With winds in its sails, a whole lot of grit and z-e-r-o Big Beer investment, Stone Brewing marks an expansion milestone for U.S. craft beer this week. America’s 8th largest craft brewery opened three first-class craft beer destinations on three continents over three consecutive months.
This trifecta of expansion around the globe celebrates the continued rise and appreciation for craft beer in far-flung markets. With pints held high, Stone Brewing has announced the opening of Stone Brewing Tap Room – Shanghai, preceded by Stone Brewing – Napa and the Berlin city center Stone Brewing Tap Room – Prenzlauer Berg.
“The promise of expansion seems to be an all-too-familiar excuse for selling out in craft beer, but we prefer to be the embodiment of the alternative,” explained Stone Brewing CEO Dominic Engels. “Our independence is what guarantees authentic experiences for our fans. It allows us to be nimble, creative and bold. By pioneering new geographies we’re leading the charge for independent craft beer and the sheer act of doing so is fueling our creativity and passion. We’re thoughtful in our growth, we’re focused in our execution, and you definitely haven’t seen the last of us.”
The auspicious opening of Stone Brewing Tap Room – Shanghai this week marks the first tap room by an independent American craft brewery in China, and unabashedly raises the bar for craft beer in Asia.
To deliver a world-class beer experience Stone Brewing painstakingly designed the first uninterrupted cold chain delivery of US craft beer to China last year, and continues its tally of ‘firsts’ with the installation of a ‘flux capacitor tap system’ at the newly opened tap room. A first in Asia, this special manifold system is a principal example of elevating the craft beer experience, and allows for custom calibration of carbon dioxide and nitrogen mixes for each and every of the restaurant’s 30 beers on tap.
Stone’s meticulous approach to each beer’s delivery is indisputably matched by the environment surrounding it. Stone’s 3,200 square-foot bar and restaurant offers seating for 90 indoors and 28 in the additional 1,000 square-foot gardens. Floor to ceiling custom roll-up doors open the tap room to the outdoors on two sides. The interior incorporates reclaimed wood, concrete, steel and vintage furnishing, a main bar and an oversized fireplace lounge. The Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens food philosophy translates to Stone’s first Asia project, incorporating artisanal products with a focus on environmental responsibility and high-quality ingredients.
“Stone Brewing Tap Room – Shanghai is everything we set out to achieve, as it has the craft beer heart and soul we intended,” expressed Stone Brewing Executive Chairman & co-founder Greg Koch. “We’ve curated a selection of craft beers rivaled by none and designed an impeccable experience for enjoying them. This isn’t just about Stone beers either. It’s about global craft beer. These are destinations for those interested in craft to explore new things and experience the world’s very best just as they were intended to be enjoyed. We hope to inspire a more profound understanding of craft beer, raise the bar in appreciation for America’s craft brewers and, at the very least, brings our fans together over a pint of the good stuff.”
Last month Stone Brewing – Napa brought its renovated 1877 downtown Napa building to life in the heart of California’s wine country. The 9,500 square-foot restaurant and 10-barrel brewery offers locally-brewed beers, a dining experience, growler fills and merchandise. The Napa brewing program is led by Steve Gonzalez, Stone’s six-year veteran Small Batch Senior Manager of Brewing & Innovation. Fortuitously, Steve also had a former career as a winemaker, making him uniquely qualified to bring together the two industries in distinct and special ways. This will manifest itself in brewing techniques that include wine-barrel aging, beer recipes that include wine grapes, as well as interesting botanicals from the region’s diverse ecology.
In mid-May, Stone Brewing Tap Room – Prenzlauer Berg opened in the Berlin city center, 53 minutes by bike from the brewery and Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Berlin. The 1,000 square-foot outpost offers popular bistro menu items alongside international street foods. The destination takes inspiration from the expansive Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Berlin, with a more intimate approach in a bustling and vibrant neighborhood known for its outdoor Mauerpark Market. In usual Stone fashion, multiple taps are dedicated to international guest beers, making it another authentic destination for the craft beer adventurer
With the addition of these three new locations, Stone’s unique venues now total 11 in number. Like-minded in approach, each exists to elevate the craft beer experience while creating an environment that fosters togetherness and affinity for the art of craft. The spirit and philosophy of Stone guides every project, but each is exclusive to its own surroundings, building’s character and local community.
Founded by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner in 1996, the groundbreaking San Diego-based Stone Brewing is the 8th largest craft brewer in the United States. Recognized as an award-winning industry leader, Stone has been listed on the Inc. 500 | 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies list 12 times and has been called the “All-time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate magazine twice. The multifaceted company was the first American craft brewer to build, own and operate its own brewery in Europe (Berlin, Germany), and also opened a production brewery in Richmond, Virginia in 2016. In 2018, Stone opened Stone Brewing – Napa in the heart of California’s wine country. Known for its bold, flavorful and largely hop-centric beers, Stone has earned a reputation for brewing outstanding, unique beers while maintaining an unwavering commitment to sustainability, business ethics, philanthropy and the art of brewing… and pledging to never, ever, sell out to the man.