August, 25th 2004

To Our Fans –

We were truly moved by the tremendous show of support and enthusiasm for the Stone 8th Anniversary Celebration & Invitational Beer Festival.

We are excited to report that the money we raised for the Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos, the Palomar Family YMCA, and the Surfrider Foundation was more than $40,000. These funds are critical to their annual budgets.

A special thanks to all of our brewing friends that turned out and shared an incredibly diverse range of tasty specialty beers. Our guest breweries donated their beers and their time to the event. Their contributions were incredibly appreciated by all. Everyone really enjoyed the terrific eats, and we thank all those that contributed to the event with food as well.

We worked and planned all year for the event, and it was our goal to make it a memorable experience for all who attended. We're afraid however, that one of the main memories that some took away was that of impossibly long lines, and for that we would like to apologize.

We know that our fans expect us to be nothing but amazing all the time, and we think that is an entirely reasonable expectation. In fact, we do our best to foster this expectation by making sure that everything we do is both as incredible and as unique as possible. Heck, sometimes we think pretty highly of our work. However, from time to time there's always something to bring you back down to earth, and this was one such occasion.

As it was a fundraising event, we wanted to maximize the revenue for the worthy charities that were benefiting from the proceeds, but not at the expense of a balanced beer fest that offered a great experience for everyone. Frankly, we had been quite concerned that enough people would come to the new location, especially since it wasn't adjacent to our brewery as in years past. To say that we were overwhelmed with the response would be putting it mildly.

We hope you will accept both our apology and our promise that we will not make the same mistake again. Next year for the Stone 9th Anniversary Celebration, we promise a better experience for all involved.

So, the changes to note for the Stone 9th Anniversary Celebration are:

  • More beer pouring stations, and more beer all around

  • Lots more free Arrogant Bastard Ale onion ring production (we'll do our best on this one... we doubled it this year and it was still nowhere near enough!)

  • Less tickets sold to the event. Advance tickets will again be sold.

  • Participants in our future "Dye Your 'Do For Charity" fundraisers will get special wristbands to designate them as *registered* participants for the front-of-the-line privileges (although with the much shorter lines we plan to have, this will be less critical). Only pre-registered participants will get the wristbands. [Note: The hair-dyeing fundraiser is every two years, so the next one will correspond with the Stone 10th Anniversary.]

  • We are looking at revamping the whole structure of the event to keep it relaxed and enjoyable for all... All changes will be specified on our website in advance of tickets going on sale to allow you to review the event in advance. We're going to ask our guest breweries to return (hey, when you get one thing right, you don’t change that!), and we'll probably see if we can't make a little room to invite a few more really cool specialty brewers.

If you choose to sit out the Stone 9th Anniversary Celebration next year, we understand. We accept that it will take our time and effort to earn back your trust in our ability to put on a truly excellent event. In addition to our promises to not make the same mistakes again, we are planning other ways to show that we would like to make it up to you. Of course, demonstrating it to 4,000 individuals from all over the region and country presents some rather special challenges. If you have any suggestions, please let us know. (Please understand that "Free beer delivered to my door" is not one of the ones we'll be able to act on.)

As the first start of making amends, we will be offering casks of Stone 8th Anniversary Ale and another Stone Brew for tastings at the Stone Tasting Bar this weekend during our normal hours (one cask of each, each day)*. Next weekend too. Additionally, all growler fills will be 50% off (3Litre A/B fills too). We realize that this only benefits those that are within our area. Keep posted for other cool ways we'll say "Sorry" and you might even hope we make more mistakes in the future (don't count too much on it though!).


Greg Koch, CEO

Steve Wagner, President & Brewmaster

And The Entire Crew of the Stone Brewing Co.

*Note the irony... doing this "apology for the lines" may cause a bit of a crowd at our Tasting Bar this and next weekend. We're adding an additional growler fill station, a cask station, and additional staff but there still may be a little wait. Please bear with us!