Stone Brewing Co. is a craft brewery headquartered in Escondido, California. Founded in 1996 in San Marcos, California, it is the largest brewery in Southern California. As of 2010, it was the 14th largest craft brewery and 23rd largest overall brewery in the United States.
Stone Brewing is known for its aggressive Arrogant Bastard Ale, although the brewery considers Stone Pale Ale and Stone IPA to be its flagship beers. Most of their beers are characteristic of west-coast craft brews; that is to say, most beers have a traditionally ‘hoppy’ flavor. Stone beers are bottled in 22 ounce bottles, 12 oz six packs, and occasionally 3 liter bottles.
The beers available in six-packs are the Stone Pale Ale, Stone IPA, Stone Levitation Ale, Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale, and Stone Ruination IPA. Stone uses 22oz bottles to feature their “bigger character” beers and Stone Special Releases. Compared to most brewers, many Stone brews feature alcohol percentages that are well above average. The alcohol-by-volume content of Stone brews ranges from 4.4% to well over 11%.
In 2006, Stone relocated from its original brewery in San Marcos to a new, custom-designed facility in Escondido. The new brewery currently has a capacity of 250,000 US beer barrels per year, and also includes an on-site bottling line. The site is also home to a restaurant, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, a 300+ seat restaurant which features a large outdoor patio and 1-acre (4,000 m2) of gardens. The restaurant serves a rotating menu of food—concentrating on organic, free-range and local ingredients—and beer from Stone, local San Diego and regional California craft brewers, and other specialty breweries in the United States and abroad. The brewery also houses a Stone Company Store where Stone merchandise can be purchased in addition to one and two litre growlers which can be filled with Stone’s 7 year-round beers and special releases.
In June 2008, Stone Brewing became more eco-friendly when they covered the roof of the brewery with solar panels, nearly cutting their energy costs in half. The 1,561 roof-mounted solar modules will offset more than 538,000 pounds (244,000 kg) of carbon emissions over its lifetime, which is equivalent to planting 204 acres (0.83 km2) of trees.
In 2011, Stone announced plans for major expansion, which will include a new restaurant and brewery in Point Loma, expansion of its Escondido brewery to 500,000 barrel per year capacity, a 18.7 acre organic farm to supply produce to its current and future restaurants, and a shop in the South Park neighborhood which will sell its beer in bottles, kegs and growlers.