US Stone Brewing makes bid for Berlin
21st July, 2014 by Lauren Eads
The Stone Brewing Co. is poised to become America’s first craft brewery to open a brewery in Europe, supported by a crowdfunding initiative.
The Californian brewery announced ambitions to open a new brewery and bistro in Europe five years ago.
It has now closed a deal to renovate a former gasworks in Berlin – a project that will cost at least US$25 million, as reported by CNBC.com.
The new site is expected to cover two acres and will include a a brewhouse, a packaging and distribution centre, a Stone Brewing World bistro and gardens restaurant and a Stone Company Store.
Once up and running, it will be the first American craft brewer to make the move to Europe, with a second brewery in Mississippi also in the pipeline.
To help fund the project, the brewer has launched an Indiegogo crowd funding initiative with the aim of raising $1,000,000 – $37,000 of which has already been raised in just three days – however the brewery is hopeful it will raise even more.
The 10th largest brewer in the US, with a net revenue of $137 million, is offering fans of its brews the chance to be involved.
The project has been described by the brewer as the “world’s largest collaborative brewing project” with those who donate in return having the chance to pre-purchase future collaboration beers which will not be released for general sale.
The first batch of collaborations including Grand Royal Imperial Saison du BUFF made with Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Victory Brewing; Special bashah made with BrewDog and Super Duper Arrogant made in collaboration with Italian craft brewer Baladin.
Speaking to CNBC, Greg Koch, Stone Brewing CEO and co-founder, said Europe was undergoing a “cultural shift” in terms of beer preferences.
“When I would visit Germany a few years ago, you might have found a small handful of IPA’s being brewed in the country.
“Now there are dozens and dozens of IPAs of all styles. There are brewers that specifically call out on their label ‘San Diego-style’ or ‘West Coast-style.’ It’s incredible,” he said.
The Berlin brewery is currently on track to open in late 2015.