Stone Brewing Co.

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For the English beer brand, see Stones Bitter.

Coordinates: 33°06′57″N 117°07′12″W / 33.1157°N 117.1199°W / 33.1157; -117.1199

Stone Brewing Co.
Regional Craft
Industry Alcoholic beverage
Founded 1996
Headquarters Escondido, California
United States
Products Beer
Production output
213,277 US barrels/year (2013)
Owner Steve Wagner and Greg Koch

Stone Brewing Co. is a brewery headquartered in Escondido, California, USA. Founded in 1996 in San Marcos, California,[1] it is the largest brewery in Southern California.[2] As of 2012, it was the 10th largest craft brewery in the United States and 17th largest brewery overall, based on sales volume.[3]

Established in 1996, the brewery's first beer was Stone Pale Ale,[4] which the company considers to be its flagship ale.[5] Most of their beers are characteristic of west-coast craft brews, meaning that they have a high hop content. Compared to the macro-produced lagers, many Stone brews feature alcohol percentages that are well above average. The alcohol-by-volume content of Stone brews ranges from 4.2% to 13%.[6]

Stone Brewing is rated as a "world class brewery" by the two largest beer enthusiast websites, RateBeer and BeerAdvocate.[7][8] Stone Brewing has been voted by the readers of Beer Advocate as the #1 "All Time Top Brewery on Planet Earth."[9]


Stone opened in San Marcos in 1996 at the location currently home to Port Brewing Company and The Lost Abbey.[4] In 2006, Stone relocated from the original brewery to a new, custom-designed facility in Escondido. In 2013 the company opened a packaging hall just south of the brewery which houses the bottling and keg lines. The brewery in Escondido produced 213,277 US beer barrels in 2013. The site is also home to a restaurant, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens - Escondido, a 8,500-square-foot (790 m2) restaurant with a large outdoor patio and 1 acre (4,000 m2) of gardens. The brewery also houses a Stone Company Store which sells Stone merchandise as well as 1- and 2-liter growlers that can be filled with Stone's nine year-round beers and special releases.[10]

In May 2013 a second Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens opened in the Liberty Station development in the Point Loma neighborhood of San Diego. The 23,500-square-foot (2,180 m2) facility cost $8 million and can seat 700 patrons.[11] In 2013 Stone opened a location in Terminal 2 of the San Diego International Airport.

In addition to the locations at Escondido and Liberty Station, there are Stone Company Stores in Oceanside, Pasadena, and in San Diego in South Park and Little Italy. The stores sell beer in bottles, kegs and growlers.[2] Stone also operates a 19-acre organic farm known as Stone Farms, just north of the brewery in Escondido.

In June 2008, Stone Brewing covered the roof of the brewery with solar panels, cutting their energy costs nearly in half. The 1,561 roof-mounted solar modules will offset more than 538,000 pounds (244,000 kg) of carbon emissions over its lifetime, which is equivalent to planting 204 acres (0.83 km2) of trees.[12]

In July 2014, Stone Brewing Co. announced plans to open a brewery and restaurant in Berlin, Germany.[13]

On October 8, 2014 sources indicated Stone Brewing Co. had chosen Richmond, VA as the site for its first brewery in the eastern United States. The other two finalists for the brewery were Columbus, Ohio and Norfolk, VA. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe made the formal announcement about the new brewery on October 9, 2014 at 2 p.m. EST. [14]


The nine year-round beers produced by The Stone Brewing Co.

Stone beers are bottled in 22 oz and 12 oz bottles, and occasionally 750 ml and 3-liter bottles.[15] The beers available in six-packs are the Stone Pale Ale, Stone IPA, and Stone Levitation Ale. OAKED Arrogant Bastard Ale, Stone Ruination IPA and Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA are available in four-packs. Stone uses 22-ounce bottles to feature their "bigger character" beers and Stone Special Releases.[15]

Year-round beers[edit]

