For most craft brewers the process of developing great recipes and producing their beers is more than enough. However, that’s not necessarily the case for one small brewer. Stone Brewing Co. out of Escondido, California is making a move that might seem to be a little out of the norm. They’re opening a 50-room hotel, as well as making some other interesting decisions that most brewers would think twice about (if at all).
The Stone Hotel will be located directly across the street from the actual brewery. With a total of only 50 rooms, it will be an intimate setting, certainly. It will also give guests access to the expanded brewery where the company is adding more brewing space. The company is also opening a store, to be called the Stone Company Store to be located in San Diego, on 30th street in South Park. They’re also opening a catering company (Stone Catering). The company is also going international in a big, big way by opening Stone Brewing in Europe, though a final decision on where the brewery will be located has not yet been made.
Another interesting project that the company has in the works is the purchase of farmland in the area. This land will be used to grow produce for Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens. There’s even a second bistro being opened later on down the road. That’s quite a list of accomplishments and future plans for a small brewer, but it seems Stone is growing pretty quickly. That’s not really a surprise given the current craft beer market here in the US and abroad.
In fact, the expansions and new projects being undertaken by Stone should serve as inspiration to other small brewers looking for interesting ways to expand their offerings and make a larger impact in their local areas. Of course, other breweries don’t have to go to the same lengths as Stone – opening a hotel nearby is certainly not a feasible project for everyone. However, interesting pairings such as a tasting room and grill or buying farmland on which to grow organic grain for sustainable brewing offers both savings for the company and the chance to provide something more for customers and those living in the local area.
As more and more small brewers begin enjoying the benefits of greater popularity and market share, it’s only a matter of time before others start down the same road as Stone.