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Stone来了,这次是真的!Craft Beer Heavyweights Stone -- Coming to China

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经过几年的筹措观望,数月的秘密运筹,这家加州为王,美国前十的精酿酒厂Stone,终于来了! 11月初,两位创始人Greg Koch, Steve Wagner及现任CEO Dominique Engels将游历北京、上海、成都。他们带来的,不仅是前所未有的豪华啤酒阵容,更有一个我们翘首以盼的解答:这个一手改变加州甚至全美啤酒格局的酒厂,到底能为中国精酿做些什么?

不管你是否对这个酒厂如数家珍,跟着我们一起用5分钟温习一下Stone牛B满满的创业简史吧。

Stone Brewing Co. is the kind of brand that needs no introduction. So for the well-acquainted, here’s what you need to know: Stone beers are coming to China in November!

For those less familiar, or those who would enjoy a walk down memory lane with one of the best names in craft brewing, here’s the full story…

缘起加州

A very California beginning

音乐世界大同,啤酒也一样。

1989年的Greg在洛杉矶开设了自己的第一间录音室,Steve的乐队就在他那里录音。数年后两人再次偶遇在加大Davis学院,猜猜这一次他们在干什么?共同学习一门“如何品尝啤酒”的课程。

再次相遇的两人不得不感叹这是命运的安排,只是当年的琴瑟和鸣换成了今日的麦芽美酒夜光杯,终身事业的契机也就此展开。

(96年的Greg和Steve与他们的全新酿酒设备。Greg and Steve, in 1996 with their brand new brewing facility. )

Music makes the world go ‘round. And also craft beer, apparently.

In 1989, Greg had just opened music studios in Los Angeles. Steve’s band was among the first tenants, and so the two met while Steve and his mates practiced and recorded there.

Fate struck again when both happened to take a course at UC Davis called The Sensory Evaluation of Beer. (Where can we sign up?) As they put it, the experience led them to discover “that their tastes in beer and ideals in brewing matched.”

Stone的“啤酒观点”

What are Stone’s ‘brewing ideals’?

1996年建厂以来,STONE俨然晋身为美国第九大规模的精酿酒厂,并连续11年被财富500评为全球5000家增长最快的私企。

尽管从当初的两人创业,到如今全球超过1100名优秀员工,Stone的初衷不变-- 追求酿造的终极技艺。用Greg在一次采访中的原话来说,“艺术的本质是表达观点,我不做没有观点的啤酒。” 熟悉Stone的人不难发现,他们的啤酒鲜少能用标准风格定义,因为Greg和Steve做酒从不为取悦大众,他们先取悦自己。

Since its inception in 1996, Stone Brewing has grown a lot. It’s now the ninth-largest craft brewery in the US with international distribution. But even as the company evolves, their founding principles do not.

First and foremost, Greg, Steve and their 1,100 employees are dedicated to the art of craft beer. For them, words like ‘artisanal’ are not just marketing catchphrases, they’re defining tenets. As Greg put it in an interview with Democrat & Chronicle, “Art is best when it has a point of view. So I like beer with a point of view.” Greg and Steve never set out to please the masses. They set out to create something genuinely great.

你不喝,是因为你不配!

But was the world ready for their tastes in beer?

今天的Stone,被许多我们耳熟能详的酒厂公开致敬。他们那些热烈,勇敢,甚至有些奇特的啤酒,成为了无数新一代酿酒师追逐的方向。然而事情并非向来如此。

在与洛杉矶时报的一次对谈中,Greg坦言早年间为了销售Stone的第一款淡色艾尔,他手提迷你酒桶挨家挨户推销,但几乎每个试过的人回复都惊人地相似:“不用了,多谢。”拒绝却成了Greg的动力,“也许当年看来,我对未来的期望遥不可及。但我从没放弃相信人类的超凡品鉴能力。”

同样是这款酒,如今酒瓶上赫然写着:“这是款激进的啤酒,你很有可能不喜欢。这意味着你还没有足够的品味欣赏一款如此有深度的啤酒...”这,便是Stone知名的Arrogant Bastard(傲慢的混蛋)艾尔。

Today, Stone is well-known and well-loved for their big, bold beers. Countless competitors now emulate Stone’s hoppy, high-alcohol style. But It wasn’t always so. For Stone, the early days were tough. The world had never tasted anything quite like it.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Greg recalls the hard sell that was their first commercial beer, Stone Pale Ale. He went bar to bar, offering free samples from a hand-carried mini-keg. "Most of them wrinkled their nose and said, 'No thanks.'"

