Sunday, November 28, 2010

Oh, the irony: A humble storefront for Stone Brewing Co.

The brewing company renowned for its in-your-face big beers and equally aggressive marketing campaign that pegs ‘fizzy yellow beer’ drinkers ‘wussies’ is approaching the final countdown before opening a second bottle and brew shop in southern California; that’s right, oh-quiet, quaint, artistic, family and dog friendly South Park– you’re about to get Stone’d.
Before all of South Park’s tree huggers get their organic cotton panties in a bunch, I’m here to report that the infamously gargantuan brewing company is not erecting Stone Palace No. 2 to mirror its North County castle; rather,  the 14 tap growler-fill, bottle shop and small batch brew-pub is but a modest storefront within the historic and recently renovated Fire Station #9 building on 30th Street, home to indie establishments Station TavernVELO Cult and most recently, The Rose Wine Pub.
I know what you’re thinking. Modesty? Nano-brewing? Isn’t Stone Brewing Company, like, traversing oceans as we speak to divide and conquer Europe one self-righteous ale at a time? There’s an undeniable duplicity between Stone the Brand and Stone the Neighborhood Store, but as CEO and Co-Founder Greg Koch explained under the bill of his Arrogant Bastard hat, ‘North Park/South Park is becoming a culinary and craft beer corridor. The advanced philosophies of businesses in this area, and their appreciation of the art of craft beer, makes it feel like home.’ Translation: SOUTH PARK IS WORTHY!!!
Koch went on to preview more of what we can expect at the open Q&A session held this afternoon at the soon-to-open shop, emphasizing above all else what the store won’t be. According to the CEO, Stone Brewing Company Store South Park doesn’t want to compete with liquor stores, bars and surrounding restaurants; heck, it doesn’t even want to compete with itself, or other identity, depending on how you look at it. The store will serve Stone enthusiasts who want to fill up their growlers without traveling to Escondido (very handy for releases), and offer the chance to try some experimental, small batches of beer ‘unlike anything’ the company has produced before. There are no plans, just a possibility, that Stone Brewing Company’s successful ‘Beer U’ educational programs will satellite in South Park, and the same goes for flights and tasting events– not on the regular menu.
Because of licencing restrictions, the Stone Brewing Company Store can only feature goods produced by the company, a sad contrast to the Escondido location/distribution center where up to 20-something other craft brewery varieties are available in bottles and on tap. The South Park specialty store is slated to open at 11am and close anywhere from 7-9pm, operating 7 days a week, in as soon as 5 weeks time.

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