Stone Brewing Co. has finally pulled the trigger on their on “East Coast” brewery expansion with their “announced plans to open a production brewery and expansive destination restaurant in Berlin, Germany.”
I am glad to see this move progress. It has been talked about for awhile and it will be very interesting to see how a really physical export of American craft beer fares in Europe.
“With an anticipated opening in late 2015 or early 2016, Stone is making an initial investment of more than $25 million to renovate a historic gasworks complex in Marienpark Berlin, turning the more than two acres (9,290 square meters) of indoor and outdoor space into a world-class operation that will welcome beer enthusiasts from around the globe. Stone will be the first American craft brewer to independently own and operate a brewery in Europe. Stone Brewing Co. – Berlin will encompass three components: a brewery and packaging hall, a Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens restaurant and a Stone Company Store.”
What remains unsaid is how much they will Deutsch-afy this outpost. Will they brew any maltier beers? Will they just do what they do in Escondido? Or somewhere in between? I hope they take this opportunity to do something different. Embed Stone in the community. One step could be to have a lead brewer from Germany who has some free reign in the Brewhouse.
“Additionally, the company launched an Indiegogo crowd-participation campaign today, so fans can participate in the venture by purchasing special collaboration beers to be brewed with award-winning, renowned craft brewers from around the world at Stone Brewing Co. – Berlin once the facility is operational.”
This is probably the weirdest part of the press release. Why is this part of it? I would not have used crowd sourcing at all. Need extra funds? Sell those same rewards for the same price via your own website. Add a certificate stating you are helping to build the new brewery and call it a day. This is because, I believe that crowd funding is for smaller entrepreneurs without access to conventional loans.
When all is said and done, this is a really positive step forward. My questions are more along the line of, how will this turn out rather than hyper-critical.