STONE BREWERY BERLIN
In Marienpark 23
STONE brewery is one of the world’s most famous, USA-based craft companies. It is the biggest craft brewer in California and in the top ten of USA. Beers of the Arrogant series are a kind of legend on the old continent, especially, that getting them in Europe was almost impossible before.
The brewery, led by a charismatic Greg Koch, alias Beer Jesus (sorry, not my idea, this is his nick name google his photo and you will understand), has announced in 2014 that it will open its first production site in Berlin, Germany. And not a regular one, like many things in USA, this one was supposed to be huge. Stone brewery has decided to locate the new site in the Alt Mariendorf part of Berlin and revitalize and old, over 100 years old GASWERK. A 25 million dollars’ project. As a result, STONE promised a 100 Hl production site that will (finally) assure that their beers are available all around Europe. On top a 1500 people drinking hall Located. As far as I remember first beers were finalized at the end of 2015, and the brewery was finally operational in April 2016.
Altogether, if you ask me, there is no reason not to come here and see the new Stone Brewery.
OK, I have found one. Location. I think that it was very bold to locate a beer hall in the area so far from the city center. It takes almost an hour of combined subway and walking effort to get there from Berlin Mitte. Taxi drivers have no idea where the place is. Good that google maps knows it all. At the arrival, at least in the evening, you are
Some view from the outside.
The one below is just to reassure you are in the right place.
The entrance seems very solid. Just in case they need to separate from the angry mob.
There is a big shop at the entrance filled with beer, t-shirts, glass and other gadgets beer geeks may need. Crew is mixed German-American, but all the people here speak both. I have visited the place really late on Monday and the place was empty. I really enjoyed the undisturbed attention of the whole crew, and they were happy to answer all the questions.
But What really kicked my ass was the hall by itself. OK. Not a brewpub. It’s a brew HALL. It is humongous! Check the photos. There is everything inside starting from cozy chairs and ending up with cool stairs covered with pillows and blankets (yes, you can sit here). Unless you suffer from cyclophobia, you will simply love this place.
The place is protected by cast glass sign of Gargoyle in one of the windows (first photo). On the other side behind the glass one can enjoy the view on the brewery. Really impressive.
OK, enough for the introduction. Now, take a look on this multi-tap. Over 50 taps, on each side (but they are duplicated, for a better service). Guys do you offer the over-night stay, or sleeping bags? I will consider moving there soon.
Having more than 50 beers on the tap, it was hardly possible to try them all (I have never had more than 40 different beers in one evening. You have my word on this). Friendly, Stone will offer a trying size of 0.15 for the ones who still want to walk away on their own.
I have decided to stay classical for the evening and started with the Arrogant series. On the photo, they look very similar, but this is classical problem of ding the photo in the dimmed light of the bar. Number 1, 3 and 4 look almost the same, but the number 2 is lighter in color (from left to right). One thing that tells you a lot about the professionality there. The moment I have ordered four beers in the tasting size, the bartender just gave me a glass of water to clean up my taste buds in between. Just like that. No extra cost. Nothing. Respect.
Starting from the left:
Arrogant Bastard Ale (7.2% alc). Stone’s classic. This one being brewed here in Germany. IBU unknown, seems to be secret. I would bet on 80. Very nice mahogany color, decent head. Aroma of pine, oak, papaya and grass. Flavor is grassy hoppines complemented with dark malt. Quite bitter. World Class beer, but you know it.
Lil’ bastard (prototype) (4.7% alc). Brewed in Berlin. This beer is supposed to be a lighter version of the Arrogant Bastard. It fits exactly - Little bastard is lighter in aroma and taste, maybe even a bit watery. At least for me. If you just start your adventure with bitter beers – Little Bastard can be a very good choice. Otherwise, it has all the characteristic of its more Arrogant brother. Very interesting.
Double Bastard Ale, Dark Toasted Oak, 2012 edition (10.5% alc.). Brewed in San Diego – an excellent case of how oak aging can change good beer in a masterpiece. It has all the characteristics (multiplied by the Double factor) of the Arrogant Bastards, with hoppy aroma and bitterness, but really beautifully complemented by decent oak notes in bot aroma and taste. Body is smooth, sugary and syrupy. One of the best beers I have ever had.
Double Bastard Ale 2015 (11% alc.). Brewed in San Diego. Very nice beer. But, after trying the 2012 edition it was pointless. It’s just not decadent enough.
So the evening was still young, maybe 10 pm and the beers were finished. Feeling adventurous, I have decided to put a cherry on top and try their Chai Spiced Imperial Stout. OK. And this was a good idea. The chai part is really coming out nicely in both aroma and taste. Lot of spices, berries, dark chocolate. Bit boozy. I didn’t know that you can make a refreshing stout. Great finish of the evening.
Thanks a lot Stone brewery!