I’m Greg Koch, co-founder & executive chairman of Stone Brewing, the 9th largest craft brewer in the U.S. A passionate entrepreneur, beer geek, newbie philosophy nerd, and ex-wanna be musician. I enjoy traveling the world (55 countries so far) and building friendships all around it by sharing great beer. Since 1996, proud to say Stone Brewing has challenged the status quo, brewed outstanding, unique beers and poked a bit of fun at industrial big beer (and now hard seltzers) along the way!

The new documentary “The Beer Jesus From America” ( Amazon Prime ) chronicles my tumultuous journey to becoming the first American craft brewer to build, own and operate a brewery in Europe. The German tabloids dubbed me “Beer Jesus from America,” which isn’t a title I gravitate towards, but I suppose is understandable considering that I’ve preached the word of craft beer throughout the world for a couple decades now. Check out the film trailer here So, my brothers and sisters, let’s share some brews and talk about the craft beer revolution! Ask me anything!

Proof: https://i.redd.it/ev7fiwucu8x41.jpg

Cheers,

-Greg.

Comments: 206 • Responses: 55  • Date: 

darthredford29 karma

Hey Greg! Stone Pasadena regular here. Love your beer!

Craft beer has exploded in the last few years. Even before our current pandemic situation, there have been talks about a craft beer bubble burst. How do you picture this playing out? What do you predict a post-covid beer scene looking?

StoneGreg24 karma

Rock on. Thanks for being a Stone Pasadena regular!

Yeah, in the topsy-turvy COVID world, there is definitely going to be some fallout. Hard to predict of course, as I simply don’t have the data. No doubt that some small businesses (not limited to breweries of course...restaurants, shops, nail salons, you name it) that were operating on the edge are going to be knocked over that edge by COVID. Some may even see it as a time to make a graceful(?) exit. It’s a giant RESET button to be certain. I wish the best to everyone out there.

However, the good news is that beer drinkers will still have PLENTY of awesome choices. I’m certain of that.

StoneGreg25 karma

Thanks for the questions everyone! I’ve enjoyed the conversation and managed to only dip to feeding one troll. Hope you’ve enjoyed the time and my responses, yes?

Cheers and until next time! -Greg.

Lord_of_the_poop2 karma

I know this AMA is over but I had a question about a type of hops that for some reason tastes like bubblegum and if you have experienced this? What is the hops and why does it taste like bubblegum?

noxlux3 karma

Mosaic can have a bubblegum taste. It’s a panoply of flavors, I mix it into all of my beers as it supports and brings out the flavors of other hops.

Lord_of_the_poop2 karma

Thank you

StoneGreg11 karma

I could also be the result of some yeast strains. There’s some Belgian yeasts that give off some very distinctive bubblegum esters!

PR3DA7oR20 karma

What's the best beer currently on the market that's not made by you?

StoneGreg72 karma

How long do we have! LOL. An unanswerable question only because there’s so many awesome beers out there. The search is neverending. However, as a local San Diego ‘go to’ I will happy grab an AleSmith .394 when I see it!

fermentedradical18 karma

I love your big West Coast-style DIPAs like Ruination and Enjoy By. Any chance we'll see Ruination return to 6 packs in cans/bottles or more frequent Enjoy By releases?

StoneGreg19 karma

Well, I love your taste in beer!

Stone Ruination IPA continues to be available in 12oz 6pk bottles. Use find.stonebrewing.com to locate nearest you.

I love the idea of more frequent Stone Enjoy By IPA releases. We respond directly to demand. If people want it, we’re happy to brew it!

chicklette17 karma

Hi Greg! Amateur brewer here:

Xocoveza is hands down my favorite beer, and that's coming from a true west coast hop head. Is there any way you'd be willing to share a scaled down version of the recipe (or any of your recipes) for home brewers?

Also I really love your w00t stout and look forward to the release every year. Any hints on what you might be thinking of for the next version?

Thank you!

StoneGreg21 karma

Super cool. Thanks! I’m with you...but time hophead, yet love Xocoveza. Turns out while I’m a metalhead, I also like the jazz greats and world music. So, I get it.

