Spreading something good. American craft beer goes global
on 04/02/11 at 1:49 pmBeer
While craft beer fans hedge their bets on whether Sunday’s Super Bowl play-by-play is more suited to hopped-up IPAs or intensely flavored stouts, Greg Koch will be deliberating over a lot more than what to sip on game day. In the coming weeks, the co-owner of Escondido-based Stone Brewing Co. will finalize the location of the first American craft brewery on the European continent.
After decades of taking hops advice from foreign brewers, American craft brewers are beginning to return the favor. Several are now exporting their beers, and others are inviting upstart foreign brewers stateside for a lesson in brewing American favorites such as double IPAs (an India pale ale amped up with extra hops to intensify the flavor). Or, as with Stone, they are getting a surprisingly bubbly reception in the bid for permanent resident status abroad.
“We had no idea we would suddenly need a Stone employee with ‘European acquisitions’ added to his title,” says Koch. After scouting locations in May, Koch and co-owner Steve Wagner received more than 75 brewery site proposals from nine countries, including Denmark, Estonia, France, Italy and Britain. They recently narrowed the playing field to the top two contenders: Bruges, Belgium, and Berlin.