May 23 2011 07:45 PM

Stone Brewing goes big

5-25 beer art
A not-so-accurate blueprint for Stone’s Liberty Station digs.
Illustration by Ian Cheesman

Given Stone Brewing's longstanding presence in San Diego beer culture, every day that the company wasn't announcing expansions was probably more newsworthy than last Wednesday. That said, not many could have predicted the full scope of the plans: a new bistro in Liberty Station, launching a Stone Company Store in South Park, adding new brewing and barrel-aging capacity, adopting a local organic farm, initiating Stone catering services and planning the first Stone hotel.

No formal announcements about a Stone Charter School or the Stone Home For Wayward Brewers were made, but I wouldn't put anything past them now.

Stone's go-big-or-go-home approach to brewing is clearly mirrored in its designs for growth. Still, the announcements are arguably less audacious than ongoing efforts by Greg Koch, Stone Brewing CEO and public-relations firebrand, to launch the first American brewery on European soil. “I was really hoping to have euphemistically killed it and dragged it home to mount on a plaque and show everybody,” he said of his recent jaunt across the pond. “Not there yet unfortunately.”

Stone's expansion is exciting for the craft-brewing world, but as a consumer / narcissist, I was mostly concerned with how this could impact my ability to get Stone IPA when it (perpetually) suits me. Steve Wagner, Stone Brewing president and co-founder, kindly soothed my colic. “Liberty Station and the South Park store will represent a tiny percentage of our overall beer sales,” he said. “With the additional investment in brewery equipment we are making this year, we expect to have sufficient capacity.”

Somehow, Stone's $26-million plan to consume every possible revenue stream surrounding craft beer has inconceivably overshadowed recent updates to its beer roster. The end of May will bring the BELGO Anise Imperial Russian Stout, the brewer's most dessert-y beer to date. Look for the “Quingenti Millilitre” releases (featuring 500 milliliters of barrel-aged deliciousness) and Green Tea IPA collaboration (a benefit beer for Japan relief) to arrive later this year.   

Calendar

  • Visit one of the 70 participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and nightclubs in town on this night and 25 to 50 percent of sales will go to local HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs. 
  • Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward, who are vying to replace Todd Gloria on the San Diego City Council, will discuss urban issues, such as parking, homelessness and new developments
  • The new exhibition designed by Dave Ghilarducci is made from hundreds of rolls of packing tape and bound together by layers of plastic shrink-wrap. Visitors can navigate their way through cocoon-like passageways...
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • The San Diego County Bike Coalition hosts this monthly bike-in happy hour event to get biking residents involved in their communities and discuss bike projects planned for that specific community
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • So Say We All's monthly storytelling night features stories about those jobs we took because we had to take a job. Featured readers include Allison Gauss, Annmarie Houghtailing, Cecile Estelle, and more
  • Artists from the all-abstracts group show will talk about their work and techniques. Artists include Edwin Nutting, Danielle Nelisse, Leah Pantea, Lenore Simon, and more
See all events on Thursday, Apr 28