Is Stone Brewing privately owned?

Answered by Vince Keith

Stone is privately owned. It was founded in 1996 by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner, who are still actively involved in the company. As a sommelier and brewer, I have been following Stone Brewing's journey for many years, and I can attest to their commitment to remaining independent and true to their craft.

Stone Brewing has always prided itself on being an independent and fiercely innovative brewery. They have consistently pushed the boundaries of , both in terms of flavors and brewing techniques. This commitment to quality and innovation has earned them a loyal following of enthusiasts, myself included.

Being privately owned has allowed Stone Brewing to maintain their autonomy and make decisions based on their own values and vision, rather than being beholden to outside investors or shareholders. It has also given them the flexibility to take risks and experiment with new styles and flavors, which has been a hallmark of their success.

In an industry that has seen a wave of acquisitions by larger beer conglomerates, Stone Brewing has stood out as a champion of craft beer independence. They have actively spoken out against the “Big Beer” companies and have been vocal advocates for supporting local, independent breweries.

However, it is important to note that in 2016, Stone Brewing sold a minority stake to a private equity firm, which helped fund their expansion plans and increase their distribution footprint. This move sparked some controversy among craft beer enthusiasts, who were concerned about the potential impact on Stone Brewing's independence and commitment to quality. Nonetheless, Stone Brewing has maintained control over their operations and decision-making processes.

Stone Brewing is privately owned and has remained committed to their craft and independence since their inception. They have been at the forefront of the craft beer movement and have consistently pushed the boundaries of what beer can be. As a sommelier and brewer, I have admired their passion and dedication to quality, and I look forward to seeing what they will continue to bring to the craft beer industry.