News Two Years Later – Former Stone Breweries Making ‘Fizzy Yellow Beer’

There have been many independent craft breweries that have sold to global brewers over the last decade or so. The first notable sale was when Anheuser-Busch acquired Goose Island in 2011. Many others followed. But perhaps the most shocking was when Stone Brewing, who openly stated “we will never sell out,” did just that. And now, after a $20 million upgrade by new-owner Sapporo, the former Stone brewery in Escondido, CA is pumping out “fizzy yellow beer.”

With another $40 million invested in the company’s Richmond, VA brewery, Sapporo has doubled the brewing capacity to about 700,000 barrels a year between both facilities. Two years after the acquisition, the original intent of setting up a production facility in the US for making Sapporo beer is finally in full swing. The company expects to move production of all Sapporo beers from Canada and Asia to the two former Stone breweries by late summer as they continue to make and market Stone beers.

The deal that shocked the craft brewing industry in July of 2022 has given Sapporo a strong foothold in the US beer market between the Stone and Sapporo brands. In addition to the brewery, Sapporo also operates three distribution warehouses, two Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens and five Stone Brewing Tap Rooms in Southern California in addition to the Richmond, VA brewery and Stone Brewing Tap Room.

Of all the previous acquisitions of independent craft breweries by larger entities, the Stone/Sapporo deal was perhaps the final curtain on the purity and intent of the original craft beer movement.

For more on the Sapporo investment in the former Stone breweries, go here.

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