Stone Brewing officials this week confirmed reports the company would consolidate Escondido and Vista facilities and re-assign some employees. The number of employees being re-assigned within North County was unspecified although Stone CEO Dominic Engels confirmed he was among that number.
“We have a good amount of unused space in our national distribution facility in Vista, so that will be where most of the team will work,” Stone CEO Dominick Engels said to West Coaster, a San Diego beer community website.
“This is a great opportunity for some of us to move closer to the teams we most commonly collaborate with, so some team members—like those in procurement—will move to the brewery offices in Escondido, while others who work in logistics will move to our local distribution center in Escondido,” Engels said.
The company was “transitioning” from its rented headquarters and moving barrel-aging operations out of its Mission Warehouse facility, according to Brandon Hernandez of West Coaster. The former is located roughly a half-mile southeast of the company’s main brewery on Citracado Parkway, while the latter is just over a mile north, near State Route 78.
While these facilities have been in use by Stone for more than half-a-decade, the company indicates this contraction is simply a consolidation. Employees from both spots will be reassigned to Stone’s other four non-public locations, all of which are in North San Diego County. Those sites include the Escondido brewery and Stone Packaging Hall on Citracado Parkway, an Escondido distribution center about a mile away, and the company’s national distribution center in Vista.
Stone’s headquarters is home to the company’s top leadership and administrative employees handling accounting, sales, marketing, purchasing, information technology and more.
In addition to employees, some of Stone’s barrel-aging equipment will be transferred to its other facilities, while small-batch brewing will be split between the pilot system at the Escondido brewery and brewhouses at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station in Point Loma and Stone Brewing – Napa in Northern California.
“We will continue our barrel-aging program out of other production facilities,” Engels said. “Over the past couple years, we’ve scaled up in other areas of production, continuously increasing our overall barrelage. Last year, we brewed 400,000 barrels collectively across all of our locations. The production coming out of Stone Mission Warehouse makes up about one percent of our total business.”
Engels said Stone continues to expand its distribution within the US and internationally. While several rounds of layoffs have occurred in the past two-plus years, with the most recent coming within the past month, the company reports that it currently employs 1,360 employees globally—about 100 more than it did this time last year—and is currently advertising 54 open positions.
“Stone continues to be the largest employer in the craft brewing industry,” says Lizzie Younkin, Stone’s senior manager of public relations. “Year-over-year, we are growing. The scale of our distribution, both locally and nationally, has actually outgrown our current facilities.”