That’s a great idea on releasing the recipe for Xocoveza. I’m sure we will at some point, but not sure if it’s time yet. I’ll check with my team.

On w00tstout...another great question. Haven’t started thinking about the 2021 version yet, but I’ll ping Wil and Drew and brainstorm on it with them. I think it’s time for 2021 to possibly be a ‘variation’ year!

bgbrewer5 karma

Hit up Chris Banker, San Diego homebrewer who is the original author of that recipe. He doesn’t get the credit he deserves for that beer.

StoneGreg10 karma

Just rewrote the back label for the 2020 Xocoveza release. Chris got a full nod once again on it. He deserves it and has expressed nothing but happiness about the collaboration.

partyforsorrying13 karma

It's been a challenging year or two for Stone Brewing - layoffs, selling off Berlin, and the trademark battle with MillerCoors and Keystone.

I'm curious how those things play into your resiliency, or lack thereof, during this pandemic.

I'm also curious how the lawsuit in particular is impacting the operation right now when financial resilience is so critical. Is it proving to be too costly? Is the potential reward, if you win, going to impact your position in any material way?

StoneGreg21 karma

Resiliency is a basic requirement of entrepreneurship. I’m a fan of the stoic philosophers (although I lived my life that way maybe somewhat naturally to my personality, I’ve recently starting reading more on the subject). I try to admit and acknowledge and be open about challenges and failures. It’s part of trying, and if you don’t try, you don’t do much in this world. Trying means failing sometimes.

We are sticking with the lawsuit. We believe we are right, and we will continue to fight and protect our territory. Trial currently set for October as has been reported. Can’t talk much more about that as you might guess.

partyforsorrying1 karma

I think I get that - but my question was about financial resiliency. Layoffs and closures while a prolonged legal battle plays out might be hard for some people effected by those decisions to reconcile. Especially if the pandemic requires you to make more decisions in that vein.

I'm curious where you draw the line between being maybe right about something, and taking care of your people.

StoneGreg11 karma

There is no line there. Sounds like there’s a possible misperception that some of those things are related. Taking care of people is by far #1. The layoffs this year are COVID related, as you might guess. We are looking forward to firing back up all the engines once it’s safe to do so! In the meantime we released news today to our team about a fund we created to assist those laid off in greatest need.

OGImmy9 karma

How bad do you think the current pandemic will accelerate the closure of craft breweries? Also, how do you think all this may affect your breweries, particularly the Richmond location? (Hello from VA!)

StoneGreg13 karma

Sorta answered as best I can in my answer to a similar question above/below.

For Stone, it’s been rough (like, for EVERYONE), but we’re going to survive OK. Looking forward to firing back up on all cylinders (again, LIKE EVERYONE).

Shout out back to VA!

poopsmitherson8 karma

I think I remember hearing Mitch Steele do a podcast when he still worked for you and mentioned your yeast strain was proprietary. Is that true, and if so, what's the closest strain that's commercially available?

Also, your old standard IPA (I guess version 1.0 now?) was probably my favorite on the market that was always available. I know you released the pale ale recipe, but I can't find the IPA recipe. Is the IPA recipe available anywhere?

StoneGreg11 karma

I don’t think we’ve released the Stone IPA recipe, but couldn’t be certain it’s not out there!

The yeast strain is the same as Stone Pale Ale, so if you’ve got that recipe.... 😏

iliketopostlinks8 karma

Is being under the scrutiny of the beer public for everything you say and do or even things you don't say or do as awful as it looks, and if so, how do you maintain proper mental and emotional health being what is in all reality, a polarizing public figure?

StoneGreg22 karma

Yeah, as an introverted beer geek, it can get a bit weird. I’ve gotten semi-used to it. Truth is, I’m not nearly as polarizing as some people think, but the most polarizing things are what some folks choose to focus on. Unfortunately, polarization is the currency of the world today.