  • Arrogant Bastard Ale is an American strong ale. Local designer/illustrator Thomas K. Matthews created the original gargoyle in 1996. He also drew the Arrogant Bastard Ale, Stone Ruination IPA and Stone Levitation Ale gargoyles, as well as barley and hops motifs. The product was promoted with an appropriately arrogant slogan: "Hated by many. Loved by few. You're not worthy."
  • OAKED Arrogant Bastard Ale is a variety of Arrogant Bastard aged with oak chips, and has been produced in limited release 3 Liter bottles with a lock three times: November 2004, 2005 and 2006. (discontinued in 2014)
  • Stone Pale Ale is a California-style pale ale.
  • Stone IPA is a hoppy India Pale Ale featuring Columbus, Chinook and Centennial hops.
  • Stone Ruination IPA is a very highly hopped Imperial India Pale Ale.
  • Stone Levitation Ale is a dry hopped amber ale.
  • Stone Smoked Porter is an American porter-style ale.
  • Stone Cali-Belgique IPA is a Belgian IPA, a cross between an IPA and a Belgian ale.
  • Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA is a Black IPA. This beer was originally introduced as Stone 11th Anniversary Ale.[16]
  • Stone Go To IPA is a session IPA meaning it has a low ABV

Special releases[edit]

  • Double Bastard Ale is a more intense version of Arrogant Bastard, with an ABV of 11.2%. It is a special release item and goes on sale every November in 22 ounce and 3 liter bottles.
  • Stone Imperial Russian Stout is a Russian Imperial Stout released in the 2nd quarter every year.
  • Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine is a barley wine released in the 1st quarter every year.
  • Lukcy Basartd Ale was a blend of Arrogant Bastard Ale and Double Bastard Ale that is then oaked and dry-hopped. This beer was a one-time release commemorating 13 years of Arrogant Bastard Ale.
  • Stone Enjoy By IPA are occasional releases of small one-time batches of IPA, with a date indicated when they should be consumed by (for example Enjoy By 04.01.13 should be consumed by April 1, 2013).
  • Stone RuinTen IPA was originally released in 2012 as Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA, commemorating the 10th anniversary of Stone Ruination IPA.

Stone Anniversary Ale series[edit]

Stone releases an Anniversary Ale every summer, each one using a different recipe and bottle design.

Stone Vertical Epic Ale series[edit]

Since 2002, Stone released a series of eleven beers under the Stone Vertical Epic Ale header. Each one uses a different recipe and is designed, when the release is complete, to complement its partners in a tasting of all eleven, one after the other (a "vertical tasting"). Each is released one year, one month, and one day apart, beginning with the first on February 2, 2002 (02.02.02 in a common date format on the Gregorian calendar); thus, the second was released on March 3, 2003 (03.03.03), the third on April 4, 2004, and so on. The last in the series was the Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale.[17]

  • 02.02.02: Belgian Wit (brewed with orange peel, coriander, and black pepper)[18]
  • 03.03.03: Abbey Ale (brewed with coriander and grans of paradise)[19]
  • 04.04.04: Pale Ale (brewed with Kaffir lime leaves)[20]
  • 05.05.05: Pale Ale (brewed with Belgian candi sugar)[21]
  • 06.06.06: Dark Ale[22]
  • 07.07.07: Saison (brewed with grapefruit, orange, and lemon)[23]
  • 08.08.08: Belgian Golden Ale (dry hopped with a blend of Simcoe and Amarillo hops) [24]
  • 09.09.09: Belgian Dark Ale (brewed with vanilla bean in oak barrels)[25]
  • 10.10.10: Strong Belgian Golden Ale (Chamomile-spiced)[26]
  • 11.11.11: Copper Ale (brewed with cinnamon and New Mexico chile)[27]
  • 12.12.12: Winter Warmer (brewed with cinnamon, allspice, clove, orange peel, and rose hips)[28]

Stochasticity Project series[edit]

A more experimental series of beers.


Since 2008, Stone has released a series of collaboration beers jointly with other brewers. In 2009 Stone collaborated with breweries in Massachusetts and Scotland to produce Stone Juxtaposition Black Pilsner.[34] In 2011, Stone collaborated with Green Flash Brewing Company of Vista and the Carlsbad location of the Pizza Port brewery-restaurant to brew and release Green Flash / Pizza Port Carlsbad / Stone Highway 78 Scotch Ale. It is named for California State Highway 78, sometimes called "the Hops Highway," which links the three cities.[35] There are four additional collaborations planned for 2014.


