It's Time

Roamer, wanderer, nomad, vagabond. Call me what you will.

- Metallica

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he is not the same man.

– Heraclitus, poet of Marcus Aurelias.


It’s time. I’ll be leaving Stone Brewing soon, the company I co-founded and led for the better part of my adult life.

Counting the ramp-up time, I’ve dedicated almost 30 years to this. Not gonna lie…leaving is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Stone has been my life. But at some point, your life has to be your life. And it’s time for that for me.

From the guts of me: a sincere and humble thank you to so very, very many.

If you ask someone how much they’ve changed over the last five or ten years, they’ll usually respond that they have changed a bit, maybe even a great deal. But ask how much they expect to change over the coming five to ten years, and most people respond “not much.”

It’s a real scientific thing. They call it the End of History Illusion. We think that where we are in the moment is where our attitudes and opinions will continue to be in perpetuity. We readily admit that we’ve changed in the past, but can’t fathom we’ll continue doing so because here, now, this thought…that’s the pinnacle of who I am…and I won’t change much from here at all.

And yet we do.

I read about this illusion years ago. And yet, I fell into it every time. Wherever my head was at throughout my career, I was sure it was there forever. The world has changed dramatically in the last few years. The beer industry changed with it. And, so have I.

Sure. I’d said it dozens of times. Quite possibly well over 100. I 1000% meant it every single time. It’s what I truly believed. I said it while pounding my fist both physically and metaphorically on the table. I’d said it over the telephone or on video with the narrative emphasis “…he says while pounding his fist on the table.”  The words: I will never sell out.

Until now.

But WHY?

To understand that, we have to understand the genesis of why I got into craft beer in the first place, and why I would pound my fist in accompaniment with the aforementioned phrase.  For some, all they may be able to think about right now is an urge to pop over to twitter with their righteous pronouncement of judgement.  I get it. I don’t mind. Really. Sure, it’s better to say it to me in person, but chances are good you may not have the opportunity, and even stronger that if you do, you actually wouldn’t. (Thankfully, while people might say not-so-nice things via their thumbs tapping on a small screen, they tend to find nice things to say in person.) At any rate, I got off social media a few years ago, so I won’t even see whatever it is that’s said.

Sure. I have an ego. Egos aren’t bad things. They’re pretty much necessary to get out of bed in the morning. If you don’t have at least a modicum of “I can do this!” running in your veins, it’s possible you may not do much at all. Mine has mostly manifested itself in (one would hope) good ways over the years. My main ego driver has been wanting to do the right thing. I want to share with people visions of better alternatives. Things that were better than the norm. The belief that others might be interested in craft beer too. Sure, I got preachy at times. But I wanted to stand up for craft beer, which was the perennial underdog of the beer industry.

Until it wasn’t.

When was that moment? That’s a harder call than [pick your metaphor], but it seems to be sometime around 2016. Or the day before yesterday. The day you select will likely be proportional to how long you’ve been into craft beer.  For me, it was just a handful of years after Stone started when things really started to heat up, and it felt like people began leaning in when I wanted to talk beer with them, rather than looking for polite ways to leave the conversation.

It’s humbling to sit here and realize all of my dreams have either been met or far exceeded. In 1996 I dreamed of a world where people had better options, and lots of them. But I never dared to dream there would be nearly 10,000 breweries in the US. Stone was around the 850th—not the first by any means, but the room was a little echoey when we got here.

Back then, if you needed a great brewer, you usually just hired a random person you believed in, showed them the ropes, and got to praying. Today there are brewing courses all over the nation, and an industry that’s robust beyond my previous comprehension. This is wonderful.

Now there’s a booming craft beer scene in nearly every brewing country in the world. When we started, I dreamed of a world where you didn’t have to drive half way across town to that ‘one place’ that served craft beer. Now most neighborhoods have craft beer places around the corner, at every major sporting event, and every bingo hall. (OK, I don’t know that last one to be true…do they even serve beer in bingo halls? If so, then I have something to look forward to in old age.) And there are STILL places that are worth driving half way across town for. That’s the kind of beauty that hits a craft beer nerd like me in the heart.