For mental health, Stoicism is great. You can’t control what other people say or do, you can only control how you choose to react to it. I recommend the book The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck. Solid read. Real perspectives on philosophy and psychology written in a conversational ‘today’ style. Mark Manson is the author. Great blogger too. Ryan Holiday for The Daily Stoic.

Chtorrr8 karma

What is the very best cheese?

StoneGreg20 karma

That is the most awesome question ever. I don’t know the answer, but I’m on a lifelong journey to find out. Epoisse (did I spell that right?) is right up my alley. Years ago at the Salone del Gusto in the Via del Formaggio section I discovered a tobacco-wrapped cheese that was heaven. Gave you a buzz too!

recycledtrousers7 karma

What is your favorite alcoholic drink aside from beer?

Or are you a beer purist when it comes to your beverage selection ?

StoneGreg19 karma

Definitely a beer purist, but not a beer onlyiest (that’s now a word). I’m a lover of big, bold reds. Napa, Piedmont, Barossa Valley...and many many others. I drink wine an average of, I’d guess, 1x per week. Spirits of some sort 1-2x per month. Guilty pleasure spot is held for Jäger!

I’m actually a partner in a Napa wine company. We just started CANNING the most awesome Napa Cab you can imagine. Pure Ugly is the name.

Frankismydeadcat1 karma

How are you ensuring your can line stays clean enough to package beer after that? I imagine it’s a wild yeast party up in there....

StoneGreg3 karma

Completely different business. The canned wine happens up in NorCal. It’s done at a wine facility and not at a Stone facility. Check out the wine and let me know what you think!

UncleBeerNut7 karma

Quick question. How do you get your pants on over those huge balls? Asking for a friend.

StoneGreg13 karma

Easy to get ‘em on. It’s getting of the couch and going out the door that makes the diff.

glymeme6 karma

Do all of your IPAs use the same house yeast strain? If so, with NEIPAs being as popular as they are, are you looking to develop a house strain that’s more like London ale 3 or the like to use on certain brews?

StoneGreg11 karma

No, not all use the same strains. Through our different breweries, especially our 10bbl brewhouses, but not limited to them, we use and experiment with a wide range. For each beer, you’ll find either back text or info on our website that will usually talk about details such as that. We leave it to our innovation team to pick the best yeast for the recipe. Recently, we’ve been enjoying some double IPAs brewed with a Kveik yeast!

mmm_toasty6 karma

Hey Greg! Thanks for doing this AMA. How do you feel about sours?

StoneGreg22 karma

FUCKING LOVE THEM. Oh, sorry, was I shouting? YES I WAS.

In the early 90’s I got ahold of VHS(!) tapes of Michael Jackson’s THE BEER HUNTER series on Discovery. I fell in love with the episode on the Belgian lambics. Been in love ever since.

creatureofthewheel856 karma

Hey Greg! Fan from NJ and homebrewer. Always loved your stuff, especially enter night as of late!

My question is how many beers do you have daily? Do you off set it with an active life style?

StoneGreg20 karma

Thanks! This maybe gives me a chance to remind everyone that the so-called ‘beer belly’ is a complete myth. The American Medical Association has said so. Know who wants you to believe that myth? The big beer companies so they can sell you the watered down stuff at the same price. There, said it! 😛

I drink, on average, 2-3 beers daily. Sometimes big strong ones (then, less volume), sometimes not so intense one (then, sometimes, more volume, sometimes not). I’ve been using COVID lockdown to get in even better shape. Eating my veggies and exercising. Continuing to enjoy my beers. This 56 yo beer guy is currently in rockin shape. 🤘

Socalfrankie-6 karma

What did you learn from your experience in Germany and where do you want to expand next?

StoneGreg14 karma

The “what I learned” could fill volumes. A lot is covered in my blog post “Too Big Too Bold Too Soon.”

I suppose the main thing I learned is the truth of Epictetus’ “You cannot teach a man what he believes he already knows” (apologies if I paraphrased).

For “next” well, there is no next right now. Just working on getting through this current now. And the fact that you can use phrases like “this current now” and everyone knows exactly what you mean.

