Brewdog acquires Berlin brewery and taproom from Stone Brewing

Scottish craft beer giant Brewdog has announced the acquisition of a 100-hectolitre brewery, bottling line and taproom in Berlin, formerly owned by California-based Stone Brewing.

The brewery, housed in a building that dates to 1901, is based in the Mariendorf area of Berlin and was originally opened by the American brewery in 2016.

Brewdog will officially take ownership on 1 May and said in a statement that it will close the site for a short period in order to turn the building “into a Brewdog space, similar to the vibe we have created at our Columbus brewery.”

The brewery also includes a canning line, 10 hectolitre pilot system, 2,500m2 tap room, 13m high glass wall to the brewery and 5,000m2 of outdoor gardens for enjoying a beer outside.

Brewdog has announced that it will be launching the ‘Berlin Craft Collective’ in the 10HL pilot brewery at the Mariendorf site, offering the facilities to Berlin-based craft brewers to help them start up or scale up their businesses. The brewer said it will then showcase their beers at its bars in Germany.

Brewdog has had a bar in Berlin since 2017 and will be opening a site in Hamburg this year.

It first started working with Stone Brewing in 2007 and the two brewers have collaborated many times over the years.

Commenting on the reasons for selling the site to Brewdog, co-founder and executive chairman of Stone Brewing, Greg Koch, said: “Ultimately the project turned out to be too big, too bold and too early in our growth curve in Europe. Sure, in hindsight maybe we should have started smaller, aimed for the treeline instead of the stars.

“Today we lick a few wounds, but count our successes too. We are not leaving Germany. Or Europe. We’ve met a whole new country and continent of craft beer fans! Our distribution to more than 30 European countries will continue to grow.

“Stone Brewing Tap Room – Prenzlauer Berg is still very much open, and pints will still flow.  We stand proud, and are heartened that we can pass the Mariendorf beer temple into the capable hands of our friends at BrewDog. They will do great things. And from time to time, as we’ve done in the past, we’ll do some of those great things together.”

While admitting that Stone should perhaps have chosen a different site, he said the state of the construction industry in Berlin further complicated matters.

“We invested a significant portion of a decade and significant millions building Stone Berlin. And it didn’t work out. These things hurt and these things happen. This one happened. And this one hurts a lot,” he added.

“Stone Berlin was one of the most difficult and frustrating things I’ve ever done. Yet, against professional counsel, I’m going to express one very specific frustration with Berlin. I say this because I love the city, and want it to thrive.

“The truth is, the construction industry in Berlin is broken. The real challenge was the tendency of our contractors to stop everything when a problem arose.

“Any time you attempt to build something with the size and scope of Stone Berlin, you’re going to run into unexpected challenges. We always keep moving, keep working.

“Our Berlin contractors simply couldn’t or wouldn’t do this. It cost us dearly. After talking with fellow business owners in Berlin, seems we’re not alone in that experience.

“There, I said it. At the end of the day, the responsibility falls on me. That’s my job. I take the bullet.”

To read Koch’s full blog post on his decision, please click here. 

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