And now we have ridesharing, so bring on those IPAs and Double IPAs (and everything else)! It’s a personal kind of heaven.

But back to the gratitude. I thank you all. I thank those of you who supported us, who helped both envision and create a world in which better beer, food, experiences, and environments were made available to more people. It has always, always been a collective effort.

I thank my partner, and our original brewmaster, Steve Wagner. He was the steadfast foundation. He created Stone Pale Ale, Stone IPA, Stone Imperial (Russian) Stout. That’s a hell of a resume. Stone and I could not have done what we did without him. Period. He didn’t stop me from every dumb decision, but he helped us avoid many. More importantly, he worked with me to help realize the best decisions all along the way, including the founding of the company itself, which will go down in the history of decisions I think were really really good.

I thank our amazing team. The ones who are here today, working to evolve Stone. And the people at every point of our now 26-year history. I’ve had the pleasure of working with the absolute best.

People often ask me how Stone was able to achieve what it did. Well, a lotta luck and a lotta hustle. I was lucky to find the right partner in Steve. Someone who was as dedicated and steadfast as I was, but smarter (and more talented, and way more focused). Because peddling “craft beer” in 1996 was not easy. They called it weird beer. Foo foo beer. Said it was a fad. But I didn’t believe it.

You needed good people and you needed luck. I had both. And we worked our asses off.

We were lucky to join the revolution during the period when ‘microbrews’ were transitioning from being the butt of pejoratives, to when the craft beer voices were starting to be louder than the critics. More brewers got inspired, which inspired more consumers, who inspired bars, restaurants and retailers to begin offering a selection, which inspired writers to write about it, and home brew shops to cater to the newly curious. It became a virtuous cycle, and it began to snowball.

Our taste for big, bold flavors seemed excessive to many at the time, so not many followed us down that road. Turns out we lucked onto a principally uncharted road that eventually a lot of people found they wanted to be on (once they gave themselves a chance and tried).

When we opened the doors of Stone on July 26, 1996, there were four of us. Steve, me an office manager, a delivery / do-it-all guy (shout out to Estella and Mike). Our distribution vehicle was a panel minivan with our logo on it (and the only minivan I’ve ever been proud to be in). At the time, with just the four, Stone was the largest company I’d ever worked for. Today, we have around 1,000 people. Passionate, caring, hard working, creative people. I leave the brewery in very capable hands.

But wait…again…why go?

Two primary reasons.

One, I have to be self-aware enough to know that just because I co-founded and led the company for many years, I may not be the best person to helm Stone into the future. I’d planned to operate the puppet strings all the way to my last days, but can easily see now how disrespectful that would be to all the people that have shared our vision along the way…especially the folks that are here now and showing up and working hard every day. I’ve run the calculus every which way (over and over in my head for years now), and this is the most pragmatic decision to ensure this beautiful thing I care so much about has a future.

And two, for the same reasons we started Stone. Got one life. When your gut nags you, follow it. I’ll finally fully honor my inner introvert. Gonna take myself out to pasture, both metaphorically and literally (but to clarify, I’m not dying…but hopefully I’ll do that in some random hiking trail, jungle or pasture when the time comes).

Gonna start my semi-recluse phase. I might just find myself a volleyball to talk to.

I thank the detractors who kept me humble. And I realize that many reading that sentence are chuckling. Greg…humble? Just think how bad it would have been without you. Lolz. Through the years I’ve sometimes been known to be a bit overly passionate, overly serious, and I have even come off like an ass at times. I promise you that under that bombast was always a healthy dose of self-deprecation, self-mockery, and a metric ton of self-doubt. Any supreme confidence was an alchemy of my own intense need to make this work — to protect the baby we’d built and the industry we all created — and a good dollop of old-fashioned self-doubt that I might not be up to the task. You can see almost all of those emotions present themselves in the I Am A Craft Brewer video I created with my friends Jared and Chris at Redtail Media, that featured some of the people I most admired on the planet.

