April 03 2019 – Simon Yarwood
When planning a holiday, some people demand hot weather, white sandy beaches and panoramic ocean views. We’re simpler folk: all we require is the promise of great beer and delicious food, and we’re booking our plane tickets. That’s why Chris found himself in Stone Brewing in Berlin a couple weeks ago, beer in hand and perfectly content.
Stone Brewing started up in San Diego in 1996. Since then, they have been named ‘All-time Top Brewery on Planet Earth’ twice by BeerAdvocate, and have opened up a taproom in Shanghai and a couple of sites in Berlin. The main Berlin site in Mariendorf is a beautiful and imposing red-brick building, formerly a gas works, surrounded by a sprawling beer garden. The scale of the place is breathtaking - so big in fact that the kegs are stored in a separate building, with underground lines pumping the beer through to the taps.
You can tuck into a range of delicious international food, but more important than the food (to us craft beer-philes) is the impressive range of draught beer on offer. The bar boasts a ridiculous 75 lines, offering a selection which includes Stone brews from Berlin, both US sites and vintage kegs from their San Diego keg library - in addition to a few guest lines and fridges packed with pretty much every Stone beer you can imagine. Many people (ourselves included) would find that enormous selection overwhelming. Our advice would be to order a tasting flight, allowing you to sample a few beers at a time. Tours of the brewing facility with a guided beer tasting are available, too. It’s easy to while away a good few hours here, to which Chris can attest, touring the brewery and learning about Stone’s incredibly eco-friendly methods, indulging in some delicious food in the cavernous dining hall, spending all your pocket money on the huge selection of merch in the shop, and sitting out in the organic gardens enjoying a beer (or several).
Mariendorf is a good way South of central Berlin, but don’t worry - if you don’t fancy the schlep out to Mariendorf, there is another, much more intimate and modestly-proportioned taproom in Prenzlauer Berg where you can gorge on street food and choose from one of 27 beers on draught. And for a taste of Stone without the expense of plane tickets and a hotel, pop into The Epicurean and find a great selection of Stone beers, including:
Stone Xocoveza - Stone x Lambrate Scarlet Hibiscus Pale
Stone Idolatrous IPA - Stone Go-To IPA - Stone IPA
Stone Ruination - Stone Ripper