2015 has been a year in which Stone Brewing Co. has said goodbye to a lot of longtime family members. They started off by announcing the retirement of their Levitation Amber Ale and Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA, which was a pretty bold statement from them that when it’s time to go, it’s time to go. They also decided to blow up their Pale Ale (the first beer they ever brewed, and their longtime flagship beer) and Ruination IPA and upgraded both brews to version 2.0, using updated brewing techniques to showcase the wealth of new hop varieties that have been included in the newly refined recipes.
In the same line of thought that told them it was time to move forward with their lineup of beers, when the lease came up for renewal on their Stone Company Store – South Park, they stepped back and decided that it was time to let it go. The limited seating and outdoor space that the South Park location afforded didn’t fit their vision of the full Stone Company Store experience, so they decided to refocus on their other downtown San Diego locations, the Stone Company Store – On Kettner and the Stone Brewing TapRoom at the East Village’s Park at the Park.
Their South Park tasting room was not only the first Stone Brewing Co. satellite tasting room, but the first time any San Diego brewery opened up an off-site tasting room. Since it’s opening in June 2011, around 12 other breweries have followed their lead and have opened up tasting rooms in neighborhoods often quite far from the mothership brewery. This trend has allowed local breweries to set up shop in distant locales – for example, Vista’s Belching Beaver brewery has a tasting room in North Park, and Santee’s Twisted Manzanita opened one in Pacific Beach – to serve new communities without having the full overhead costs of a production brewery.
As you can only imagine the folks at Stone Brewing Co. would do, they are not closing with a whimper. They decided to go out guns blazing with a huge lineup of amazing brews, old and new. The Draftastic Finale kicks off this coming Friday June 5th, starting at 11am, and features heavy hitters all across the board, both on draft and in bottles. If you missed one of their releases while the South Park location was open and were kicking yourself about it, this is your chance for redemption. It might be a good idea to get your sleeping bags ready for Thursday night, no telling how long some of these rare gems will last. June 7th will be their last day of business.