We put in a full year of planning, effort and beer wrangling to make the annual Stone Anniversary Celebration & Invitational Beer Festival the best and biggest it can be. Considering it’s the largest annual beer fest on the West Coast, we’re inclined to believe we do a hell of a job. We just wish it didn’t go by so quick. In less than 24 hours, we blow through 364 days’ worth of work and just about as many (but even more) kegs! Take, for instance, this year. Over 50 breweries from around the country showed up and brought 187 beers. And that’s all in addition to the 50 Stone beers we busted out to celebrate 18 years in the craft brewing biz! It was the kind of fete we wished every fan that helped us get to this ripe (young?) age could have participated in. But alas, even with nearly 8,000 tickets sold (and more than a quarter million dollars raised for charity, thank you very much), some will only experience this special day via this blog post. So, we’re going to go as in depth as possible so those who couldn’t make it know what to expect when they hopefully come out next year, and those who did join us can have fun reliving the Stone 18th Anniversary Celebration & Invitational Beer Festival.
We don’t have a crystal ball, but no bogus future-telling devices are necessary to assure our fans that the New Year holds much promise and a full slate of fun-filled beer-centric events here at Stone. From some of the country’s most highly anticipated beer festivals to educational session and outright gorge-fests, there’s something for every kind of beer lover, and we’re proud to bring as much variety as we will delicious craft ales and lagers. The following is a breakdown of what we have in store for you in 2014!
We at Stone count ourselves lucky to have so many fans of what we do and the beers we create. Most of those who’ve tagged along as we forge through this hop-studded journey have taken fandom to new heights. That level of devotion is something we don’t take lightly and work to reward by coming up with new beer recipes and getting those brews into our staunch supporters’ hands and pint glasses. As devotees keeping a watchful eye on us will attest, 2013 was a big year for new Stone brews. But even our most keyed-in fans were probably unaware of just how big. We say this, because after examining 12 months’ worth of brewing schedules, even our jaws dropped to the floor when we discovered that we had delivered 74 new beers outside our not-so-standard standard-issue brews this year. So, join us, won’t you, as we revisit them and other notable Stone happenings from the year that was.
If you’ve ever been to one of our Anniversary Celebrations, you’re awesome. You’ve been part of something special. Part of something larger than we could have ever envisioned. Something larger than we ever could have created without you. The Stone 16th Anniversary Celebration & Invitational Beer Festival is SoCal’s biggest beer festival, with over 100 beers to choose from! It’s taking place on August 17th and 18th at nearby California State University, San Marcos. Our Rare Beer section is sold out, but we’ve still got tickets left (for now, anyway) for Friday night’s Brewers Reception and the main event on Saturday!
Over the past 15 years, we’ve raised MORE THAN $1.5 MILLION for local charities through these neat little get-togethers with a few thousand of our closest friends, including an astronomical $240,000 at last year’s festival alone! Given that we’re Stone, we always want to go bigger and better, which is why we know that this year’s will be the greatest ever! (’til next year at least…)
- One (1) snazzy commemorative Stone 16th Anniversary tasting glass
- Ten 4-oz. samples (BTW, you get to choose from over 150 amazing beers made by the 50 craft breweries in attendance. BOOM!)
- Free homebrewed sodas, provided by the Society Of Barley Engineers
- Aaaaannnd samples of über-delicious Mike’s Beer Cheese!
Delectable food will be available for purchase from some of our favorite local restaurants/vendors and our very own Stone Catering. Never to be missed, we’ll also have the (in)famous Arrogant Bastard Ale onion rings. (This is the only event each year where we offer them; the only other way you get get em is if you make them yourself!)
We’re doing it all up bigger and better: pouring the very first drops of the brand new, super-secret-super-fresh Stone Enjoy By IPA, adding live music and more space, including a nifty new area we’re calling Steve’s Cigar Lounge. (Stone prez/co-founder Steve Wagner + cigars + kickback area = Steve’s Cigar Lounge.) We’ll of course have plenty of Stone 16th Anniversary IPA on hand as well!