Stone Brewing Co. plans a Dec. 7 start for sales of its craft beers in Europe, in advance of the Escondido-based company’s full-scale opening of its Berlin production and restaurant facilities in March 2016.
A Stone Brewing statement said the beer-maker has begun small-batch production in a 10-hectoliter pilot brewhouse in Germany, and those beers will debut Monday at more than 40 locations – including bars and restaurants – in Germany, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Officials said the pilot brewery will be joined in spring by a 100-hectoliter brewhouse in Berlin, which will produce a variety of Stone’s year-round beers and special releases. In addition to the main brewery, the Berlin site will also house a packaging hall, restaurant and gardens, which are all nearing completion.
Stone’s first beers being brewed and sold in Europe include Stone IPA, Arrogant Bastard Ale and Stone Xocoveza. Stone IPA will be kegged on Dec. 7 and delivered the same day to participating bars in Berlin.
Started in 1996 by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner, Stone Brewing is the ninth-largest craft beer brewer in the U.S. based on production volume, and the largest of more than 100 brewers based in San Diego County. Stone officials said the company is the first American craft brewer to independently build, own and operate a brewery in Europe.
Stone is investing more than $25 million to renovate a historic former gasworks complex in Berlin, and is also preparing to open East Coast production facilities in Richmond, Va., in 2016.