and it's hurting the producers who distribute on a large scale business, after all the distro is out of their hands here and there's a real glut on some styles.
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  9. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,828) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Perhaps I'm alone on this one, but in my opinion this is simply business. Stone doesn't suffer from poor planning, quite the opposite. They saw a market that was saturated with IPAs (a large portion of their current portfolio), and expanded to one that isn't (yet). It will take time though to see if this decisioin will be profitable. It's too soon to make a judgement in my opinion. In addition to that, they saw the need to cut costs and save money (shipping costs as @hopfenunmaltz pointed out, thanks by the way, I didn't know that!) and did so by opening up another brewery on the East Coast.

    I don't see how they WOULDN'T be in debt from opening up two new breweries, especially one in Europe. As a result, they had to lay off employees. But as a long term strategy, establishing a market where there isn't one in Europe seems logical to me. At their size, it may be the only move.

    One could argue that they could expand their portfolio to other styles, but how well do those actually sell in terms of volume? And if there becomes a market for styles other than IPAs, how long before your local brewery(s) figures out how to brew those styles, if they haven't already? Regardless, perhaps they are in fact planning on branching out with different styles to help sell more beer in the US, but why not try this while simultaneously selling hoppy beer in Europe? They're big enough that they can attempt to do both at the same time.

    And while this is "simply business" as I initially stated, it still sucks. Good luck to those laid off, I wish them all the best.
  10. JustinMcInerny

    JustinMcInerny Initiate (0) Sep 5, 2013 Maryland

    Okay, so it's my third post ever and it's a long one but I have a lot to say.

    According to an article I read, the City of Richmond's partial financing of Stone's Richmond development ruffled some feathers in Richmond in 2014. The relationships seem to have improved somewhat - a collaboration between Stone and Richmond breweries Hardywood Park Craft Brewery and Ardent Craft Ales is supposed to be out now (but I haven't seen it). Just out of curiosity, can someone from Richmond fill us in on their opinion of the local sentiment about Stone?

    I run a beer and wine store in the DC suburbs. When we opened five years ago, we needed beers from the west coast and other far away places because I could not completely fill the shelves with high quality micro beers from breweries closer to home notwithstanding the availability of great beers from Dogfish Head, Victory and others. The few hyper local beers either weren't distributed or weren't very good. Now, the hyper local beers are pushing Stone, Lagunitas, Avery etc. off the shelves. I simply do not have that much room for all of these brands. I can only carry about 100 beers and, for business reasons, I devote about 20 slots to macros. The slots for Corona, Miller Lite, Blue Moon, Stella Artois and a few others are not going away. The other 80 slots are for craft beer. These slots are filled according to consumer demand. Right now my customers want local. We are getting good to great beers from places very close to home such as Denizens, DC Brau, RAR and Manor Hill. All of which are in Maryland except DC Brau of course. If my shop is any indication, and this thread seems to support me, this is what consumers are looking for in craft - hyper local beers whose footprint is tiny. Compare this to wine. A major difference between beer and wine is that wine, at least "craft" wine, is inherently local. For most beers, the only local ingredient is the water. The barley and hops generally come from the same places in Europe and North America. With wine, it's the location of the vineyard which usually directly correlates to the wine's quality. I get wine from far away places because you can't replicate Tuscany, Bordeaux or Sonoma in Maryland. Locally, some wine is pretty good, especially Virginia wine, but California, France and Italy has my local wines beat and always will. The mid Atlantic just does not have the grape growing conditions of other places in the world. You can have the best winemaker in the world using top flight Maryland grapes and the wine will never be as good as if the same winemaker was using top flight Sonoma grapes. Beer, on the other hand, will be very good if it is made by a very good brewer using the same ingredients which are largely available to all of the other brewers. In short, brewers from all over the country have caught up with, and even surpassed, Stone. You can have great Maryland beer. Selling Maryland/Virginia/DC/Delaware and Pennsylvania micro beers gives me the warm and fuzzies. Many of my my customers like the local beers. On the other hand, when I travel out of the mid-Atlantic, I don't want to see familiar beers. I was in New York recently and had a terrific fresh hop beer that was a week old from Chatham. Until three weeks ago I had never heard of that brewery. In short, I admire Stone for its pioneering ways and I have enjoyed many, many Stone beers. But I can only drink so much, and there are so many great options made by people who live and work near me that I tend to favor the beers from closer to home.
  11. elucas730