With faith in his art, Greg remained undeterred. As he put it in the same interview with the Democrat & Chronicle, “I have an unrealistically positive view of the future - I have always believed in people’s good tastes.”

有容乃大

Keeping the beer faith

Greg的信念没有辜负Stone, 创立21年来,这个品牌不仅将无数消费者解救出千篇一律的啤酒牢笼,更为自己创建出一个偌大的精酿帝国。

老本营圣地亚哥的Escondido酒厂,年产超32万桶(约合3800万升)啤酒。占地一英亩的花园,同时拥有36个酒头的酒吧,餐厅及全美最大的啤酒礼品店。1996年创建的Stone专业啤酒分销,是现今美国最有影响力的精酿啤酒分销公司。2016年,STONE更不动则以,一鸣惊人,将啤酒版图首次扩展到欧洲。这第一间北美之外的STONE酒厂,竟然设在老牌啤酒帝国-- 德国柏林!

为什么每次都有惊人之举?用Steve的话来说,Stone是一家“洁癖酒厂”,做好生意对他们来说,建立在共同的啤酒理念,及精酿人的同舟共济之上。如果不能用质量,创意及技术共同维护这个行业,就可能意味着团灭。

深谙此道的Stone来到中国,第一战便不负其一贯用酒说话的傲气。不单从加州兴师动众空运十数款新鲜出厂的生啤,更连带6款压箱底限量好货,由创始人Greg亲自带着你喝!

限量版Stone珍藏精酿先睹为快

A sneak peek at the limited-edition beer Stone brought for China

For their persistence in the face of rejection and good faith in the beer drinkers of the world, we have Stone to thank for saving us from a vast sea of watery, fizzy, mass-produced lagers. Luckily for us, drinkers finally began to come around to the idea of better beers.

And to this day, Stone remains dedicated to pushing beer boundaries. Their success proves that fortune favors the bold. When Stone started out in a San Marcos warehouse nearly two decades ago, they produced 400 barrels. In 2015, Stone produced nearly 326,000 at their Escondido estate where they operate a store, a tasting room, and restaurant complete with a 1-acre garden, 36 taps, and hundreds of bottles.

From the original greats like Stone’s IPA and Pale Ale, Stone has developed a staggering array from their Ruination IPA and Arrogant Bastard Ale to current hits like the Pilot series and rare and highly sought-after brews like the Saison Du Boff, a collaboration with Victory and Dogfish Head.

Stone’s bolstered their inventiveness with a loyalty to the craft beer industry. As self-proclaimed craft beer “zealots and purists”, they not only serve competing craft brews at their restaurants, but also they distribute for smaller craft brewers to help them get on their feet. As Steve puts it, the move is good business for a brand dedicated to artistry. For Stone, ‘good business’ isn’t strictly focused on the bottom line. Instead, Stone knows that when craft beer brewers support each other, they’re building up an industry founded upon quality, creativity and art.

Steve puts it most simply when he says, “I believe people should have access to great beer. That’s been our mantra from the very beginning.”

就在11月

See you in November

无论你身处北京,上海还是成都,都有机会在11月与这个传奇酒厂亲密接触。带上你的好奇,尽情向知无不言的Stone团队发问吧。

欲参与11月5日上海站的活动,请关注TheBrewGirl的后续报道哦。

Stone Brewing Co. makes its China debut in early November. Those lucky enough to attend the initial event in Shanghai on November 5 will be privy to a face-to-face talk with Greg Koch, a tasting of rare Stone brews and a Q&A sesh.

Follow TheBrewGirl closely for more updates and info on ticket sales - and how you can get your hands on some Stone without flying all the way to SoCal.

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