I don’t regret the ‘overly passionate’ part. But if I could go back and give younger self some advice, it might be “Lighten up, Francis.”

And speaking of lightening up….

I’m still, and expect to always be, a supporter of independent craft beer. It’s my roots. It was my cause. I’d like to think I made some contributions to the effort over the years. I will continue to enjoy craft beer because, well, craft beer is awesome.

However, I’ve softened my rigidity around this in recent years. I’ll happily buy a beer from Avery, New Belgium, Dogfish Head and Bell’s. And Anchor. I’ll always happily reach for an Anchor.  I have a special place in my heart for Anchor and always will, as it was my epiphany beer all the way back in 1987. The one that turned me on to what ‘could be’ in the world of beer and was the initial spark that sent me on my craft beer journey.

I have a special place in my heart for all of you. Both the supporters and the detractors. Really. You shaped Stone. You shaped the world of beer. You shaped me.

A few more special and heartfelt THANK YOUs:

  • To all the breweries out there doing crazy awesome things today. You have constantly shattered my expectations. Sure, I don’t always love all of it, but I love a lot of it. And that leaves me plenty to enjoy, and little to complain about. If you’re making great beers with passion, heart and soul, thank you.
  • To all those pushing progress on the DEI agendas, you are showing what I’ve believed all along: that craft beer is for everyone, and that all should feel welcome and included.  I’ve always loved the diversity of craft beer, but always wanted it to be diverse-er. Due to the active advocacy of a great group of voices from many communities, the industry is making leaps and bounds in this direction. As it should be. Thank you.
  • To those moving sustainability efforts forward. The world needs you, and you’re making a difference. This has always been and will always be a team effort, but I also encourage the average person to apply these principles to their daily lives. (And people please, stop with the fucking single use plastic bottles of water already. It’s not a good look.)
  • And once again, to the people at the company whom we affectionally refer to as Team Stone: You ARE Amazing.

In closing, I wanted to share something I heard recently that really resonated with me. The psychologist and author Dan Gilbert talked as a guest on one of my favorite podcasts about the fact that after having a 20 year long career in the public eye, he “no longer needed to hear himself talk.” It struck at the heart of how I’m feeling (which is great, by the way). This blog may be the last time that you hear from me. I’ve enjoyed being a passionate — and vocal — advocate for craft beer, but I’m ready for smaller, more intimate conversations now. If you are inclined, you can listen to the exact part of the episode of People I (Mostly) Admire with Steve Levitt by fast forwarding to minute 43:20.

And now it’s time for me to be a fan of your work, to enjoy the results of your art, and to listen to what you have to say. As another of my highly recommended favorite authors/podcasters Seth Godin likes to say “Go make a ruckus.”

Cheers,

-Greg.

Category: 

Comments

Jon Smith's picture

You have completed the work here. All businesses have a life cycle. No shame in moving on. We have so many choices now it is difficult to choose.

You can come back in 500 years and do it all over again!

Best regards!

Travis H's picture

Stone IPA is the best mass produced beverage of all time.
Thanks for leaving it better than you found it. Cheers!

John Bates's picture

Wow. Greg. I want to digest this for a while.
That said, I am first and foremost grateful to you, Steve and Stone.
I remember the world without you and it was... yellow and fizzy and not nearly as good.
Your energy, your passion, and of course, your preaching has had a profound, global effect!
I hope it's not too much for you that I say this, but, I love you man. I'm proud of you.
I know you have given us your all and we are better for it.
I want you to be happy and live that one life of yours just how you want to live it.
Congratulations, and thank you for all of the awesome, hop-filled memories!

Tarin Almstedt's picture

This saddens me, but at the same time I have my local brewery, Bootleggers in Fullerton, probably because of you. Thanks for all the beer

Nick Najdek's picture

Thank you Greg for making beer drinkable. You made beer an art. Your flavors popped in the taste buds. A true craft. Enjoy your retirement and rest assured that your beer set the bar for what quality is.