    elucas730 Initiate (0) Feb 5, 2010 New York

    You make no sense. First you complain that there's too much crap local beer on the shelves, then when I point out a good local beer that I can get fresher than 3 month old west coast stuff, you say that doesn't count because it is a limited distribution beer. Of course it is! It's LOCAL! All LOCAL beers are limited distribution, that's kinda the point. No, it's not comparing a Ferrari to a Kia. Ferraris cost 10x more than Kias and are in a whole different class performance-wise. Sip (just one example) is in the same class as anything from Sierra Nevada or Stone.

    Sorry you live in such a crappy area. Maybe you should move? I've got Prison City near me, winner of Paste magazine's IPA blind taste test. I've got Ithaca Beer right down the road, doing all kinds of IPAs all the time. Upstate Brewing in Elmira is doing some off-the-charts canned NE IPAs that are miles ahead of any Sierra Nevada or Stone stuff I can get. Galaxy Brewing in Binghamton just started canning their flagship Andromeda IPA. And the North Brewery right down the street has been churning out some fantastic IPAs of late (brewery only).

    Again you are contradicting yourself. First you complain that there's too much crappy local beer, then you say, nah, people aren't going to buy local beers. Which is it?

    I think one point that hasn't been brought up, that makes your case more than it does mine, is that people don't have any taste. Don't forget, 80-85% (whatever the number is) of beer sold in the US is crappy macro lagers. Clearly the majority puts other factors ahead of taste. Why wouldn't supporting local be one of the factors?
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  12. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,828) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    I agree with @EnronCFO. I don't think I've EVER had a bad beer from Sierra Nevada. Some may not be my personal preference, but I never drink a beer from them and think, "This is a low quality offering."

    If your local breweries are churning out quality beer like this across the breadth of styles Sierra Nevada does, I envy your local scene.

    @EnronCFO knows his stuff from what I've read in the New England forums, and yes, being from Mass we do have access to Treehouse and Trillium. But I also think you're mixing a preference for "beer geek popular" styles, especially those juicy New England IPAs, with quality.
    I also think calling Trillium and Treehouse the best beers in the world is a lofty statement at this point. I've been on this site long enough to see numerous Trillium and Treehouse's come and go. I'm not knocking them, I drink Trillium's hoppy beer quite regularly. But there's a lot of breweries in the world, who have been brewing for a long time. You can't compare Treehouse's Julius to Weihenstephan's Hefeweizen and call the former a "better beer" when most Beeradvocate's palates will always take Julius first. Not to mention Weihenstephan's beers travel across the world and arrive here 3 - 6 months old (if you're lucky).

    Which is my point. You prefer a "New England-style" IPA over a moderately hopped (by today's standards) Cascade "old school" pale ale. It's not a low quality beer, it's just different. Sierra Nevada LITERALLY can't brew an IPA like Trillium/Treehouse and get it to your door step due to the logistics of shipping and freshness.

    But they can brew fantastic beers like their Vienna Lager and Summerfest. When Trillium and Treehouse start brewing beers like that (and not 60 different IPA combinations), and then ship them across the country intact, then maybe we can compare the two. Although, this entire thread would indicate that they may want to stay right where they are.
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  13. eldoctorador

    eldoctorador Champion (821) Dec 12, 2014 Chile

    Condescending post of the year!
  14. jageraholic

    jageraholic Disciple (335) Sep 16, 2009 Massachusetts

    I had a few thoughts that are hopefully a little less negative. Maybe this is just par for the course as business grow, equipment and processes get better, more fine tuned, and pump out more quality beer. It wouldn't be the first time people lost mfg jobs to technology. My other thought is, with opening a second major production brewery in the states, they probably can make a little less beer in their california brewery (which has a state going through the worst drought in decades) and pick up the slack on the east coast while reducing shipping and distribution costs. I was thinking well, maybe they should offer the CA employees an option to move jobs to VA but perhaps with the grants they received from VA, and a promise of jobs, they can't take up those jobs transferring people and need them to be new jobs with more local people getting hired to keep up some agreements. Either way, maybe i'm just being positive since I love stone, and they are better than 100% of the local beer I can get in an hour and a half radius in western Massachusetts.
  15. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (578) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    When Treehouse's new brewery is up and running we'll see if they can keep up the quality and if the demand is still there. I expect affirmation on both, but it will be interesting to see how they scale (again).
  16. Leebo