I see the next couple years being focused on HOME. 🤘

junkNug6 karma

What is it that traditional styles of European brewing (Belgian, German, etc.) do best?

StoneGreg13 karma

They’re best when they are 1) non-industrialized versions (ex: most German’s...and everyone else...don’t know that most of what they drink are poorer quality/character versions of the authentic stuff that’s available but largely ignored as it’s not ‘cheap’ or might be a little more challenging on the flavor spectrum), and when they don’t get too ‘stuck’ one the perceived traditions. Meaning, that everything, at some point wasn’t traditional...and then it was. So, someone had to push an envelope and develop new styles and new ways. That needs to continue, even in...and maybe especially in...traditional concepts. Some great traditions of the world have been lost due to allowing those traditions to simply get too musty. (Mmmm...love me some musty traditional Belgian guezue though! 😄)

cobaltcollapse6 karma

Who came up with the Arrogant Bastard ale? As in, the name, the "you're not worthy", the words on the back of the bottle telling me I'm a bitch that probably will not enjoy the drink (i enjoy it very much).

StoneGreg8 karma

Sounds like you’re among the worthy! Funny that some articles have called Arrogant Bastard Ale “the beer that insults it’s customers.” Couldn’t be further from the truth...it insults those that DON’T like it! 😝

Anyway, the beer wrote the label and the slogans. It used me as it’s tool. Yes, I said tool (insert Beavis /Butt-Head chuckle). Steve edited.

Dippies4mytendies5 karma

How do you balance making and drinking good beer and not getting fat or liver disease?

StoneGreg10 karma

Easy. Exercise. Very very very little processed foods. Nearly no commodity foods. Lots of veggies and when I eat meat it’s strictly non-CAFO. No sodas, ever. No commodity sweats, ever. Few sweets at all (even homemade). I drink all the beer I want. Liver disease would possibly come from alcoholism (I steer shy of that level of consumption), or other medical issues. There’s lots of myths out there. Just because they’re repeated a lot doesn’t make them true.

foxsable5 karma

Woot Stout is one of my all time favorite beers, and one of the beers I am collecting the bottles for each year if I can. You guys are going to keep making it right? Even if it is challenging to get here in Florida.

StoneGreg6 karma

That’s the plan! Ultimately, it’s up to people to decide if they want to buy it. So far, yes, but demand for big imperial stouts like that have definitely waned over recent years.

recycledtrousers5 karma

What ingredient do you think are 100% unacceptable to brew beer with?

StoneGreg10 karma

Seriously...crappy ingredients. If an ingredient represents something that’s high quality for that category, then you can make art with it. I’m admittedly not excited about the trend to take name-brand commodity junk food and add it to a beer recipe. Sure, I get that it appeals to the nostalgic inner 13 year old at time, but I for one have happily left Twizzlers permanently behind in my life. Call me a snob, for if that’s snobbery, I don’t mind. 🤘🤣

tecos2055 karma

I was a huge fan of the annual Ruinten and it disappeared. Was it a demand thing and is it coming back?

StoneGreg14 karma

Stone RuinTen IPA was only ever a special limited release. Will it return again? I think you’re going to be happy soon....

fl3urdelis5 karma

What’s your favorite style of beer to drink and/or make?

StoneGreg11 karma

The classic question! My refrigerator can definitively tell you that with all the time I spend with the door open surveying and deciding “hmmm...what am I in the mood for” it would seem I don’t have a clear favorite. Same goes for the way I stand with my arms crossed looking at the beer menu when at a bar. I bounce probably mainly between IPAs and sours, but would be super bummed to limit to that! Been drinking the heck out of our Enter Night Pilsner in the past year, and also our newer Stone Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager this year.

RVABizSenseMike4 karma

  • What style of beer would you like to see more of in the craft market?

  • How're the World Gardens & Bistros handling the pandemic? Is the Richmond one still in the works?

StoneGreg6 karma

With the crazy and awesome (and crazy awesome) proliferation of styles available today, I don’t think I have an answer that’s more imaginative than the collective imagination of all the craft brewers out there!

