Stone Brewery Expansion

Craft beer is everywhere. Every small town has a brewery dealing with rapid growth and the growth pains that come alongside it. The rise of craft beer as a culture has created a demand unseen before in the industry prompting companies like Anheuser-Busch to get into the game with Goose Island, a watered down alternative to tasty ales.

But perhaps the most famous craft brewery is Stone Brewery, hailing out of the craft beer capital of the world, San Diego. San Diego is a city that, despite having the largest number of craft breweries having surpassed Portland a few years back, still can’t supply enough amazing beer to meet demand.

stone_ipa

Stone Brewery is most famous for their Stone IPA and Stone Pale Ale. You can find these beers in every city and any bar that’s worth their salt. Each of these beers has a very strong a distinct taste that has been perfected since long before the craft beer craze started.

Many of their beers like Ruination and Levitation boast powerful and dark names. Others beers include Arrogant Bastard, Double Bastard, Self-righteous, and RuinTen. Bold statements are made on each of their beers like, “A stage dive into a mosh pit of hops,” and “A self tribute to 15 years of arrogance”, and even “you won’ t like this beer”. They are masters in branding and have created a memorable brand whose border-line offensiveness resonates with its drinkers as welcome and cheerful.

With the demand for craft beer, the flavorful beer choices, and the marketing team, Stone Brewery could easily have expanded much earlier. With a focus on quality, they have decided to move forward and are looking for cities to build large breweries helping to facilitate growth and distribution on the east coast.

Stone Brewery is also well known for the food they serve in San Diego, having recently expanded into South Bay. Each of their restaurants are massive campuses that rarely seem empty. All the food down to the smallest appetizer are paired nicely with a beer from their large list of beers brewed on-site. How about some quail wings to go with that Pale Ale.

Stone Brewery has managed to please the most discerning beer loving hipster to the weekend afternoon professional type. They are deserving of their success and that is a lucky city who gets to help facilitate the expansion

 

Flights & Pints

maurice amon beer flightOne of my favorite pastimes is craft beer exploration.  It’s sometimes unfortunate that when you list beer as a hobby, it also means one of your hobbies is getting drunk.  And when you’re into the kinds of beers like – imperial stouts, double IPAs, Belgian quads – it’s easy to lose track of the night!

So, when I set out for an evening of beer exploration, the responsible choice is to order a flight.  For the uninitiated, a flight is a collection of small glasses, each filled with a different beer.  Typically there are four glasses, anywhere from 4oz to 8oz, served on a slat of wood with round holes to keep the glasses in place.

There are just so many advantages to ordering flights, even beyond keeping your alcohol intake in check.  First, it’s a great way to try many beers in one sitting.  If you’re planning on having four pints with some friends, that pretty much equals to sixteen beers, if the bar has enough beers on tap!  Beyond that, it can also be fun to select beers that will complement or contrast with one another.  For instance, trying four IPAs with different prominent hop varieties would be a great way to understand the effect hops has on aroma and flavor.  Ordering a flight can also be a magical experience when ordered with a food with varied flavors – a meat and cheese plate is the classic example.  Choosing a few beers that you think will pair with the house cheeses, then playing around with combinations can often make for some outstanding flavor combinations.

But there’s a flip-side to ordering a flight.  Great beer tasters will tell you that you only need 2oz of beer in order to understand it’s profile fully.  For the average person, and me, that can be a little more difficult.  Sometimes when I’m tasting a flight, because there’s so little liquid in the glass, I focus too hard on the qualities of the beer.  What happens is that I often judge it more harshly than if I was leisurely sipping from an imperial pint.  Take Finback Brewery’s new Smoked Porter.  In a flight glass, I thought the flavor was tinny and flat.  But, less than a week later, I was given a pint and LOVED it.

Can someone truly understand a beer after only 4oz?  If so, what hope do we have for making even a dent in the many brands and offerings out there in the craft beer world?  Thus is just one of the beer-drinker’s dilemma 🙂