Douglas Litrich's picture

Well done! You’re ripe on the vine and ready for picking season-lol. In all lighthearted seriousness, you’re just beginning. Enjoy your endless summer. Congratulations on your accomplishments. We appreciate you and all you and your co-founder have done for our immediate and international community. Kudos and carry on!

Francisco Franco's picture

Thank you Greg! Cheers,

michael k's picture

well done greg! thanks for the great beer!

Geo P's picture

Greg, Steve and Team Stone,

Man what a ride! To be able to look back, and look forward to the inevitable constant... change. We all change and I personally do not see this as selling out, I see it as moving on. Sapporo is a good choice in a partner, a storied history, and better ethics, than the beer behemoths that cut corners to provide quantity over quality to those who prefer such.

Thank you for allowing us to be part of the journey, to cheer and jeer, and well... to experience better beer...

Sláinte Mhath!

Mike Tuggle's picture

Thanks for the beer. I've loved drinking it and the conversations I get with your employees behind the bar every time I come in.

Cheers!

Jennifer Howell's picture

Stone was my first craft beer. I used to love reading the bottles and getting ripped off of a tasty bottle of IPA. I've calmed over the years but thank you for the contribution to the craft beer world. This farwell post was the most well written and inspirational things I've read in a long time. Good luck on your future adventures!

 Brent's picture

Cheers to your success and future endeavors. I grew up in Temecula, enjoyed your beer while there, and now will pick up a 6 pack of Stone IPA at the shoppette on the army base I'm on in Korea to celebrate your decision to step aside and enjoy your life. Thank you for all you've done for the craft beer community.

Solo's picture

Stone was it, the beer that opened my eyes and made me realize that there was more than the Budweiser and natty ice that was being served at the outdoor parties in Ithaca back in the late 90’s. Arrogant Bastard whetted the appetite like nothing else.

I don’t recall exactly how I got my hands on my first Stone beer, but it has been one of my favorite craft breweries ever since. While I am slightly disappointed that it is being sold…I’d be lying if I said I’d never pick up another bottle or can from Stone.

I wish you all the best wherever the future finds you, and I thank you for nudging my tastes towards the wonderful world of craft beer. I’ve enjoyed all that you have produced over the years, and hope that Stone continues to be guided by your initial vision and spirit.

Cheers, Greg. And thank you again.

Sam Cruz's picture

Hey there Greg.
First, congrats on the opportunity and awareness to turn the page. I hope to know that feeling as well as you’ve articulated it one day.
Next, thank you for the 26 years. You know you made an impact on our industry, but I doubt you’ll ever know the depth of that crater. I, like many, have had the pleasure to come along for your ride as a consumer and fan of Stone (and your place there), but also as a colleague in the industry. Your passion and vigor for our shared goals of choice and recognition to beer drinkers has inspired me and my company at many moments in time to lean into our righteous dreams of better beer and the unending war waged against Goliath beer and its consumption of the market. Your words inspired us to take pride in our brand and feel comfortable explaining it in the most arrogant of terms… we’re allowed arrogance, we’re still kids in the grand scheme of things. Finally, your success and conviction showed us that the craft brewer has a seat at the table of economy, and no one has the right to impede on that. Those are only few of the places you’ve impacted me and my company. Cheers friend, I hope you enjoy the rest of your book. You deserve a complete story.

Best regards,

Sam J Cruz
Against The Grain Brewery
Louisville KY

Cindi's picture

Thank you for brining Stone to life. Your child has become very strong and independent that can walk by itself.
Nice work, and hope the best on your phase 2 life.

John Caldwell 's picture

Back in the early 90s I was looking for something different to serve at my wife's bday party. We some how wound up at the Stone tasting room in San Marcos. Sampled a few and wound up taking a pony keg of the IPA home.
Prior to that time the only "different" beer we or any of my beer buddies had had may have been a Moosehead. There was not a lot to chose from at the package store on Little Rock AFB!
Thanks you Greg and all for doing what you do and did. Good luck in the future.