    Leebo Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2013 Massachusetts

    What? Did you read what you typed? I too love Sierra Nevada, it's just about the only one outside of New England I buy. Quality? As defined by what? Like Proclamation, Wormtown, Jacks Abby, Cambridge Brewing, Notch, and my fav, Night Shift. Do throw in the OJ ones of Trillium and Tree House too? I think you need to drink some better local stuff, Boston and MA is world class and killing it, Small ,regional and bigger ones too.
  17. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    So your personal environment is fine, but do you really think that also applies to the rest of the US as a whole, say in places like Kane, PA, Moab, UT or Jamestown ND? Such small town places are still far more numerous than places like Boston, Philly, Portland, etc.
  18. Leebo

    Leebo Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2013 Massachusetts

    Surprised by your lack of beer likes. West like Amherst or say Pittsfield? Tried building 8? Berkshire, Peoples Pint, Wormtown, Wachusett? The newer trappist one in Sterling? More than 100 now in MA.
  19. Leebo

    Leebo Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2013 Massachusetts

    My response was to a MA guy . In general, I think "most" major cites and metro areas have a good to great local beer scene. So by population, most people have access to good local beer, not some tiny town in the middle of nowhere. FYI Moab has the Moab Brewery with Unita and Wasatch beers available to buy. It's a mountain bike destination too.
    #139 Leebo, Oct 18, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
  20. gopens44

    gopens44 Poo-Bah (2,388) Aug 9, 2010 Virginia
    Society Trader

    A certain amount of profit is necessary to maintain their budget projections. If sales slips, profits fall, something has to give. They have backed pretty big loans with pretty big promises and need to do what's necessary to maintain those promises. Business is not always warm and fuzzy. Does it suck for those laid off? Sure as hell yes. I've been on the layoff side before, and while it sucked, I knew the company well enough to know that it hurt them tremendously to close segments and lay folks off. I'll bet this stings the hell out of Stone as well, but they still have 95% of their employees and creditors that they have to answer to.
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  21. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Yes, you responded to an MA guy just as he responded to an MI guy, but this is an open forum in the Beer Talk section of the site so your remarks are not private and can be responded to by others.

    It seems to me that this sub-thread is addressing issues related to nationally distributed beers vs locally produced beers and the possibility of confusing freshness with quality. The fact that there are some major metropolitan areas where local means access to fresh great beers, and ignoring the presence of many below that level beers, does not change the fact that large numbers of people do not have such options and are living with very limited choices and often if they have local, those locals are not up to the standards of the nationally distributed breweries.

    But now that you've qualified your remarks to make it clear that they are intended to apply only to the best breweries in some major population centers (which do have a majority of the population), while ignoring the large number of average or below breweries in those major population centers, my suggestion was that you expand your thinking to include dealing with the full range of breweries and the situation of those folks not living in major population centers.
    #141 drtth, Oct 18, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
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  22. Ranbot

    Ranbot Defender (661) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Yeah. I feel bad for those losing their jobs, but a 5% workforce reduction isn't necessarily a disaster for a company of Stone's size either. During the 2008-09 recession the company I work for (almost 500 employees at the time) went through 3 rounds of layoffs, each one an approximately 5-10% staff reduction. The first round of layoffs surprised everyone, but when the dust settled my co-workers all agreed those laid-off generally were not great employees or their skills didn't fit the company well (no fault of theirs). Now the second and third rounds of layoffs... those hurt.

    At least there are lots of new breweries out there who would probably appreciate picking up someone with experience in the beer industry.
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  23. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,869) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    moab brewing is as good as it has to be, and the drafts are 4%. I usually find one I like. You can also find decent beers at the state store.

