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Stone Comes Late to the Brew Pub Party

Stone Brewing Co., the maker of Arrogant Bastard Ale, has spent the last eight years resisting a business plan that has lured competitors like the Karl Strauss Brewing Co. and San Diego Brewing Co.

Now it has given in. The company announced this week it will open a restaurant in the custom-built brewery it will finish this year.

“The mistake a lot of people make when they open a brew pub is that they think they’re getting into the beer business, when they’re really getting into the restaurant business,” chief executive Greg Koch told the San Diego Business Journal in 1997, roughly a year after the company was founded.

Stone, which brews its beer in a San Marcos industrial park, announced March 30 that its new brewery will include 9,500 square feet of public space including a restaurant serving exotic fare such as ostrich. All will be part of a 58,000-square-foot complex the company is building on a hilltop in Escondido.

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The price tag for the new place is now $12 million up from the $10 million estimate the company gave when it announced the new location in mid-2004.

The brewery will open in October and the restaurant will open by the end of the year.

Stone ships beer to 17 states and had 2003 revenue of $8.4 million.

Brad Graves

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