Stone has won several awards at major international beer competitions.[36][37]

Name Style Honors
Double Bastard Ale Strong Ale 2005 Great American Beer Festival Silver
Levitation Ale Amber Ale 2007 Great American Beer Festival Gold
Old Guardian Barley Wine 2000 Great American Beer Festival Silver
Pale Ale ESB 2008 World Beer Cup Bronze, 2006 Great American Beer Festival Bronze
Ruination India Pale Ale 2006 World Beer Cup Bronze
Smoked Porter With Chipotle Chile-spiced beer 2010 Great American Beer Festival Silver
Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale Black India Pale Ale 2010 Great American Beer Festival Bronze
Imperial Russian Stout Imperial Stout 2014 U.S. Open Beer Championship Gold
Go To IPA Sessions Beer 2014 U.S. Open Beer Championship Gold


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Press Room". Stone Brewing Company. Retrieved October 19, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Rowe, Peter (May 18, 2011). "Stone announces new Point Loma brewery restaurant, expansion". Sign On San Diego. Retrieved 2011-05-18. 
  3. ^ "Top 50 U.S. Craft Brewing Companies". Brewers Association. April 10, 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ "Stone Pale Ale". Stone Brewing Company. Retrieved July 26, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Beers Overview". Stone Brewing Company. Retrieved January 26, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens". RateBeer. Retrieved 2011-05-25. 
  8. ^ Kitsock, Greg (June 20, 2007). "A Bitter Divide". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
  9. ^ "The People Have Spoken!". BeerAdvocate Magazine, Volume II, Issue XI, posted at Stone Brewing:News. August 12, 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  10. ^ Fikes, Bradley J. (March 5, 2006). "Stone Brewing Co. grows in Escondido". North County Times. Retrieved February 8, 2010. 
  11. ^ Rowe, Peter (May 16, 2013). "Liberty Station's Stone age begins". San Diego Union Tribune. 
  12. ^ "Stone Brewing Co. Harnesses the Power of the Sun with a Solar Electric System Installed by Borrego Solar Systems, Inc., Financed by Bank of America" (Press release). Bank of America. July 1, 2008. Retrieved April 22, 2011. 
  13. ^ Verive, John (July 19, 2014). "Escondido's craft brew giant Stone announces plans for a Berlin expansion". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  14. ^ "Stone Brewing Co. Names Richmond, Virginia, as Future Home for New Brewery and Destination Restaurant - VA Beer Trail". VA Beer Trail. October 9, 2014. Retrieved October 9, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b "Getting Beer At The Stone Company Store". Stone Brewing Company. Retrieved October 19, 2010. 
  16. ^ Orr, Patrick (February 5, 2010). "Orr: Black IPAs are a full-blown trend". Idaho Statesman. Retrieved February 8, 2010. 
  17. ^ Alstrom, Jason Todd (July 27, 2007). "Stone 07.07.07 Vertical Epic Ale". dig Boston. Retrieved 2011-04-22. 
  18. ^ 02.02.02 recipe
  19. ^ 03.03.03 recipe
  20. ^ 04.04.04 recipe
  21. ^ 05.05.05 recipe
  22. ^ 06.06.06 recipe
  23. ^ 07.07.07 recipe
  24. ^ 08.08.08
  25. ^ 09.09.09 recipe
  26. ^ 10.10.10 recipe
  27. ^ 11.11.11 recipe
  28. ^ 12.12.12 recipe
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ "Cambridge / Brewdog / Stone Juxtaposition Black Pilsner - Stone Brewing Co.". Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  35. ^ Stone Brewing Company. "Stone Brewing Co. releases new collaboration beer: Green Flash / Pizza Port Carlsbad / Stone Highway 78 Scotch Ale". Retrieved April 10, 2011. 
  36. ^ "Stone Brewing". GABF Medal Winners. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  37. ^ "Stone Brewing search results". World Beer Cup. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  38. ^ U.S. Open Beer Championship

External links[edit]