Everything’s bigger in America, and Stone Brewing’s Berlin World Bistro and Gardens is no exception.
The US craft beer giant Stone Brewing has graced our shores since September 2016, and recently invited the BERLIN LOVES YOU team down to their humongous brewery and bistro in Alt Mariendorf.
Back in October 2014, we met with Stone Brewing boss Greg Koch to discuss his plans for European craft beer domination. It’s impressive to see everything Stone has built in the meantime.
You enter through the gift shop (like all good theme parks), and wander into their 2400sq. metre, 800-seat ‘bistro’. The sheer scale is impressive. It’s a powerful statement of Stone’s intent and clout.
On your left is their brewery, a gleaming stainless-steel monster capable of churning out 100 hectolitres per batch. The beer will be sold fresh in the brewery complex or exported to more than 26 countries.
Whilst enjoying our first pints of Stone IPA, we were taken on a brewery tour and beer tasting session by Thomas Schulz – a Stone brewer who enjoys nothing more than sharing his passion for the brand and all they do with the brewery’s visitors. His enthusiasm and likability is infectious. I think he’d do his job for free if they decided to stop paying him.
But Thomas’s charm and disarming smile is at odds with how Stone market themselves. With beers named Arrogant Bastard, Ruination and Ripper, and their ever-present snarling gargoyle logo, Stone is a brewery with an attitude.
You can taste it in their beer’s heavily hopped and divisive taste profiles. Their latest Berliner Weisse beer departs from the traditional 3% alcohol strength, adding a Stone-punch that ups it to just under 5%. And remember how in Germany beers that aren’t Reinheitsgebot can’t legally be called “bier”? Well, all Stone disagreed and got an exception made just for them. Their spiced, non-Reinheitsgebot beer ‘Xocoveza’ is now legally a ‘bier’. Stone doesn’t play by the rules.
The BERLIN LOVES YOU team were seated at Stone’s best table, a king-sized oak table placed on a mezzanine which overlooks the sprawling yet buzzing bistro below. The ‘World Bistro’ earns its name, with a continent-spanning menu of bar snack and pub food favourites. There are so many options that if your favourite food isn’t on it… you have very obscure tastes.
Stone plied us with platters of Mexican-fusion tacos and Asia-inspired finger food.
The Seared Shrimp Tacos and Pulled-Pork Spring Rolls were a hit.
But all good theme parks have rides. And Stone’s beer is certainly the biggest attraction.
The bar boasts seven year-round beers on tap, and many other seasonal and limited edition options. The Berlin Stone brewing team have even departed from their American counterparts and began making their own ranges of beers – often co-operations with other local craft beer breweries. Every new invention must – of course – get Greg Koch’s seal of approval before it can be called ‘Stone’ though.
The Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens is an awesome sight to behold and has an energy all of its own. Don’t be put off by its Alt Mariendorf location – you can get there within 40 minutes from most spots in Berlin thanks to its U6 connection. Plus, it’s always good to discover new parts of Berlin.
The brewery tour and tasting session costs only 5€… which is worth the journey alone.
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens
Im Marienpark 23
U-Bahn Station Alt-Mariendorf