Stone Brewing World Bistro Gardens
The Full Pour
The rumors of Greg Koch’s decision to go into Deutschland, with a full-on World Bistro Garden, were swirling around San Diego for some time before the massive endeavor officially started showing signs of taking shape. Whether it was fact or fiction didn’t really matter, it made for interesting beer banter and we all knew if any American craft brewer would attempt to set up a significant camp in the center of the Rheinheitsgebot universe, it was Greg. Fast forward many years, and we now have the opportunity to experience what happens when one of the most notable American craft brewing success stories reinterprets itself in one of Europe’s most exciting and happening cities. It seems meant to be.
Very much in line with the World Bistro Gardens of Escondido and Liberty Station (in San Diego), there is absolutely nothing underwhelming when it comes to Stone Berlin. The same high-quality appointments are everywhere you look and the architecture of this historic gasworks facility is stunning to say the least. There are videos online, which highlight the restoration of the main structure, and it appears as if no expense was spared in reinventing it to its current state of glory. While the location choice seems to be a topic of conversation around Berlin, it’s clear that the architecture was most likely the main driver in the decision-making. You’ll get it as soon as you walk in the door, the various zones at your disposal are extensive and each one seems to outshine the last one you've strolled through. There is also the special attention to your culinary experience, another Stone hallmark, with particular focus on the careful sourcing of small-farm ingredients and globally-inspired recipe creations. When you couple this with a jaw-dropping 75 taps, it gets tough to imagine a terrible time here.
Why is this on THL?
The “If you build it, and build it well, they will come” formula, which had worked so well for Stone-Escondido in the early days of the San Diego craft explosion, seems to be at play here in Berlin too. Don't let the location stifle your travel bravado and give you second thoughts about making the time. You may have to orchestrate a few transit transfers and perhaps walk a bit, but (ahem) this is Berlin. The city is spread out, an urban exploration delight, and you should already be acclimated to covering large swaths of territory to maximize your stay. While the year-round Stone selection that we've all come to appreciate over the years will be waiting for you here, there are also specialty brews to be sampled as well (remember, 75 taps). If your schedule allows, consider a tour to learn more about this whole experiment. Or, coordinate for a movie night during your visit. Rather than thinking of it as a pitstop amongst your other destinations for the day, realize that Stone is the main event and remove all pressure to plan for anything else for awhile.