Our restaurants are closed until safe to reopen. Curbside To Go, or delivery is currently possible.

barfpukebarf4 karma

Any chance of Sawyer's Tripel making a return? It is excellent

StoneGreg10 karma

I loved that beer too. There are SO MANY beers from our history that I’d love it if they could make a comeback. That beer has an extra special place in our hearts. I cry hard every time I read the back label. It’s been a few years since I have, yet I’m just getting all the feels right now by even thinking about it and Sawyer. Thanks for the kind words my friend.

terrainflight4 karma

I’m a huge Stone fan. I cut my teeth on Arrogant Bastard and credit it with getting me into beer. Do you feel like Stone has strayed from the big, aggressive beers that made you popular? I see things like your Mexican lager and feel like it’s not the same Stone anymore. I miss the old days.

StoneGreg17 karma

Thanks! I think. 😏 Are the beers that you like from Stone still being produced...Arrogant Bastard Ale, Stone IPA, Stone Ruination IPA, etc. etc. Of course they are! So, you’ve not ‘lost’ anything. There’s a little of the “their new album sucks, and now I don’t like their old stuff any more either” syndrome. I get it. If Stone Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager ain’t your thing (and I didn’t think it was my thing either...until I found myself drinking it often and discovered “well, I guess it is my thing”), then how about the three double IPAs we’ve released in the last six months...any of them float your boat? Regardless, thanks for being a fan. That’s why we do it!

terrainflight6 karma

Most of my favorites are still produced, but may be just hard to get where I am. Although I haven’t seen Ruination in a LONG time. I still like a lot of your current offerings, but it seems like a lot of your current IPAs ( Ripper, Scorpion Bowl, Go-To, Delicious, etc.) are pretty similar and none really stand out. I didn’t mean to turn this into a criticism, or beer review. Keep doing what you’re doing, I’m going to keep drinking them.

Edit: Completely forgot Fear.Movie.Lions - you guys knocked it out of the park with that one.

StoneGreg3 karma

Thanks! All good here. I got the positive vibes going on. Truth is the Stone Ruination IPA isn’t the seller it once was. People want newer stuff. It’s the way of the world and the drive for the shiny new object. It’s OK, because while we sometimes lose an old favorite, we often gain new ones (you mentioned five, so THAT’s cool!). 😁

TheBuzzTrack3 karma

After living in San Diego county for almost my entire life, I had to move out of state three years ago for a new job. I usually visit the major retail chains like Target and Wal-Mart that carry groceries and alcohol when I stock up on food and drinks. Does Stone Brewing have any short term or long term plan to distribute the full line of the year round and seasonal beers throughout the country at the major retailers? Sometimes, the specialty retail stores in the area will carry the seasonal items, but it can be a crap shoot on their inventory of the specific Stone products being available in stock when I get there.

StoneGreg4 karma

Thanks! Many chain and independent retailers carry our beers in different parts of the country. find.stonebrewing.com is your source for what’s available near you. Hope that helps!

Tjshoema3 karma

How's business?

StoneGreg5 karma

Like the last 24 years, business is always a challenge. Unlike any other time in the past 24 years, right now it’s a challenge for everyone...ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Sorry to yell, but yelling can help a little sometimes these days.

Outdoorelvis3 karma

Hi Greg! My wife and I met you when we attended the pre-opening event for Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station. A beautiful place and was my weekly hangout when we lived in San Diego. I would like to thank you again for the invitation. We now live in the Pacific North West (north of Seattle) and while there is a good local beer selection here, nothing comes close to the quality and class of Stone Brewing. Any plans of expanding up here? Please, please, please! Keep up the great beer!

StoneGreg3 karma

Wow. Super kind! You’ve moved to a wonderful, beautiful area. Sorry, no, no plans to open a facility up there (although it’d give me a reason to visit more often, which I’d love). You should be able to get our beer regularly up there. If you have difficulty finding, find.stonebrewing.com will assist!

cc583 karma

What is the best advice you can give to a young entrepreneur seeking to start a craft brewing business?

