Two announcements with different intonations informed the beer world of a big deal on Friday: Stone Brewing Berlin is shutting down, and BrewDog will take over the space, which is slated to re-open as a new BrewDog brewery location in 2019.
Stone Brewing’s Greg Koch posted a statement on Stone’s company blog titled, “Farewell Stone Brewing Berlin: Too Big, Too Bold, Too Soon.”
“Today we announce we are transferring the ownership of the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Berlin facility to our friends at Brewdog,” Koch writes in the statement. “Brewdog has agreed to adopt what we’ve built, and they will make it their own.”
The brewery buildout was chronicled in a feature-length documentary, “The Beer Jesus from America,” released in February 2019 at the Berlin Independent Film Festival. “We invested a significant portion of a decade and significant millions building Stone Berlin,” Koch writes in the blog post. “And it didn’t work out.”
BrewDog also announced the acquisition, saying it will officially take ownership on May 1, 2019. Following evaluation and some renovation, BrewDog will reopen later this year, according to the announcement.
BrewDog is no stranger to Berlin, having opened a bar there in 2017. It also plans to launch a location in Hamburg, Germany in 2019. The Scotland-based brewer plans to host “an epic European AGM,” a festival held for its “Equity Punks” shareholders, when the Berlin location opens. Berlin will also be “the next destination for BrewDog Airlines,” the announcement said.
The difficulties of expanding a regional brewery are many. Stone’s unfortunate loss shows that even a brewery named the “Top Beer & Food Destination in Germany,” selling the top IPA in that country, according to Koch, is not guaranteed success.