AM 760 KFMB - Talk Radio Station - San Diego, CA - Stone Brewing Makes a Historic Hop in the Craft Beer World

Stone Brewing Makes a Historic Hop in the Craft Beer World

Updated: May 9, 2016 6:22 AM

Beer is what makes the world go ’round. Okay, perhaps it doesn’t. That guilty party belongs to the world of money. However, the craft beer industry is taking a giant step forward thanks to one of its San Diego pioneers.

Stone Brewing Co. CEO Greg Koch has announced the formation of True Craft, a $100 million company geared toward investing in smaller craft breweries to help them remain independent. (NBC San Diego)

A statement from Escondido-based Stone Brewing said True Craft will make minority investments in craft brewers while allowing those brewers to retain control of their business and culture. The new venture’s structure is still in formation, with further details to be announced at a later date.

I love this idea so much that I can barely contain my excitement. I’ve been a beer drinker most of my adult life. For the record, I’m not an alcoholic. I enjoy the hop-tastic pleasures of life just as much as my fellow man and woman.

The fact that, along with the Bay Area/Northern California, San Diego has become a southern Mecca of local craft breweries. This has helped the beer industry as a whole boom and bloom into a wonderful “citra-conomy.”

One does wonder though: with more than 100 breweries, micro-breweries, nano-breweries and other breweries of the like here in America’s Finest City, when will the bubble burst? It’s amazing to see the growth of the beer industry, but much like streaming videos and purchasing other products, when is enough, enough?

Of course, the industry’s titans will be around to stay for a while, but some of the smaller establishments who have their business as a side job or make just enough to get by, may not last as long as they would hope.

Entrepreneurs of all kinds want to keep their small businesses and treat them as if they were their own children. Nobody can blame them for that. That being said, you cannot blame a company for “selling out” when a big corporation chooses to buy said company. The owners feel like they’ve done all they could to raise that baby of a brewery, for example.

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples: Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits started here in San Diego. They’ve become a behemoth in terms of sales volume. They have locations in Linda Vista, Scripps Ranch, and Little Italy, to go along with their headquarters in Miramar. They were bought by Constellation Brands in 2015 for a whopping $1 billion.

Located in Miramar, St. Archer Brewing was bought by MillerCoors for an undisclosed amount.

So, let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that Ballast Point and St. Archer did “sell out.” What does this mean to you? For what it’s worth, it sounds like a “you” problem rather than a “their” problem.

In my humble opinion, their beer is still going to taste great. I’m a big fan of Stone, Ballast Point, and many others here in San Diego. I could go for a celebratory drink in hearing this wonderful news. Kudos to Koch and his team at Stone for stepping up for the little guys and keeping them relevant.

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