That is the day Stone Brewing Co. opened and sold their first keg of craft beer in San Marcos, Ca, Stone Pale Ale to be exact. Their first keg was bought by Vince Marsaglia of Pizza Port.
I first heard of Stone Brewing Co. many years ago by Sam of Stuffed Sandwich in San Gabriel Ca. where my close friends Julio, Ruben and I visited weekly. Sam popped open a bottle of Arrogant Bastard and said “You need to stop drinking all the other shit, and try this.” “A close friend of mine opened a brewery and their brews are amazing.” We dove in and said, “Fuck!, this brew is badass and the label is killer.” After that day we had everything Sam had from Stone and heard all the stories of his friendship with Greg Koch. Sam taught us everything about craft beer and we never looked back.
Luckily for me years later I met Greg, and had beers with him. We’ve shared brews, stories and good laughs. I even convinced him to sign my arm for a tattoo. One story he told me has always stood out. When Greg lived in Los Angeles, he always visited Al’s Bar in downtown. He saw what they poured and one brew stood out that he liked, bam! It all changed from there for him and a few years later a new beer industry for us, a craft beer industry. I used to manage a few punk bands that played there, so I was awed just listening to this and knowing this spot.
Now 17 years later, Stone Brewing Co. is stronger than ever and a huge part of the craft beer industry. I’ve been a huge fan of craft beer, and Stone ever since.
So today (7/26/13) I raise a pint of Stone Pale Ale and say “Happy 17th Greg, Steve and everyone at Stone Brewing Co. here’s to many more years of brews, stories, laughs and friendship. Cheers my friend!”
Happy 17th Anniversary Stone Brewing Co.