Stone Brewing Co.

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

Stone Brewing
Stone Brewing Co. logo.svg
LocationEscondido, California
Opened1996; 24 years ago (1996)
Key peopleGreg Koch (Executive Chairman)[1]
Dominic Engels (Chief Executive Officer)[2]
Steve Wagner (President)[1]
Annual production volume325,645 US beer barrels (382,137 hL) (2015)[3]

Stone Brewing (formerly Stone Brewing Co.) is a brewery headquartered in Escondido, California, USA. Founded in 1996 in San Marcos, California,[3] it is the largest brewery in Southern California.[5] Based on 2016 sales volume it is the eighth largest craft brewery in the United States.[6]

The brewery's first beer was Stone Pale Ale,[7] which was considered to be its flagship ale[8] until it was retired in 2015.[9] The company's best known brand is Arrogant Bastard Ale, which has been described as a "watershed beer" that "put San Diego on the craft brew map."[10] Since 2015 Arrogant Bastard has operated as its own product line, Bastard Brewing, produced at multiple breweries around the country.[11] Most of Stone's 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, ranging from 4.8% to 13%.[12]

Stone Brewing is rated as a "world class brewery" by the two largest beer enthusiast websites, RateBeer and BeerAdvocate.[13][14] Stone Brewing has been voted by the readers of Beer Advocate as the #1 "All Time Top Brewery on Planet Earth."[15]


Stone opened in San Marcos in 1996 at the location currently home to Port Brewing Company and The Lost Abbey.[7] 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. 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 325,645 US beer barrels in 2015. 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 and 40-ounce and can that can be filled with Stone's year-round beers and special releases.[16]

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. It is housed in the former mess hall and several other historic buildings of the former Naval Training Center San Diego.[17]

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's Little Italy community. The stores sell beer in bottles, kegs and growlers.[5]

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.[18]

In Summer 2014, the company announced plans to open Stone Brewing Berlin in the German capital.[19] A 100 hectoliter brewery with onsite can filling in Berlin Mariendorf went into operation in June 2016. At that time, Stone Berlin began distributing Stone IPA and Arrogant Bastard Ale to Austria, the Baltics, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In 2016 a corner of Stone Brewing Berlin opened as a full restaurant and gardens, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens - Berlin. In April 2019 the entire Stone Brewing - Berlin operation was sold to Scotland-based BrewDog.[20]

On October 8, 2014 sources indicated Stone Brewing 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.[21] The brewery held the opening of the Stone Company Store Richmond in March 2016 and began brewing, kegging and bottling Stone IPA in July 2016.

The second story bar at Stone Brewing Company in Napa, California

In May 2016 the company announced plans to open a tap room and 10-barrel brewing system in Napa, California, the heart of California's wine country. The new facility will be housed in the historic Borrero building in downtown Napa and is expected to open in 2017.[22]

On February 12, 2018 Stone filed a lawsuit against MillerCoors, the makers of Keystone beer, alleging that they were attempting to co-opt their name after a brand revamp that emphasizes the word "Stone" on the sides of their products.[23]


Stone has won several awards at major international beer competitions.[24][25]

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
Witty Moron Other Belgian Style Ale 2014 and 2017 Great American Beer Festival Gold

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Staff Page".
  2. ^ Hirsh, Lou (October 16, 2016). "Stone Brewing Laying Off 5% of Workforce". San Diego Business Journal. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Press Room".
  4. ^ Morris, Chris. "Shakeup at craft beer giant Stone Brewing". Fortune. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  5. ^ a b Rowe, Peter (May 18, 2011). "Stone announces new Point Loma brewery restaurant, expansion". Sign On San Diego. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
  6. ^ Connors, Tarcy (March 15, 2017). "Three S.D. County Breweries Make Top 50 List". San Diego Business Journal. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Pre-History". Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Stone Pale Ale". Stone Brewing Company. Retrieved July 26, 2008.
  9. ^ Verive, John. "Say goodbye to these three Stone beers". Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  10. ^ Hernandez, Brandon. "Rising Tide in San Diego". The Beer Connoisseur, archived at Wayback Machine. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  11. ^ Ramsay, Reid (October 28, 2015). "Not Stone, but Arrogant Bastard Brewing". Beer Street Journal. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  12. ^ "Beers Overview". Stone Brewing Company. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  13. ^ "Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens". RateBeer. Retrieved 2011-05-25.
  14. ^ Kitsock, Greg (June 20, 2007). "A Bitter Divide". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-05-24.
  15. ^ "The People Have Spoken!". BeerAdvocate Magazine, Volume II, Issue XI, posted at Stone Brewing:News. August 12, 2011. Archived from the original on 29 March 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  16. ^ Fikes, Bradley J. (March 5, 2006). "Stone Brewing Co. grows in Escondido". North County Times. Archived from the original on February 1, 2010. Retrieved February 8, 2010.
  17. ^ Rowe, Peter (May 16, 2013). "Liberty Station's Stone age begins". San Diego Union Tribune.
  18. ^ "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. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2011.
  19. ^ Verive, John (July 19, 2014). "Escondido's craft brew giant Stone announces plans for a Berlin expansion". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  20. ^ Concepcion, Mariel (April 8, 2019). "Stone Brewing Co. to Close Berlin Brewery". San Diego Business Journal. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  21. ^ "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.
  22. ^ Hirsh, Lou (May 22, 2016). "Stone Brewing Expanding to Wine Country with Napa Tap Room, Brewery". San Diego Business Journal. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  23. ^ Snider, Mike. "A legal brew-ha-ha: Stone Brewing sues MillerCoors over Keystone packaging". Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  24. ^ "Stone Brewing". GABF Medal Winners. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  25. ^ "Stone Brewing search results". World Beer Cup. Retrieved 23 June 2013.

External links[edit]