Stone Brewing Berlin, Stone’s international production facility and bistro that opened in 2016, has been sold to Brewdog. The last operation day as Stone’s brewery is April 30th.
In 2010, Stone’s co-founder walked thorough the gasworks property and instantly wanted it to be the international home for America’s fiercely independent brewery. It took a few years, but Koch and team turned the historic building into Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens Berlin.
According to Koch, German beer prices are the cheapest in Western Europe, and the more expensive craft beers aren’t getting the foothold in the country as they planned.
Amazing beer is being brewed by amazing brewers all over the country. Unfortunately, according to the stats, most Germans are still ignoring these wonderful beers and buying the cheap stuff. – Greg Koch
Besides Germans reluctance to pay premium craft beer prices, Koch explains in a blog post that issues run a bit deeper than per-ounce prices. Disregarding the advice of his professional council, Koch outlines issues with his German contractors. Stone Berlin was a big project, and his Berlin contractors apparently didn’t adjust to unforeseen build-out challenges, construction questions, or slight changes in build scope. When these issues arose, construction was immediately halted. These shut-downs hurt the Stone Berlin project greatly.
“It cost us dearly. After talking with fellow business owners in Berlin, seems we’re not alone in that experience. The documentary film “The Beer Jesus from America” chronicled our journey in getting the place built and opened, and in it you can see some of the struggles I’m talking about,” Koch writes.
Scottish craft brewer Brewdog, who operates a series of pubs around the world, including a production facility in Ohio, has acquired the brewery from Stone. They take ownership on May 1st. James Watt, BrewDog co-founder writes “After a certain time for evaluation we will be closed for a little bit as we turn the building into a BrewDog space, similar to the vibe we have created at our Columbus brewery”.
Stone will continue to be distributed around Europe, currently available in 26 countries as well as a large portion of Germany. According to Koch, that will not change.
Stone Brewing was founded in 1996 by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner in San Diego, California. The brewery now operates locations in Escondido, Liberty Station, Pasadena (California) and Richmond, Virginia.