Interview with Greg Koch, Co-Founder of Stone Brewing

Greg Koch, co-founder of Stone Brewing, talks about the Stone Brewing experience and the new Richmond, VA facility. 
Can you tell us a little about the flavor profiles of Stone IPAs?
At Stone, we like to accentuate the citrus and piney bitterness. It’s kind of our hallmark and it’s very refreshing. There are some styles out there today that bring some citrusy, fruity flavors without the bitterness and that’s not really our style. We like bitterness. 
What was your inspiration behind Neapolitan Dynamite?
Neapolitan Dynamite was a result of our annual American Homebrewers Association Rally. It’s a competition we’ve been having for years and it’s a chance for our local homebrewers in Southern California to bring forth recipes that we’ve likely never thought of. The Neapolitan Dynamite is a great example of that with the flavors of Neapolitan ice cream and the coffee. 
Stone makes West Coast exclusive specialty items. How will the new Richmond facility affect exclusive specialty items on the East Coast? 
We’ve done some East Coast exclusives before - Stone Give Me IPA or Give Me Death and Stone Give Me Stout or Give Me Death. We already have some in mind as we’re planning to ramp up our production here. We don’t yet have our pilot system installed in Richmond. Currently, it has a production system. It makes it harder to come out with small batches and limited releases. That’s something we’re planning to add in the next year to give our team there the ability to be creative. 
Why did you choose Richmond, VA for the new Stone facility? 
It had all the components we were looking for. The community of Richmond and the state of Virginia were both very aggressive in creating the circumstances here that really made Richmond stand out above all the other places we considered. In addition to the brewery, an important part of what we were looking for was a destination where people could immerse themselves in the Stone experience. Right now, we have our tasting room open. We get a lot of visitors and it’s got a really great vibe. We were able to find a very special place to build The Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens.
What should people expect when The Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens opens in late 2018?
We’re building it into a 1937 reinforced concrete structure with 30,000 square feet and over an acre of outdoor area. People can expect something truly spectacular, a world class destination brewery & restaurant.
You have your California location, Germany and now Virginia locations. Is there a next step? 
Downtown Napa is on the plan right now, either later this year or early next year. It’s an opportunity to elevate the experience of great beer there. We’re looking forward to the ability to brew increasingly fresh beer, available to people in different parts of the world.