StoneGreg7 karma

Do it YOUR way. Read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck that I just mentioned in another answer.

StoneGreg6 karma

Oh, and follow Seth Godin religiously.

CoffeeAndBeer693 karma

Hey Greg.

How does it feel knowing that an entire brand that you've tried to build for yourself as Beer Jesus is ripped entirely off the back of Phil at Modern Times Beer, the man originally known around your homebase of San Diego as Beer Jesus? While you say it "isn’t a title (you) gravitate towards," you certainly didn't seem to have much interest in telling the German press that the moniker already belonged to someone back home that you share the industry with. I'll hang up and listen.

StoneGreg8 karma

LOL. I know and love Phil. A German tabloid called The Berliner Kurier put me on the cover with the sarcastic headline calling me Der Bier Jesus Aus Amerika. I agree that it’s totally fucked that they had the audacity to do that without consulting Phil first. Or me. They didn’t talk to me for that article. The filmmaker decided to name the film after that headline. I’ve shaved my head a couple times in recent years, and have it much shorter right now. No one calls me Beer Jesus. No one. I don’t care if you do, or don’t. Your controversy is of your own design, and not relevant to the people actually involved. 😇

m_c_zero2 karma

Stone came out in strong opposition of lagers initially but now even Stone is producing lagers. Just jumping on trends or a true change of heart?

StoneGreg7 karma

I’ve never been in opposition of lagers. That’s a huge misperception! If we’re in ‘opposition’ to something, it’s the industrialization of beer...aka, intentionally brewing cheaply to the lowest common denominator.

True, our initial direction was in the realm of big bold ales. Well, if you don’t count Stone Heat-Seaking Wheat (released in our second year) or Stone Session Ale (released in our second year, and again in our third year).

Today, we have a stronger ability to innovate and create new beers than ever before. We had ONE brewhouse from 1996-2013 and we used it to make our core beers. Wasn’t a ton of ability for experimentation (although we still did a fair amount!) When we opened the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens - Liberty Station and got our first 10bbl brewhouse, we gained the ability to do a lot of small batches. Now we’ve got Stone Napa, a great pilot system added to the Escondido brewery, and Stone Richmond (home of Stone ///Fear.Movie.Lions for one example), all of which bring a ton of creativity and wide range of stylistic choices to the fore. I for one love it!

Kalkaline2 karma

Do you have a "white whale" beer you've been trying to chase down?

Also thank you so much for sharing the Stone Pale Ale recipe on your site. It was my first all grain homebrewing and it turned out fantastic.

StoneGreg5 karma

My biggest was the Cantillon / Akkurat collab in which they used noble rot grapes. Had a chance to share the bottle that I’d talked Sven out of years back when Jean Van Roy visited. I pulled it out and his eyes got WIDE with the funniest “How in the HELL did you get THAT?!” expression. Made the beer even tastier, if that was even possible. I’d LOVE another bottle! It may literally be the best beer I’ve ever had in my life. No hyperbole.

spiderzork2 karma

Do you thing you were to arrogant when starting up Stone Berlin, not listening to the locals etc? Would would you do different if you could do it again?

StoneGreg4 karma

Arrogant, no. Not the right word. Idealistic dreamer? Yes.

The true unfortunate thing is that there were no locals to listen to. People in Berlin (and a lot...most?...of Germany, and the world) don’t talk about beer like we do. If this was an AMA in Germany, and we took out all the non-native German expats...would anyone even join the conversation?

Number of bars or restaurants in Berlin with 10 or more taps when I first went there in 2010? None? One or two? Today, it’s maybe 25? Grand Rapids, with 1/10 the population has many many multiples more. San Diego County with 1 million LESS people than Berlin has more than 1000 bars and restaurants with 10 beers or more on tap. It’s a different conversation. As in, here, we have one. There, not so much. See the Beer Jesus From America, or read my Too Big Too Bold Too Soon blog post. Way too much to cover here.

spiderzork2 karma

Will definitely check out the documentary! The last time went there I did go to some great craft beer bars. But, as you say, most of the people at the craft beer oriented bars were expats. Both the bartenders and the customers. Did you look at any other locations before choosing Berlin as the location the brewery? E.g. there are great craft beer scenes in both Denmark and Sweden.

