Stone to open a Brewery in Europe?

Greg Koch

This is a very exciting project for Steve and me…and all of us at Stone Brewing. We’re going to be learning quite a bit with this endeavor, first and foremost: Will we be welcome? We’re approaching this with no assumptions other than we’d like to consider any and all options (other than having our beers contract brewed by another brewery, as that’s simply not our style). Many of the countries of Europe have great brewing traditions. Some countries are also currently experiencing a bit of a resurgence of small, independent (and independent thinking) breweries. As anyone knows that has visited the Stone Brewing Co. and our attached restaurant – the Stone World Bistro & Gardens – where we have more Guest taps than we do of Stone, we enjoy sharing the camaraderie of great craft beers. We look forward to joining in the fight in Europe by doing our part to add to the growing trend towards unique, flavorful artisanal beers, as opposed to the mass-blandification efforts characterized by megabrand sameness!



  1. Cool and exciting news about Stone. Hope it works out for you. Belgium comes to mind :D. Would be fun to visit whenever I get over to Belgium and enjoy their craft.

  2. We have low corporation tax, cheap real estate, a growing craft beer scene, we speak English, use the euro and (crucially) we drink more beer than almost anyone else in Europe. Come to Ireland!

  3. yo greg,
    this would be banging! cos the price of stone in england is crazy!
    good luck!

  4. You international bastards! Good luck in your venture. I hope countries get into a fevered pitch that rivals the intensity and excitement of an Olympic bid for your new brewery.

  5. Congratulations!
    This is a historical first, and I can’t think of a better beer/brewery to do it! Best wishes!

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  7. Hey

    There’s a great brewing site with over 400 years of tradition going in the city Centre of Cork in Ireland , It’s the Old Beamish and Crawford Brewery on south main street ( Heineken bought it and closed it down just last year .

    Good site to consider , ( perfect brewing water in Cork too )

    Have a look into it .

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  10. If you guys need help bringing great, American styled flavorful beer to the Europeans, look me up! I’m always up for a chance of pace!

  11. Hi,
    Belgium invites you!
    Fresh Stone beers are more than welcome over here.
    Let your European dreams become reality.
    BTW: There’s some space left near Bruges!

  12. Where ever you go, if you go, you’re welcome (as long as the beers end up in Sweden of course ;) )!

    Don’t forget to sample the water before you decide where to go!

    And God Luck!

  13. It has to be Ireland, you will save a fortune with the low corporation tax and the recession has pushed down property prices and rent.

    You will also have a group of people who will provide a lot of free advertising for you (myself included) by both word of mouth and Beer blogging as well as having a membership of over 500 Craft beer lovers.

  14. Ridiculous and uneducated comments about France that you let released in UT this morning. Pitiful marketing! Do not bring that guy with you anywhere in Europe, they will think that George Bush is back. (For his info: France has legislated a 35-hour workweek. However, most professionals still work 40+ hours per week and strikes take place all over Europe).
    France is probably the best place to open an American brewery. 1st tourist destination in the world, 5th economy in the world and the most open-minded country for welcoming American entrepreneurs. The value added tax, which is applied on a range of items in restaurants, was reduced to 5.5 percent from 19.6 percent last Summer. The new rate is the lowest possible under European rules. There are 180,000 restaurants in France, employing almost 700,000 people making it one of the most important employers in the economy.
    The French love beer as much as they love wine. You should get in touch with the Chamber of Commerce of Paris if you ever change your mind. I would consider Normandy, Brittany (Rennes or Nantes), or Paris.

  15. Yikes, tough time to invest in dollars offshore isn’t it? You can’t get that many Euros for your dollar these days.

  16. Hey, that is FANtastic news. I admit, Stone is my favorite brew. If you need a scout, look me up. My passport is ready. ;) Peace, Rich

  17. leo barendse
    / Reply

    Europe , are you crazy with all the regulatory issues, labor unions etc, high cost of transportation and competition notwithstanding.
    go for Brazil or China , these are the countries where a large middle class is being created in the next decade.

    my 2 cents

  18. I loved that last comment. “Please I got some room in my backyard!, well unless your like a king somewhere.”

  19. Chris Starke
    / Reply

    Very exciting news! Wishing everyone at Stone big success with this venture!

  20. Great idea, great vision, if you guys make your decision as well as you have built Stone in San Diego County, then I am sure it will be amazing.

