Stone Brewing has hit the EU!
AT LONG LAST we've got a tried and true American brewery setting up shop on this side of the ocean, making West Coast Style American IPAs and giving everyone the finger. Finally.
French Beer Geeks (join the Facebook group here) couldn't be more ecstatic about the whole thing.
Stone Brewing has a long history. They've been around more than 20 years setting set a golden standard for beer brewing and consumption in the states but now that they've opened a new brewery in Berlin, Germany there is no stopping the flood of hop addicted devotees in Europe from getting their fill.
Except maybe the price.
That guy behind me there on the right is Greg Koch and as you can see I'm loving the guest appearance. The guy on the left is a buddy of mine, the owner of IBB and although he did the translation for Koch which you'll be able to hear in the audio bit below his more important role is organzing the appearance of Stone's 33cl cans into grocery stores. A feat that has yet to be see but is very much anticipated due to the currently stale and limited general store selection.
IBB also runs important for other craft brands : Brewdog, De Molen, Hitachino, Baladin and a bunch more. These guys have the market if you're looking to get into France. Only problem is that they don't really distribute so you have to go with a middle company that does. This is the problem I've been hearing from beer bar owners as to why they won't be able to afford Stone's hyper hoppy beer.
"It's okay beer. Not for that price though." - Parsian Beer Bar Owner
Koch has been part of my youtube videos recently because his new beer business venture True Craft™ is sorta-but-not-really- an equity investment group and the sorta-but-not-really explanation for spinning off Arrogant Bastard Ale into it's own brewing company feel sneaky. The team at Stone Brewing want to be transparent and they are finding that when you're trying to play ball with the big beer barons it isn't easy to let the public into your true motivations.
Koch is an innovator; passionate, tireless and constantly standing on top of the box instead of outside of it. In the short sound clip below you can hear how fluid he is in defining the basics.
WHAT DOES CRAFT MEAN?
These are the people moving the beer revolution around the world, arrogant and self righteous as they may be, they make great beer. It's the beer that is going to inspire the general public to demand more flavor, more options and more accessibility. In whatever form (for now) I'm sold.
Let's progress beer culture!