Dave Swartz's picture

So long, and thanks for all the beer.
You helped me out via email when I had just purchased my local beer bar in 2008, in Florida. You helped send cases and cases of Arrogant Bastard hot sauce to us, for our 'Gargoyle Wings.' You stopped by our bar for a Stone Night in 2012 and some customers still talk about it fondly. When I received what seemed like a last-minute invitation to the Grand Opening of Stone Berlin, my wife and I dropped everything and flew over. It was an amazing night. I've got lots of fond memories of you, your team, and your beer. Best wishes on the next phase.

Richard 's picture

Even though my first craft beer was Green Flash's West Coast IPA, it was that badass gargoyle of Stone that captured my beer-drinker's imagination. Your beers have made my meals and my life incredibly more delicious and just BIGGER than life. That's what craft beer is to me: an expression of life charging toward the top of a mountain, a tiger's roar, a feeling of victory.

Thank you Greg and everyone who helped make this version of reality possible. Cheers, indeed!

Don Paul's picture

Congratulations on your Sapporo acquisition. Sad to see it happen since Stone's INDEPENDENCE has made it my favorite brewery. Hoping Sapporo let's Team Stone continue to create phenomenal beers to keep our growlers filled. Hoping to get my 3 growlers filled later today with more of the Liquid Magic you and Steve created.

All the best in your future adventures. Knowing what you've done at Stone I can't wait to see "What's Next" !!!

Greg O. 's picture

It’s been a pleasure, Greg. We’ll miss you.

Eric K's picture

Congratulations, Greg. I moved to Sav Diego in 1995. I've had a lower section view of this incredible journey. I think I watched every one of you Vblogs focused on the World Bistro. I've been a huge fan and advocate for Stone and craft beer everywhere. You mentioned Anchor. I personally would add Sierra Nevada and Boston Beer Company as some early favorites. Thank you for being a leader in the charge for great beer everywhere. Your presence will be felt for a very long time.

Chris Losey's picture

Congrats Greg to an awesome job well done. All the best in your future endeavors. Maybe I'll see you around. :>) Cheers !

Scott Burns's picture

Greg, thank you and Steve for building a truly authentic brewery with a culture that stood out. You were always loyal to your beers and evolved with strong and tasty beers unlike most of your competitors. Arrogant Bastard and all of its versions is still my favorite beer since the late 1990s. Cheers to you finding happiness and watching how beer futures will evolve. Hopefully it is not the large companies taking over all the smaller ones because of distribution and quick pay days. Cheers!

Greg Lorton's picture

Thanks, Greg. I remember visiting you guys a week after you opened, and thought, "these guys have something going, and they can change this county!" I think I was too narrow minded back then! :-) Good luck! - G-Lo

Larelle Miller's picture

I had the pleasure of meeting you at the 23rd Anniversary brewfest in 2019. I told you then that I truly appreciated what you have done for the Independent Craft Beer Industry. I still feel that way. While I am truly disappointed with the announcement, I can certainly appreciate the explanation. The Craft Beer industry has truly changed in just the last 5-7 years and to keep up is daunting. I still have my go to's and will also occasionally drink a "sell-out" that had an impact on my foray into truly enjoying Craft Beers in the early 2000's. Stone now being one of them.... I hope to run into you sometime in the future and let you know that while I am disappointed, I understand and still have a great appreciation for what you have given the Craft Beer Industry. Thank you Greg! Good Luck to you as you enjoy the next path you travel down.
Sincerely,
Larelle Miller - A Stone Faithful

Jason's picture

Greg, best wishes and good health. I started enjoying craft beer in the early 90's but I didn't become a bonafide craft beer nut until I tried Stone. I've been blessed to visit most of the Stone breweries in the US and got to meet you once in Cincy at a meet and greet event. Thanks for all you've done for the industry and promoting independent brewers. You helped create an icon and I look forward to raising a glass of a Stone brew to toast your next steps.