  21. It would be quite the job to go global seeing as you’re just ever the smallest bit national. But I support this challenge and wish you the best! Still though where would you get all your ingredients? The AMAZING taste of what you make now will change with what’s available over seas.

  22. Mike Fry
    / Reply

    That sounds great… and if you have another Stone Wall Party, perhaps I can get my name on a stone over seas too! Congratulations!

  23. Frank Keppeler
    / Reply

    I come from an old German brewery family,suggest S. Germany. I even know of a site that’s possibly available.

  24. Andrew Tucker
    / Reply

    You guys should set up a east coast (US) brewing operation first. Here in Michigan, it can still be a task to find a variety of Stone brew. I’d buy stock in that! CHEERS!

  25. Wil Neill
    / Reply

    As per the French…
    My wife and I celebrated New Year 1999/2000 in Paris.
    We have an New Year experience that will likely never be equaled in our lives.
    Take a stab at speaking French and allow for some awkwark moments and you may find that the Parisians are very warm people.
    There will always be slobs(we’ve meet a few) yet over all the Parisians were most welcoming.
    Wil and Helen

  26. Ed Gallo
    / Reply

    Wow go for it. BTW, I’m all over that scout gig. Marketing as well as Chris can stay here or I can be your driver. Love to try the Autobahn, petal to the metal.

  27. Jeff Schafer
    / Reply

    I think it’s a rocking idea! I hope it works out for you, Steve and Greg. Keep up the good work – your beer and brewery are amazing.

  28. Pam Matthews
    / Reply

    Maybe you could partner with one of the existing breweries, get your sea legs before you jump right in, fellas. Shepherd Neame Brewery is a good sized operation or the smaller Westerham Brewery or Larkham Brewery (all in southeast UK, no more than an hour away by train to London).

    Greg got Lasek?!

  29. grissol21
    / Reply


    There’s a great brewing site with over 400 years of tradition going in the city Centre of Cork in Ireland , It’s the Old Beamish and Crawford Brewery on south main street ( Heineken bought it and closed it down just last year .

    Good site to consider , ( perfect brewing water in Cork too )”

    true that, it was because Beamish and Crawford were brewing there beer cheaper than Heineken,they were the brewers of foster here which they could sell for on average 1.40euro cheaper than Heineken. so the bought the competition out. there is a large appreciation for craft brews in Ireland (some say all brews) and the availability of high class ingredients is very abundant. please give us some consideration. if not there are plenty of site around the city or indeed around the country for that matter.

  30. Come to Holland :-) There’s already an American bar in Amsterdam called the Beer Temple! I’m a big Stone fan :-)


  31. Got an email from a representative at the French Embassy here in the US, asking to meet to discuss possibly locating in France. Interesting. Our RFP is not finished yet (I estimate about 4-6 weeks), so I suggested it might be best for the conversation to pick back up at that time.

    On another note, I appreciate the suggestions to possibly partner with another brewery, however at this time we’re going down the path of creating our own independent brewery.


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  33. Stone should go to the west coast of Australia!

    Margaret River. Barrel time.

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  35. Well, being Irish, I’ll have to say Ireland too, for all the pragmatic business reasons TheBeerNut mentions above. As I live in Germany, I’d also say north-west Germany (Muenster, say), just to give the brewing scene here a kick up the arsch :D

  36. Congrats Greg!! So exciting to hear! So proud of you guys :) Can’t wait to get home & visit ya’ll ~Lauli

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  39. Alan Craw
    / Reply

    Fantastic news! The market in the UK is wide open for good brews. Beers such as yours will have no problem. After the brewery, the pub. I look forward to it.
    You will be very welcome here.
    Alan Craw
    CAMRA public affairs oficer, Chesterfield, Derbyshire

  40. Right here in the UK would seem to me to be the perfect destination if you’re thinking of opening up a brewery in Europe. Organisations like CAMRA (of which I’m a member) and a resurgence of interest in craft brewing (Take Brewdog for example) all show that there’s a market for your style of beer over here.

