Just like it brews, Stone is doing what it wants and is sticking to it. They expanded to Missouri and threw an amazing shindig, but that was a month ago. Tuesday, Greg Koch announced a $26 million dollar expansion, including a venture into farming. Sure, many breweries have purchased a farm to support their brewing, but this is different. Stone is planning a small-scale farm to provide a steady supply of organic and sustainable produce to the Stone World Bistro and Gardens.
If you haven’t had the chance to head to Stone Brewing in Mendocino, then you haven’t been able to experience the amazing World Bistro and Garders at their brewing facility. It’s absolutely amazing and worth the trip to Cali. My wife and I made it there in February and were so happy with the experience, we are planning a second one. Their focus on the local, organic food as well as 32 craft beers and a great wine list from the region was second to none. I was able to enjoy Pliny the Elder on draught and paired it with some amazing spiced tempeh and brocolli stir fry. My wife doesn’t even like beer and she wants to go back.
For those of you that don’t know, my wife and I do not eat meat or dairy. It’s hard to find great, healthy food at locations that have a good beer list. Great beer locations tend to focus on greasy, meat specific items, which can dull tasting senses and make me question the quality of ingredients from which the beer is created. Stone does things differently. The World Bistro is the number one purchaser of local, small-farm organic produce in San Diego County. Each meal at the World Bistro and Gardens is created with high quality, local, organic ingredients, allowing for meat and dairy free options if needed. Experiencing the flavor of the ingredients made me respect their beer all the more. If they were concerned with healthy, whole food eating, they would probably reciprocate that care in their brewing ingredients. The farm will certainly further Stone’s idea that beer, as well as food, should come from quality ingredients and have minimal impact on the environment.
The farm isn’t meant to be a platform of profitability, but to provide organic and sustainable produce for it’s World Bistro (and new restaurant in central San Diego), as well as providing education to the local community. Educational field trips for local schools as well as a venue for special events are slated for the futre. It is said that the farm WILL NOT be used for hop growing. Judging from the recent growth and expansion, I’m sure Stone will soon be purchasing something for hop specific farming down the road.
Along with the farm purchase, Stone is also expanding it’s home footprint to almost double in size. They are planning a boutique hotel and a second restaurant location in central San Diego. I can’t wait to visit in 2013 and stay at the Stone hotel. You think they will have Arrogant Bastard on tap in each room? I’ll cross my fingers just in case. Wink!
See you out there.