American Brau in Deutschland?
I moved to France from Boulder, Colorado in 2012 and was only supposed to be in country for a year. That was 6 years ago and we are still grinding our way around the French Riviera.
There are many things I miss about Boulder, such as: my good friends; college football; hiking around the Flatiron rock features that dominate the front range of the Rocky Mountains; Boulder’s safe and extensive network of bike trails throughout the city, its diverse restaurants
(especially Mexican, bbq, and fish tacos), but most of all I miss the microbrewery scene.
Even though Boulder’s population is only 100,000 people, within its city limits there are 24 breweries! If you extend to include surrounding areas within bikeable distance, you’ll find close to 100 breweries. In total, Colorado currently has 371 breweries listed on its Colorado Brewery List, but then this story is not about Boulder, or Colorado. It is about a good American beer now being brewed in Germany, and how excited I am about that, considering my ex-pat status and the fact that I live In the Cote d’Azur, where they substitute Rosé wine for beer.
That all changed in 2016 when the American craft beer producer, Stone Brewing, opened the Stone World Bistro and Gardens in one of the world’s beer capitals, Germany. That’s right, Germany, home of Oktoberfest and the Reinheitsgebot, the notoriously penal ‘German beer purity law.’ Germans are really, really serious about their beer – but then so is Stone Brewing CEO Dominic Engels, who had this to say about invading such scrupulous beer territory:
“The promise of expansion seems to be an all-too-familiar excuse for selling out in craft beer, but we prefer to be the embodiment of the alternative. After looking at more than 130 sites in nine different countries, we decided Berlin was the right location to become Stone Brewing’s international hub. It will serve as a central location promoting goodwill and quality craft beer spanning the globe.”
I was obviously thrilled. When I found out Stone had opened its Bistro and Gardens location in Berlin I immediately scheduled a business trip just to check out the new brewery. When I walked inside the experience made me feel like I was back in the United States, but with a slight German twist. The interior of the taproom is a huge, traditional, outdoor beer-garden, but is instead inside.
The beer experience was slightly overwhelming as Stone had at least 25 beers on tap and I had so little time that
it was difficult to narrow it down to which beers I would actually drink. On tap they had: 13 beers from Stone Berlin, nine Beers from Stone USA, three Beers from Arrogant Brewing, and then 25+ more hand picked beers from the best breweries in the world.
The Stone World Bistro and Gardens in Berlin is more than just about beer though. The all day restaurant (open 12 to 12) serves up some of the best food I have ever tasted in a brewery. I recommend trying a plate of their tacos- hoisin chili duck tacos or seared shrimp tacos for a starter, then going big with the BBQ Brisket, which is hard to find in Europe. The can’t miss food of the Stone brewery is it’s blueberry blue-cheese jalapeno cheesecake. I was totally stuffed with beer and brisket, but this cheesecake is a can’t miss delight.
News update: Stone has opened yet another facility in Berlin! Last May it opened the Stone Brewing Tap Room – Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin’s city center. Smaller and more intimate than the World Bistro and Gardens, the tap room offers the same beer selection as its older brother, but a smaller food menu.
TIP: Like Boulder, Berlin is a very bike friendly city. After cruising the Berlin Wall bike trail stop by the Stone World Bistro and Gardens or the new Stone Brewing Tap Room –Prenzlauer Berg. Each location is an easy ride from the Wall route and to/ from just about any hotel in the city.