The Ultimate Export

Stone Brewing looks at building a brewery in Europe

Given the demand throughout Europe for American craft beer, what may be the ultimate “export” is on the drawing board at Stone Brewing Co. in San Diego.

The brewery announced that they are looking at the possibility of constructing a brewery somewhere in the Europe. The company is in the process of putting out a Request for Proposal to gauge interest.

“We’re approaching this with no assumptions other than we’d like to consider any and all options,” said Greg Koch. “Many of the countries of Europe have great brewing traditions. Some countries are also currently experiencing a bit of a resurgence of small, independent breweries. We look forward to joining in the fight in Europe by doing our part to add to the growing trend towards unique, flavorful artisanal beers, as opposed to the mass-blandification efforts characterized by megabrand sameness.”

See a short video on the Stone idea.

Comments

  1. BrewinLou says

    That would be very cool. So far they are just exporing the idea. Lets do it! I can see the headlines. “”USA invades Europe for the first time since WW2″” Rock it out Greg.

  2. william.heinric says

    We can’t get Stone beers in Iowa, but I can travel to Paris and get Arrogant Bastard? I’m all for expansion, but there is something to be said for remembering your “home” markets. Think New Glarus, except nation-wide.

    Despite the hate, I love Stone. More power to great growth.

    Bill

  3. Buckley says

    I would would have to think twice about sending my product to Iowa. One would have to look at it’s functional worth to do so. If the product is over 6.25 Iowa considers it liquor and has to be housed at the state warehouse which is located at the woman’s correction facility in Des Moines which is not a temp controlled warehouse. On top of that is the extra tax rate tacked on. Considering they are on the higher price range to begin with I am not sure how happy people would be to pay the extra for a product that has been mishandled. I am sure there is a fair amount that would just given the citizens situation. But as a producer how much so you want to compromise your product?

  4. dick murton says

    Are they mad ? With the precipitous fall in European beer sales this must be close to suicidal. There are plenty of breweries with spare capacity. If they want reduced overheads due to lower shipping costs then brewing under licence has got to be more economical

    But good luck to them – if they want someone to help set up, you know how to contact me !!

    Cheers

    Happy Christmas & New Year

  5. BrewinLou says

    “Are they mad ?”
    The Hoffbrau in Northern KY has been doing very well. Who is to say an American brewery can’t make it in Europe? There is a fine line betwixt innovator and madman.

  6. einhorn says

    I agree with Dick. Sales are way down, over-capacity rules the continent. No need to build. Another issue is tied-house laws – if you want to sell in most countries, you should “get into bed” with someone with an existing route to market.

    Currently in Germany you can buy 3 cases (10 liters each) of Reinheitsgebot-brewed pilsner (lager) in returnable cases for EURO 10 ($14).

  7. Sulfur says

    Well in Germany, the beer is a beer lovers paradise in terms of price. Indeed, you get delicious premium 1/2 Liter beer retail for around .65 Euro ($.93). A smaller margin when compared to the US. England from my couple of times there could be more favorable in terms of high prices at the supermarket per bottle. I remeber paying something like 2 Pounds (at the time 4$!)per bottle there.

  8. mishipeshu says

    einhorn wrote: Currently in Germany you can buy 3 cases (10 liters each) of Reinheitsgebot-brewed pilsner (lager) in returnable cases for EURO 10 ($14).

    Yum.:rolleyes:

  9. Hill Brewing Co says

    I admire your beers and all that you guys have been able to do in the brewing industry!

    Have you considered finding a brewery in Europe to brew your beers under contract? Less upfront costs, less capital at risk, beer is still sold in the countries that you want to pursue.

    Other large brewing companies have done this with success:

    In 1964, SAB was granted a licence to brew Guinness in South Africa – the first company outside Ireland accorded this right – and, a year later, reached an agreement with Amstel Brouwerij of Amsterdam to produce Amstel locally. In 1966, SAB began brewing Carling Black Label under licence from the Carling Brewing Company of Cleveland, Ohio.

    source: http://www.sabmiller.com/index.asp?pageid=48

    You may consider signing a short term contract, 3-5 years, and if you are able to grow the market in Europe, then you can consider putting up the money to build a brewery.

    Much continued success!

    Ray Hill
    CEO / Brewer
    Hill Brewing Company, Inc.
    418 S. Florissant Rd.
    Ferguson, MO 63135

  10. Hill Brewing Co says

    I admire your beers and all that you guys have been able to do in the brewing industry!

    Have you considered finding a brewery in Europe to brew your beers under contract? Less upfront costs, less capital at risk, beer is still sold in the countries that you want to pursue.

    Other large brewing companies have done this with success:

    In 1964, SAB was granted a licence to brew Guinness in South Africa – the first company outside Ireland accorded this right – and, a year later, reached an agreement with Amstel Brouwerij of Amsterdam to produce Amstel locally. In 1966, SAB began brewing Carling Black Label under licence from the Carling Brewing Company of Cleveland, Ohio.

    source: http://www.sabmiller.com/index.asp?pageid=48

    You may consider signing a short term contract, 3-5 years, and if you are able to grow the market in Europe, then you can consider putting up the money to build a brewery.

    This is the model I followed for St. Louis 🙂

    Yours in brewing,

    Ray Hill
    CEO / Brewer
    Hill Brewing Company, Inc.
    418 S. Florissant Rd.
    Ferguson, MO 63135

  11. jason.koehler says

    I know this is a little old, but oh well…

    Didn’t Stone have some agreement awhile back with a Stone brewery in Argentina?

    Sure, as stated above, Europe has a lot of capacity, but I don’t see anyone having a fit for the kind of culture and image many US breweries present in Europe. From a marketing standpoint, the kind of ‘attitude’ Stone takes towards its products might resonate with the same younger drinkers who are now forgoing beer for other beverages, not unlike how many beer drinkers in the US are forgoing the beers of their fathers and looking for something now.

    From what we’ve seen, bold American tastes are gaining acceptance in Europe, as evidenced by the increases in imports. At the same time that continental producers are experiencing declining sales of their maturing products. Gimmicks come and go, but something original, such as a beer like Stone, has the potential to make a big impact.

    Sure, someone can likely make some admirable copies of Stone products there, but that’s really what contract beers are, copies. (no offense to the fine people who labor to make such!) Emerging beer fans (the very vocal minority) want the real thing from the source, not a copy. Stone couldn’t be a success among their target market by having someone else make their products.

    I think this move shows good insight into the market, and a well targeted plan that will reach its target audience.