    Plus, it’d make me a VERY happy bunny, I wouldn’t have to keep carrying very heavy suitcases home from San Diego every time I travel over there ;P

  41. David M. Erickson
    / Reply

    I know you have looked at many locations for a eurobrewery. Still, I think you should check out Barcelona Spain. I live there many years ago so, I know it has changed but, just like Stone Brewery Barna is unique. It is artistic and just plain fun. Dam
    Brewery is the local brew but, there is room for Stone in Barcelona. Don’t overlook the possibilities. You have the best product on the market. Few if any craft breweries can compare with you. The independent spirit of Barcelona is just like

  42. Nathan H
    / Reply

    I think this is very exciting. I didn’t know about stone beers until I came to Virginia. Which is odd because where I went to buy beer there were beers from all over the world. I am a Huge fan of Stone brewery beers now. I think they are worthy of Europe. They will give them a run for their money. Great stuff comes from stone brewery.

  43. please dont forget to respect the Germans…that is where your inspiration is coming from.

  44. I wrote this before i saw the david hasselhof joke..hahah. France lighten up, dont be so sensitive.

  45. Just returned from a 3 week trip in Wales. Incentives for inward investment to Wales are some of the most significant in the UK. You might even find a spot next to one of the 600 castles (and that’s in an area the size of Massachusetts!)

    I visited some of the craft brewers in Wales – they are mostly smaller, and pride themselves in being part of CAMRA.

    You might consider a location like Wales, where you have the opportunity to help define the market for a nation – cool idea?

    I have worked with the Welsh Assembly and International Business Wales and I will forward this to the people who work with inward investment.

    Need a tour of the country? and some inside scoop on Welshness from a guy who went to high school at Orange Glen in Escondido? That’d be me. :-) Just visited your brewery on Monday – really nice tour.

    Iechyd Da! and good luck,

  46. Please come to Ireland (Cork, in particular, but I could suck it up if you opted for Dublin) for all the reasons those who have already posted. Give a shout if you have more questions about Ireland or if you plan to drop by in the future! Absolutely thrilled you are considering this,


  47. Just to add a final thought as I forgot–you should investigate retrofitting the old Beamish and Crawford Brewery in the city center–recently closed down as Beamish Stout (a Cork tradition) was bought out by Heineken. That’s all!


  48. Pomaikai
    / Reply

    Fantastic! I’m currently enlisted in the US Navy, originally from Hawaii and now stationed in Sicily, Italy and I’ve heard so many good things about these fine tasting beers. I’ve failed on an epic journey to get my hands on this fine brewski and to also safely escort it back to the island of sicily for other sailors stationed here to enjoy as well; who i must say are mutating into zombies from their lack of stone brews and cravings for this delectible treat.

    I wish you all the luck on expanding to Europe! Italy would be highly appreciated.

    ps…these sailors are better as arrogant bastards than what they are now; they need their brew!

    aloha. ciao. sincerely.

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  50. Excuse, I can help nothing. But it is assured, that you will find the correct decision. Do not despair.
    I agree with you, thanks for an explanation. As always all ingenious is simple.
    You could not be mistaken?
    I hope, you will come to the correct decision.
    Rather, rather

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  53. If in europe, it should be in eastern europe to have quality and low production price. I drunk stone while was in the us. Love it and will love it even more if it comes to Bulgaria.

  54. Ochsenblut
    / Reply

    Modena, Italy! Beer is becoming fashionable among the Italians. The craft brewing scene has really taken off, much like America’s beer revolution of the 80′s. Italian are drinking Belgian and German beers and copying the style in their brew pubs whilst doing away with the ubiquitous pale lagers on offer. We are craving good beer, but producing very little of it ourselves.

    Good beer is expensive here! Stone can make a higher quality product at a MUCH lower price. The popularity of Stone would explode in sunny Italy!

  55. Oh good, a bunch of american jingoists are bringing their primitive beer to the old world. Europe has a brewing tradition that’s thousands of years old, stone has one that’s 15. What in the hell could stone possibly teach them? How to make unbalanced mass-produced IPAs with mouth shattering IBU, muted malt character and no yeast character at all? I’m sure Europe is just screaming for more American assembly lines and gutter palates.

  56. Kristy R
    / Reply

    Please come to Europe!!! My husband and I moved from So.Cal to France, and Stone IPA is one of the things we miss the most!!!

  57. Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your site. You have some really great posts and I believe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an email if interested. Thank you!

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  60. MariaMoon
    / Reply

    Congratulations all of this rare event that happens once in a hundred years!

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