It was just such a wonderful day in every respect. It’s too fancy.” That kind of thing. There you go, that’s back to the movie again. People still reach for the cheap and easy. And, that tanked the industry. ... Greg Koch Explains How to Expertly Pack Beer for Air Travel. Beer. I imagine that had to be a tough decision. There’s that frustration I was talking about, that tightness and just that feeling of, “I just can’t take this anymore.” And then the opening day was one of the best days of my entire life. To achieve popular success based on that cult foundation is, for me, kind of the holy grail. And that’s how beer is looked at too. My conversation with Koch gave me a chance to check in on how his world has changed since the struggle to launch Stone Berlin. Well, the truth of the matter is that we sold more beer in 2019 than we did in 2018, and we’ll sell more in 2020 than we did in 2019. Greg Koch is Chairman/Co-Founder at Stone Brewing Co. See Greg Koch's compensation, career history, education, & memberships. When my co-founder, Steve Wagner, and I first tried that beer, we looked at each other with one of those silent wow expressions, like, "Holy crap. Read More. Stone Brewing and Pure Water San Diego Go Full Circle. We now have around 1,200 employees. Back in ’96, Koch and brewer Steve Wagner opened up Stone Brewing in San Marcos, California with the now-retired but still iconic Stone Pale Ale. I was always pretty certain that I wasn't interested in private equity. And, I’m always asking, “well, which kind of beer are you even talking about? This is challenging for craft brewers, as many have had their businesses gutted with the loss of on-premise sales at bars, restaurants, sporting venues, hotels, and so on. I think that the conditioning in Germany was stronger. How much talking about your bottle of sparkling water do you engage in? The best thing a craft beer lover can do right now is to be intentional with their beer purchasing. Greg Koch is currently Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board at Stone Brewing. They didn't want to just rubber-stamp their name on something. Mine were focused on growing the company and less on internal health, and we wanted to improve the experience of our own team. My favorite bands were ones that just went for it. We’re learning how to operate safely. I was actually at your Shanghai bar last year before everything. Yeah, exactly. Greg Koch. (The film’s name was derived from local Berlin tabloid headline that mocked Koch’s long beard and hair.) We’re continuing to brew beers as best and as safely as we can. It's Metallica. Beer Advocate named us the No. The brewery's first beer was Stone Pale Ale, which was considered to be its flagship ale until it was retired in 2015. Just like, “Okay, I’m done with this.” It’s like feeling this well of tightness around your neck and shoulders. It was a combination of all of the ratings of all of their users. Greg Koch is the Executive Chairman and co-founder of Stone Brewing, the 10th largest craft brewing company in the United States. --As told to Graham Winfrey. Then he co-founded Stone Brewing, which quickly became enormously influential in the craft beer world, thanks to its strong brews and even stronger personality. Career Add … As a business in this world, you ride the wave and, hopefully, you get off before the wave crashes into the beach. It’s really interesting watching it. Bio EDIT. But you’re right, as a company, let’s not forget that things continue to go well. But I'm happy to say that they're the opposite. Now, I'm like, "You should've known. Read More. To me, "cult brand" just means that you're hardcore doing it the way you believe in, and other people are responding. Primus. Maybe they were aware of the existence of a beer called Guinness. He took his dress shirt off in a scene and he didn’t have an undershirt on underneath. The margins are always razor thin and just the understanding of what beer can be is always a struggle. It means that you get known for the quality and character of what you do--not some ad campaign, or something else that falsely inflates it. The film also touches on a moment in time when the perception of craft beer changed dramatically across Europe and became a little more mainstream, in many ways thanks to the work Koch and his team put into the region. It was a reflection of my feelings at the time, which haven't completely changed: a high disdain for a corporate mentality and those lowest common denominators generally exuded by large brands. What do you think is the best thing a beer lover can do right now to support local craft? We caught up with Koch recently to talk about a documentary that was made about the push to open Stone Berlin back in 2016. We had won all the awards: Best beer place in Asia, one of the top-rated Western restaurants in all of Shanghai, top 2 percent, all of that. People were conditioned to expect a beer to be that industrial, fizzy yellow stuff of the MillerCoors and Budweiser corps, and that was it. Early Jane's Addiction. There’s going to be a range of styles and characters and ABVs and producers and all this. It’s also a time just to pay attention to your core business. There’s a point in the film that I just want to turn it off out of frustration. Not only what it symbolized, but just the day itself and the people that came out. And then COVID-19 made it more than we could handle. He'd accidentally doubled the amount of hops and specialty malts. Of course, Steve knew: He had made a mistake with the recipe. Stone IPA is our No. Nobody ever asked for the kind of music they were playing. In Response To The Wildly Irresponsible Actions of Local Pioneers / Sawstone Brewing. In the US, we broke through the conditioning. Stone Brewing's co-founder Greg Koch talks about expanding around the world and the pandemic's impact on craft beer. We were running on thin margins — even though very successful — based upon all this trade war nonsense. Shout about them on social media or even to the person hanging out on their balcony across the street! We made it up until about six years ago but the sales just weren’t … enough. Yeah. They take things seriously." The weird paradox of that is that it had been extremely successful. You were one of the first craft brewers to produce a smoked beer back in the day, alongside I think just Alaskan in the U.S. Why do you think that beer has never really had its hazy NEIPA or sour beer moment? See also. It’s something they just do. 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