History

Stone Brewing began as the collaboration of beer lover/homebrewer Steve Wagner (Stone’s President and original Brewmaster) and beer geek/rock 'n' roll entrepreneur Greg Koch (Stone’s Executive Chairman).

Steve and Greg were originally introduced by a mutual friend in Los Angeles in 1989 when they were both working in the music business (Steve’s band just so happened to rent a room in Greg’s newly opened rehearsal studios). That encounter was short lived, and they didn’t run into each other again until a few years later when beer enthusiasm-driven fate led them both to a weekend class at UC Davis titled “A Sensory Evaluation of Beer.” That morning, Greg kept glancing over at Steve, thinking, “Where do I know that guy from?” Steve walked over during the break and said, “Aren’t you Greg?” After the class, and over a beer, Steve and Greg discovered that they shared an absurdly good taste in beer coupled with a fiery obsession for being a part of the craft beer revolution.

Over the next three years, Steve and Greg got together regularly and kept talking about beer and brewing. Bemoaning the tyrannical oppression of the American beer drinker at the hands of fizzy yellow beer makers and lauding the efforts of America’s rising craft brewers, the only possible conclusion became clear: They had to open their own brewery.

With Steve’s knowledge of brewing and Greg’s past successes in business, these two beer fanatics managed to cobble together the funds needed (with no small help from Greg’s father, Terry Koch) for some shiny new stainless-steel brewing vessels. After a long search, the newly formed team found the perfect location in San Marcos for Stone Brewing, and on July 26, the ribbon was cut and the first beer was tapped. Believe it or not, when a reporter and TV camera showed up to cover the fledgling brewery’s first anniversary, Greg was so nervous that he completely flubbed the interview, and it was never aired.

Stone Brewing has grown a lot since then. While the company’s growth was as steady as it was significant, what remained the same was Stone’s core values and drive to push the craft beer envelope. Both are key factors in the expansion projects that have come to fruition over the years since Stone was born.

Timeline

1996
Annual Production: 
400 BBLs
Team Stone: 
3
1997
Annual Production: 
2100 BBLs
Team Stone: 
8

As the 7,100-square-foot facility on Mata Way filled up with more and more kegs of Stone Pale Ale, Stone Smoked Porter, Stone IPA and Arrogant Bastard Ale, it seemed as if we just might be onto something. One thing was for sure...the growing pains were just about to start...in earnest!

1998
Annual Production: 
3926 BBLs
Team Stone: 
14

Among the alumni in this Team Stone photo from our second Anniversary are five brewmasters! Our own Steve Wagner, Jeff Bagby (Bagby Beer Company), Toshi Ishii (Ishii Brewing Co.), Lee Chase (Automatic Brewing Co.) and Ignacio, who went on to open a brewery in Argentina.

1999
Annual Production: 
5848 BBLs
Team Stone: 
27
2000
Annual Production: 
9342 BBLs
Team Stone: 
41
2001
Annual Production: 
12799 BBLs
Team Stone: 
45
2002
Annual Production: 
18450 BBLs
Team Stone: 
54
2003
Annual Production: 
24490 BBLs
Team Stone: 
65
2004
Annual Production: 
32159 BBLs
Team Stone: 
77
2005
Annual Production: 
36390 BBLs
Team Stone: 
78
2006
Annual Production: 
49883 BBLs
Team Stone: 
104

We worked in some cool architectural features and focused on incorporating a lot of natural elements. To let in lots of natural light and fresh air, we came up with the idea of large, 23-foot tall slanted glass walls with 12-foot-tall panels that would slide up to open. That brought some of the outdoors to the indoors, but the indoors was important too. Having been cooped up in a concrete jungle for so long in our old space, I wanted to have my own beer garden, my own little Shangri-la. I wanted to be surrounded by plant life, water features, and natural beauty.

-GREG KOCH

2007
Annual Production: 
67841 BBLs
Team Stone: 
212
2008
Annual Production: 
83000 BBLs
Team Stone: 
245
2009
Annual Production: 
98500 BBLs
Team Stone: 
276
2010
Annual Production: 
115000 BBLs
Team Stone: 
357
2011
Annual Production: 
146686 BBLs
Team Stone: 
422
2012
Annual Production: 
177200 BBLs
Team Stone: 
530
2013
Annual Production: 
213277 BBLs
Team Stone: 
629

To keep up with our monumental growth, in May 2013 we completed construction of a 57,000-sq-ft bottling and kegging facility next to our current brewery. Dedicating this new building entirely to packaging and quality assurance freed up a large amount of space in our original brewery, allowing us to install a second 120-barrel brewing system and additional fermentation tanks.

2014
Annual Production: 
287075 BBLs
Team Stone: 
756
2015
Annual Production: 
325645 BBLs
Team Stone: 
951

Establishing a brewery on the site of Berlin’s historic Marienpark gasworks complex has been quite an endeavor, and although construction won’t be completed until March 2016, being able to share our first pilot brews with Europe was a momentous celebration for us.

2016
Annual Production: 
345000 BBLs
Team Stone: 
1200
2017
Annual Production: 
388,000 BBLs
Team Stone: 
1260
2018
Annual Production: 
TBA
Team Stone: 
TBA