Escondido’s craft brew giant Stone announces plans for a Berlin expansion

Greg Koch and Steve Wagner teamed to make the Stone Brewing Company in Escondido.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Stone Brewing Co., the Escondido-based 10th-largest craft brewery in the country, has announced plans to invade Europe with an ambitious new brewery in Berlin.

The fan-favorite will break new ground in the world of craft beer when it becomes the first American brewery to independently establish and operate a brewery in Europe, according to the news release. (In 2013 the Brooklyn Brewery announced it would open a brewery in Stockholm in a partnership with D. Carnegie & Co. and Carlsberg Sweden.)

Stone’s estimated $25-million investment will convert a historic German gasworks plant into a destination outpost encompassing a production brewery, a packaging and distribution center, a World Bistro & Gardens restaurant and a company store.


The new brewery is projected to open in late 2015.

In the statement announcing the new project, Stone president and co-founder Steve Wagner says, “Stone’s future European home will serve as the company’s international hub; a central location promoting goodwill and quality craft beer spanning the globe. With this expansion comes our commitment to brewing bold, aggressive, hop-forward beers in a country with a long history rooted in the art of brewing.”

The 18-year-old brewery has been trying to open a beachhead across the Atlantic for several years; it first released a request for proposals for a European brewery in 2010.

Stone CEO and co-founder Greg Koch says, “This is a historic moment for Stone. I’ve wanted to say these next words for many years now: We’re coming to Europe. We’re coming to Germany. We are coming to Berlin!”

“Once open, we will bring Germany and the rest of Europe a taste of our craft beer vision, and look forward to sharing the unique beers that we have spent the last 18 years brewing.”