Stone Brewing Co. going where no U.S. craft brewer has gone before

Stone Brewing co-founder Greg Koch in front of the Berlin brewhouse facade.

America’s ninth largest craft brewer, Escondido’s very own Stone Brewing Co,. is poised to become an international first with a twist

Stone debuts the first European-based brewery built, owned and operated by a U.S. craft brewer in March. They’re doing it in the land of Oktoberfest and all things beery, Germany, and its premier city, Berlin.

“Most people think it’s an odd thing that an American would come open a brewery in Germany,” Stone co-founder Greg Koch said.

U.S. craft brewers have marketed beer before in Germany and Europe. Leave it to Stone to go above, and beyond, the limitations of geography and brand. Its first European brewed beers will roll out of a pilot brewhouse. headed for 40 locations across Germany, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Street-side view of new Stone “campus

Street-side view of new Stone “campus

The Berlin facility will include a main hall built in 1901 and refurbished to the tune of 43,000-plus-square-feet — 4,000 square meters if one will — with a custom stainless steel brewhouse, “eclectic farm-to-table restaurant,” and the usual Stone retail outlet featuring merchandise and, oh by the way, beers.

“Just as we breathe new life into an old gasworks complex in Germany’s capital city,” Koch and Stone said, “we will join the German and European craft brewers who are breathing fresh air into their storied brewing culture.”

The Berlin brewery uses the same recipes as in Escondido, but Koch said previously he won’t attempt to make the taste completely identical.

“Just as if you are in a town in the United States and you have an American-style amber, American-style pale ale and American-style IPA. … And then all of a sudden a wonderful German pils, a Czech-style pils, and a Belgian triple becomes available to you,” Koch said. “It works in reverse too.”

The brewhouse will produce year-round and special-release Stone beers utilizing all-natural ingredients and a commitment to excellence along with environmentally friendly and energy-efficient practices, according to Stone Brewing.

Fixing up the insides of the 1901 structure.

Fixing up the insides of the 1901 structure.

The restaurant, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Berlin, will highlight locally grown organic food that complements the seasonality. Every dish will be made from ingredients adhering to Slow Food’s principles of good, clean, fair food.

“As ambassadors of the global craft beer movement, we will serve an extensive array of exceptional beers from craft and artisanal breweries in Germany, Europe and across the world,” Stone Brewing said.

“Furthermore, we will be productive members of our community, giving back through contributions of time, energy and donations to charitable causes aimed at bettering the quality of life for our new neighbors.”

For more information on Stone-Berlin visit