StoneGreg2 karma

We ultimately looked at more than 100 locations in 20 countries. It was a big search. One of the main mistakes I made was falling in love with the old industrial facility. It was (and is) really beautiful. Yes, there are great craft scenes in most European countries. Germany still lags. As Epictetus said, you cannot teach a man what he thinks he already knows.

salmoriarty2 karma

Hey, Greg,

I did the tour for a buddy's bachelor party over 10 years ago. One of the best times I've had on a brewery tour. Do you guys still use the bottler that was used in the movie Strange Brew or was the tour guide pulling our leg?

Thanks and keep up the great work. Arrogant Bastard will always be one of my favorites.

StoneGreg3 karma

That was a true story! I’d actually forgotten about that part of our lore. We upgraded our bottling machine ten or more years ago, so you might have been on one of the last tours to see it!

mydung57862 karma

I am an American immigrant in who opened a small brewpub in Argentina. I’ve heard rumors that at one point Stone was being produced down here but haven’t seen any evidence to back it up. Is that some Argentine fairy tail or did this really happen? If so what made you leave the market?

StoneGreg3 karma

It’s...drumroll....true! It was a JV with some local guys that ultimately did not work out. The built a licensed brewpub location. Cool place, but the timing (just before the financial crisis there) and other things led to it failing. Bummer. Was a cool place. Loved my visits and I want to come back! Where’s your place? How’s it going?

garysnailz2 karma

Hey Greg!

Long time patron of the original location (Escondido). Beautiful place and great food if y'all never been. Most of everything is grown on their own farm.

My question: I love your beer, although, my favorite style is hef. Specifically Bavarian hef. I haven't really come across any that you guys produce but maybe I have been missing out on it this whole time. Is there something similar you can recommend or have made in the past that can possibly be brought back?

StoneGreg3 karma

Hey there! Thanks for the good word.

I TOTALLY respect the Bavarian Hef style. Really truly. I just don’t really like it though. I actually judged the category at a competition a few years back. So, I’m probably not going to be in the chorus for big Stone release (and also, what would our ‘voice’ even be for that style?). That being said, our brewers at Stone World Bistro & Gardens - Liberty Station and Stone Napa get to brew whatever they damn well please. The creative license is important. Many awesome Stone beers have come from those breweries. They’ve brewed Bavarian Hefs at least a couple times I think. I’m sure they were excellent!

316nuts2 karma

what's the kitty's name?!

no one took the bait on gardening..so.. whatcha growing?

StoneGreg3 karma

Ah! I answered a similar question a few mins ago. Sorry I missed yours and STOKED you asked!

To answer further...lots of tomatoes (soon!), peppers (of course!), beans, salad and cooking greens, onions, squash, roselle, amaranth, cukes and more.

zoinks2 karma

Was Kettle & Stone so close to your brand name that you had to sue their pants off?

StoneGreg2 karma

No suing happened. No Cease & Desist was sent. It was only a polite phone call. All pants were kept on.

Blue5252 karma

Hi Greg,

Could you comment on your initial vision behind Stone Farms and Stone Berlin, and elaborate on why they didn't pan out? Were both experimental, or was there a specific thing you think the Stone team missed or mis-calculated? We actually met at the grand opening of Stone Farms, and I was very excited about that.

Love your beer and locations! Thanks.

StoneGreg2 karma

In short: unrealistic idealism. However, that’s too short to really get at it. The documentary The Beer Jesus From America and my blog post Too Big Too Bold Too Soon will tell the story of Stone Berlin in a little more depth.

CrumpetMuncher2 karma

*tap tap* this thing still on?

As a guy who LOVED your beer before being diagnosed with celiacs.... thank you SO MUCH for Stone Delicious IPA.

Finding it was like finding a long lost friend.