Dave Good's picture

I still remember my first Arrogant Bastard Ale as it was the beer that opened my eyes to what beer could be…what beer should be. From the very first sip, it was clear that this was not intended for people who just wanted to drink beer. It was a beer that was intended for people who truly wanted to enjoy it! 26 years later and what an amazing ride it’s been! My enjoyment of craft beer has allowed me to meet so many amazing people over the years and, to think, it all started with that one beer that dared me to drink it.

Congrats Greg and company on everything you’ve accomplished with Stone and for really helping to open up a brave new world for craft beer! I can’t thank you enough for all the good times I’ve had and great friends that I’ve met thanks to Stone!

Duane Carr's picture

Thank you for all the beers over the years - I just pulled out my autographed copy of "The Craft of Stone Brewing Co." which you signed for me back in 2010(?) in Washington DC at a bar on H Street NE. And in the book was notes from Churchkey went then held their Vertical Epic Tasting on 12-12-12! In fact, I still have many Stone Epic beers ( and many others) in my beer cellar. I remember fondly your visits to DC for SAVOR, the Brickseller/RFD Luplin Slams and beer tastings over the years. You may be going into retirement/recluse status but you will be fondly remembered always by this beer nerd. Cheers!

Jack  A's picture

Greg,
Adios Greg, you will missed far more than you imagine. Thanks for what you have meant to the assimilation of Craft Beer into our societal structure. And thanks for all the Great FN BEER! Enjoy your downtime.

Randy M's picture

Well damn, Greg. I am saddened by this change, but happy for you that you're following what you need to do for you. Thanks for opening up the world of truly great beers. Off to find my next favorite micro!

Frank Macklin's picture

Well sure I’m glad your dream came true and we all reap the benefits of that. But I have to say I sure miss the days of hanging out over on Mata Way, getting a keg from Mike or Dave. Personal tours (of the few hundred square feet), and a chat with you or Steve if you could be pried out of your office.

Live long, you’ve already prospered.
Frank

Stevan Smith's picture

One name - Xocobeza - nectar of the Gods. Ruined everything else beer-wise for me. You left your mark.

Guillaume ECK 's picture

Hi Greg,

I'm Guillaume, Head Brewer from Taal brewing Company in France. A few years ago, my uncle and godfather Olivier met you in Strasbourg, when Stone was looking for a place in Europe, before you choose Berlin.
It's you who teach us the taste of Good beer, it's because of you my uncle and I started brewing 10 years ago. And even if you don't know it, this encounter was the beginning of my own brewing company.
Today, the book you dedicated to Olivier is exposed in our brewpub, and I always proudly wear Stone t-shirts and hoodies.
I'm really sad to read this, but I wish you all the best for your new life.
And of course, if one day you want to pay us a visit, we'll be honored.
Thanks for everything you've done for the Craft beer scene.

Guillaume

Steve Wood's picture

Greg,
I met you in the original small brewery in the industrial area. I wanted to see what Stone was and I walked in. You greeted me and poured me an Arrogant Bastard and told me of your beers. I was hooked. The next year, you helped me get several cases of Sawyer's Triple so I could take it up to March ARB...to raise money to fight ALD. And many times after that, you and your team were great folks to meet, chat with, or just share your knowledge. Thank you for that!
Enjoy what comes next! Your blog said it extremely well! Follow your heart and your passion! ALL the BEST!

- and old retired USAF Colonel in Arizona

Dori's picture

The Luna Family visits goes back pretty much to the beginning days of Escondido for an awesome lunch and a few brews. Then there was the Beer fest that we all looked forward too. The collection I have of the glasses given to sample is pretty cool. My last investment literally just last week i got was a couple of glasses and t-shirts of LIVE BUENA , so to you and your future, CHEERS and CONGRATS. what a great run on something you are so passionate about.

