Written by Franz Hofer for A Tempest in a Tankard
I headed out to Stone Brewing’s Berlin outpost in Mariendorf with less than great expectations. Stone’s arrival in Berlin had been anything but auspicious. During a press conference in 2014, co-owner Greg Koch presided over the destruction of a pallet of main-stream German beers crushed with a rock dropped from a forklift. The symbolism was lost on no one, and the exercise in cultural tone-deafness did little to endear Stone to the German drinking public beyond the craft beer converts in the crowd.
Koch came to have misgivings about this public display of arrogance, stating in an interview with Nina Anika Klotz of Hopfenhelden that it wasn’t a performance he was keen on repeating. He acknowledged that the stunt “was not meant as an insult toward beer.” His target all along, he claimed, was not the German brewing tradition per se, but rather the industrially produced beer lining the shelves of German discount supermarkets like Rewe and Lidl — beer, he emphasized, that was undermining the sterling reputation of German brewing.
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