StoneGreg3 karma

That’s super cool to hear. Love stories like that. I love it too (although I don’t have a problem with gluten personally). So...it’s a beer for all of us! Stoke.

untilitkillsyou2 karma

How do you like Mitch Steele's brewery in Georgia/Virginia? Have you tried much of his new stuff? He's doing a pretty informative live streams on Fridays, have you watched any? He speaks of Stone so highly, its very pleasant to view.

StoneGreg3 karma

I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying some of Mitch’s beers, but not yet had the oppy to visit. I look forward to and will make a point when possible! Didn’t know about his live stream, so will endeavor to check it out, thanks for the tip! Mitch speaks highly of Stone? Well, Stone (and me!) speak highly of Mitch! Love that dude.

anonmarmot2 karma

For your Escondido location are you guys ever going to do half pours? I really love half pours and I don't mind paying more per oz for them. They let me try a bunch of different stuff without getting drunk. You may have started allowing that but the last time I was there I was told they weren't doing that.

StoneGreg3 karma

You bet we do. Well, we do either 8oz or 10oz (I’m forgetting off the top of my head right now since the last time I got one seems like, you know, a lifetime ago). At any rate, we offer smaller pours, yes.

thenewestboom1 karma

I live in Sacramento near the Stone's Brewing Casino. A casino out in Rancho use to do a weekly free Hold 'Em tournament and I remember it being absolutely PACKED. There was a dealer tip buying for extra chips, so the dealers would still get tipped on almost every hand, plus everyone was drinking and some were buying food. They stopped doing it and the place is just dead.

Would you guys consider doing something like this this in your poker room? I mean, the line was out the door. People were turned away! I know Thunder Valley does a free poker tournament as well, but it's so far out of the way and the parking is a nightmare!

StoneGreg2 karma

Your message is from a parallel universe or dimension that’s different from the one I live in. Weird and awesome.

mattyzz931 karma

Hey Greg, I watched that beer Jesus movie and you came off as a mega-douche. Do you think the fact that you acted like you were more important than anyone else in the beer industry led to your ultimate failure in the German market? A market that has seen success with shittier breweries like Brewdog and Brooklyn.

StoneGreg3 karma

Haha. I think you’d see me in a megadouchery light no matter what I said and did. Some people just like to view the world and people in it through that lense. Regardless on how someone sees me personally, it made no difference. The problem was that the general populace didn’t really care much one way or the other. And for what it’s worth, we sold more beer in Berlin and in Germany in 2019 than we did the year previous. And likely will sell more beer in 2021 than 2020 (COVID depending).

sumguywith_internet1 karma

I love you and your IPA! I cut my teeth on Founders and I hold you two on the same level. What is your favorite pairing?

StoneGreg3 karma

Thanks! That’s a great compliment!

Honestly, my favorite pairings are “the beer I feel like having at the moment” + “the meal that I feel like ordering.” It works out great 99% of the time. Yes, I have really enjoyed formalized pairing events, but I kinda prefer keeping it simple most of the time.

recycledtrousers1 karma

WHAT IS YOUR CAT’S NAME?!

Reddit demands to know

StoneGreg3 karma

I would have been sorely bummed if no one had asked that question, so super glad that I logged back in (now hours later) to answer a few more. Well, this question and the person that called me a douche bag. Ha.

That is Pepper. Named after my favorite fruit, as I’m a bit of a chili pepper nerd and I like to grow a nice variety of ‘em. I think I mentioned gardening as one of the subjects that I’d be happy to talk about, and NOT ONE PERSON asked me a gardening question. I’d think you were all just a bunch of hooligans, but your question saved that. And there’s nothing wrong with craft beer nerd hooligans anyway, since I am one too. So there’s that.

Because no one asked: Two of my favorite varieties growing right now are Biquinho, and Hungarian Carrot Pepper.

recycledtrousers-10 karma

Is your massive beard helpful or hurtful when conducting cunnilingus ?

StoneGreg9 karma

As a linguist, it does not appear that my beard has any effect on how cunning I am. I find brain cells, some education, and good taste have a more dramatic effect on linguistics. Super odd question with poor spelling.