Oliver Hörold's picture

You were my beer Jesus, and I loved you for it!

Will Wixom's picture

I will forever be a Stone Brewing and Greg Koch fan. Thank you for your contributions to this craft beer world we live in. You will be missed at Stone.

Eric Anderson's picture

Greg
It has been a true honor, like knowing Leonardo da Vinci in his prime! You have truly achieved your goal of bringing great beer to the world. You have truly been a key to making this happen in a positive and refreshing approach.
Stone beers have enriched my life and I am and always will be a superfan. Enjoy the horticulture- palms, chile, cycads and flowers, it's time to stop and smell the Plumerias (you track down the one called Karma)
ETA

Mauro E's picture

WAIT!!! but what about bringing Double Bastard back!? Oh well, hey Greg enjoy your retirement and thank you for converting me into a craft beer fan. Cheers!

Dave 's picture

Stone was the first craft beer I drank and made me a beer drinker again. My little league team's parents went to Norm's Beer and Wine and got a basket full of craft beers as a thank you gift to me, Arrogant Bastard was the keystone and started my journey.

When I moved to Iowa, you couldn't buy Stone anywhere in the state, so I called the regional rep who told me where I could find it in Chicago. I turned several friends into Stone drinkers and got several bars to start serving it once distribution in Iowa started.

So, yes, I believe Stone was one of the keys in making the craft beer thing what it is. So thank you.

Wild Bill's picture

Cheers Beer Jesus!
You guys did it right, almost always.
I will always remember fondly the trips to ‘Mecca’ in Escondido.
Your recipes have served me well over the years.
Peace to you both!

Bob G. 's picture

All things evolve. Denying that would be reckless. Thanks for the 26 years. Stone was a major contributor to my love of craft beer. The memories will last forever.

DSmith's picture

Congratulations. I am old enough, and lucky enough to have visited the brewery when it was on Mata Way. I remember my first levitation ale, I still have a bottle of the first Russian imperial Stout in 2000. I somehow managed to collect, and drink the whole vertical collection. I don't think many people understand how different things are now from say, 2002. So, I understand your words, and to be honest, I expected this 3-4 years ago. Selling out is more than money, it's also about selling your Eric's, possibly even your soul. I don't see that happening so I think you have every right to walk off, into a world of solitude. Cheers

Chef Yapo's picture

Yeaaaaaaduuuuude!!!
Love you brother and glad I had those poker games.
Laaater!!!
~Yapo

Craig's picture

Thank you Greg for the great beers throughout the years. Arrogant Bastard is the best beer I’ve ever had. Again thank you making your ideas available for all of us.

Scott Wayland's picture

Nicely written, Greg. Wisdom comes with experience, and boy have these last few years humbled all of us.

Maybe I'll see ya on a trail, cheers...

mikem's picture

Before Stone, I thought I was a pretty sophisticated beer drinker, knocking down the Stella's. Then a friend introduced me to Stone with the IRS, then Arrogant Bastard, and I was hooked. I built up quite a cache of Stone brews that I kept in the floor crawl space (to keep cool), until my landlord went under the house and broke a 22 oz. bottle. He told me to move them all out and never did reimburse me for breaking it! But Stone got me into that new beer phase, one of hand-crafted attention-to-detail beers, and I can't imagine ever going back to "ordinary pale yellow s**t".
Thank you and enjoy your next adventures in life!

Roy M's picture

Thank you for the phrase "Life is too short to drink fizzy yellow beer". Long time fan here in San Diego.

Phil Voelker's picture

Congratulations on everything, truly. As an Escondido native it wasn't just the beer, it was the story. Stone just isn't interesting as a major label sub-brand, so I guess we'll just part ways as friends.

Michael K-N's picture

Greg: Thank you for opening my senses to craft beer by supplying the special elixirs to wash down a roasted hog’s head at Euclid Hall
It was the most perfect beer night in memory, even if we do not quite remember it all.
Thank you from the crew,
Michael Joe Al & Avery

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