    There area is also more than mountain biking. Off road, hiking, climbing, river running, and so on. Done all of those, except mountain biking. A cold beer is a good way to end the day.
  24. jageraholic

    jageraholic Disciple (335) Sep 16, 2009 Massachusetts

    West like pittsfield. Bldg 8 is ok, a well made beer, but i'm not into the flavor much. BBC makes great dark beers, people's pint is nowhere near stone level. The others are starting to get too far out.
  25. Leebo

    Leebo Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2013 Massachusetts

    That's way west. I feel for you. Any VT or NY options that work?
  26. elucas730

    elucas730 Initiate (0) Feb 5, 2010 New York

    Tree House not good enough?
    Sloop and Suarez are even closer.
  27. Leebo

    Leebo Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2013 Massachusetts

    Yikes. I get the open forum thing. Maybe folks who have below average breweries near by should move? You're in PA? Good options there. Yes? I still don't get the locals are a worse brew than the nationals. How would they stay in business? There are 4,000 breweries in the US. I'm probably biased living in the best beer center of the US. ( Or so) Most of New England has access to great beer.
  28. Leebo

    Leebo Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2013 Massachusetts

    I think the OP was looking for local. Pittsfield to Monson has to be at least 90 minutes one way.
  29. elucas730

    elucas730 Initiate (0) Feb 5, 2010 New York

    He did post in his original post that Stone was better than 100% of breweries within a 90 minute radius (which should then include Tree House, Suarez, and Sloop).
  30. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Moving just to find better beer isn't an option for many. :-)

    Yes, in some areas of PA there are lots of excellent local options but there are many other areas where there are not. Even folks in Pittsburgh can be heard complaining about the poor quality of some the local beers and breweries.

    Here in SE PA we are indeed blessed with some breweries that brew at the level of the nationals. But we also have a number of small breweries that brew below that level and they do stay in business. The why is something that has been the topic of a lot of speculation but it is happening (So far. We'll see what the next 3-5 years bring).

    Personally I think some of it is wanting to spend money with small local business and that some of it is that people who are used to drinking AALs, haven't spent as much time learning beer as do those of us on this site and prefer what they get in the local brewpub to the alternative of an AAL. (Many who drink flavorful beers actually most often buy an AAL and use the flavorful beers as a special treat.)

    BTW, there are those who would argue that the "best beer center" in the US is the one they are living in. :-) Nobody has yet developed a metric for deciding what is best. Certainly Portland and Bend OR could make a strong case about being the best, as could Philly and a few other places.
    AlcahueteJ likes this.

    THANAT0PSIS Champion (802) Aug 3, 2010 Wisconsin

    I don't think most people can just up and move to get access to better local beer.

    Average or worse local breweries stay in business because they are local. People support them because they enjoy the novelty of having something made down the street, they like the local "Cheers" feel that they get by becoming regulars, and they feel good supporting people they may know or at least the local economy. If they are aware of its importance, freshness is likely another reason locals thrive even if they are not good. I live in Chicago, and while there are many good or even great breweries, there are a ton of really bad, borderline undrinkable beers made here. Many've been in business for over two years, and, as an industry worker, I know firsthand that they sell.

    I do think you are incredibly biased. You do not seem to understand that New England compared to, say, Montana, or even beer-obsessed Wisconsin, is WORLDS of difference when it comes to the quality of local options.
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  32. Leebo

    Leebo Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2013 Massachusetts

    The moving part was more in jest. Yes, probably biased. You only know what you know. Who knew, bad beers everywhere? Maybe this needs to be explored in another thread.
  33. mwa423

    mwa423 Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2007 Ohio

    You're putting words in my mouth and making nonsensical points nobody is arguing. I've said now a couple times that there are good "local" beers and bad local beers. You choose a nationally highly ranked NE IPA that's around 6 hours away from you as your example of "local beer"? Perhaps you don't understand what the word local means? The Ferrari and Kia example was supposed to show that picking something that's nationally best in class and comparing it to a normal, everyday, nationally available liquid doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

    Skipping your second paragraph because....congratulations? Having traversed the country a few times, always drinking local beer when I can to try new things, I can say that if there's no bad beer in your area (or rgordon's area) then you're the exception, not the rule. I've never been in a city for a few days where I got to try a significant portion of local breweries and not found at least one that had beer that's below average at best. I guess I should plan a vacation to upstate New York or something.

