Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido is a short drive from Carlsbad and an experience many share with out-of-town guests.
Founded in 1996 by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner, it’s already grown to be the 14th-largest craft brewery in the United States and it’s growing by leaps and bounds.
The $20 million-plus project includes Stone Farms, an 18-acre farm about eight miles from the brewery in Escondido. Coming in June to South Park will be the Stone Company Store with 14 rotating taps and bottled Stone beer for sale.
In early 2012, Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens will open in Liberty Station. There will be eclectic comfort food, a brewhouse, a 400-seat indoor and outdoor restaurant and a bocce ball court. The Escondido location is also expanding into a North County tourist destination, complete with a 50-room potentially LEED-certified hotel. The hotel will be on six acres of land across from the brewery and is set to open in 2013.
So what does this mean for Carlsbad?
Carlsbad already has breweries, including , , and the new. Craft beer fanatics who travel to North County to experience Stone Brewing Co. may also travel to Carlsbad to continue their beer adventure.
The expansion also means more jobs in San Diego. About 250 jobs are being created.
Once the hotel is built, a trip to Stone Brewing can be a “staycation.” Also, getting to the Escondido location is going to be easier with Citracado Parkway connecting to the 15 and 78. The brewery can also be a wedding venue for local couples.
Co-founder Koch says he gets two questions and one suggestion all the time:
Why don't you have normal food?
Why don't you have a sign?
You guys should have a hotel.
Koch says their food is normal for people in other parts of the world. He didn't have an answer for the sign question, but a hotel they can do.