    But moving on, I've still never contradicted myself, there is a lot of crappy local beer taking up shelf space and taps but your original statement is "lots of people are getting beer from the source" because you aren't using facts to back up your opinion (a common trait among locovores), I am. My job in beer analysis would be a hell of a lot easier if I could just walk into a room and say whatever's on my mind based on my own biases and not use data to back that up. I stated a provable fact, that beer bought from "the source" isn't a massive amount of liquid when compared to the total volume of the beer industry, I can't make it any simpler for you man.
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  34. LuskusDelph

    LuskusDelph Initiate (0) May 1, 2008 New Jersey

    Maybe, maybe not.
    No question that Stone is a major player in the world of so called "craft" beer, and they do make some fairly decent products.
    But is must be remembered that "craft" brewers are primarily in competition with each other, not the big, bad bogeyman that the "craft" segment of the industry has painted the BMCs as.
    But like it or not, It is true however that some of the big bad BMCs are beginning to produce products that are every bit as good as the 'craft' brewers, and in some cases, maybe even doing it better.
    Add to that the continuing expansion of the 'craft' segment itself with record numbers of new startups (some of which are quite good, and many of which range from quite bad to heinously bad).
    Stone will survive, I'm certain. And they will probably do so without the need to sell out entirely (or even in part) with the bigger brewers. But they ARE running a business and the bottom line IS the bottom line...and a well run business sometimes needs to assess the marketplace and take action like this in order to prevent the bottom line from bottoming them out.
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  35. elucas730

    elucas730 Initiate (0) Feb 5, 2010 New York

    No, you are not. You are just arrogant enough to think that your opinions are facts while everyone else's are just opinion. You are biased on what you think is "crappy local beer".

    Pretty much by definition, half of the beer out there is "below average". Your point from the beginning is that there is too much crappy local beer on shelves while the peons out there are too stupid to understand the wonders of nationally distributed beers. My response to that is that there is just as much crappy beers from national distributors as there is from the local guys (law of averages and all). I find the nationally distributed brewers to be behind the times and have devolved to producing "crappy national beer" that appeals to the lowest common denominator to increase sales.
  36. jageraholic

    jageraholic Disciple (335) Sep 16, 2009 Massachusetts

    I put in the 90 min critera to knock out tree house, because they are awesome and I wish they were closer. That being said, whats wrong with going to the store thats 10 min and picking up some Stone since they make way above average beer. Its what I do 75% of the time. maybe i'll drop my radius to 60 minutes but even then, I'm not looking to make a 2 hour round trip every week.
  37. Chris912

    Chris912 Initiate (0) Aug 5, 2014 Illinois

    Say what you want about Stone's beer quality, freshness, competition....

    ......but this sounds more like defective leadership. Anyone that was in charge of strategy or finances should have protected the nest first, and study their desired markets more thoroughly. Stone management went high risk with that aggressive expansion plan to reap the rewards, and lost the battle. And the spoils (the talented laid-off employees) will be employed elsewhere. Sad.
  38. Prince_Casual

    Prince_Casual Disciple (356) Nov 3, 2012 District of Columbia

    Maybe, just maybe, if they had pointlessly and insensitively destroyed more German beers, for basically no reason, they'd be doing better in Germany.

  39. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,194) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Your simple statement, "taking up shelf space" is very revealing. Who says? The big chains (which I'll bet you know best) most often utilize true movement and sales to warrant what is positioned where on the shelves, what to close out or to double face. If "crappy local beer" is taking up shelf space, are store owners and beer managers stupid to not discontinue crappy local beer that sells? What is the proper balance between local, national, import, cider, etc. for a store to offer? A million variables affect best market practices. Every market is unique. The best independent retailers in this neck of the woods began adding local and regional choices years ago. The big chains are still playing catch up, but they've moved into the local business. A smart retailer (big chain or independent) knows how to cull slow movers. A store is either well run or not, but no smart retailer would discontinue a product that sells- or keep one that doesn't.
  40. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (578) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    Quality as defined by batch to batch consistency. Quality as defined by the fact that if you crack open a bottle 3-6 months after bottling it's still drinkable and only slightly faded rather than a bland mess of a beer. Quality as defined by beer that has taste profiles other than the last hops thrown in the kettle.
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