Longtime Stone Brewing Company brewmaster Mitch Steele announced his departure today via YouTube, indicating June 30 will be his last day working for the nation's tenth largest craft beer company. Under his ten-year tenure, Stone production rose nearly 700 percent, from 48 to more than 325 thousand barrels annually.
After ten years as Stone brewmaster, a bittersweet goodbye to Mitch Steele
Steele is stepping down to pursue a partnership opportunity with a new brewing company. Details on the name or location of the project have yet to be released, though Steele explained in the video that beer-industry veterans with decades of experience reached out to him to join the new venture. "I had an opportunity that dropped into my lap," he said, adding, "It's a bucket-list thing… if I didn't give this a shot I'd regret it for the rest of my life."
Steele has brewed professionally for 28 years, starting at the defunct San Andreas Brewing Company and spending more than a decade brewing for Anheuser Busch prior to joining Stone in 2006. In the video, Steele reflects on some of his favorite beers he developed working for Stone, including the Enjoy By IPA series, which is marketed as fresh, with a 35-day shelf life. He also fondly remembers Stone’s 11th anniversary beer, which later became a year-round release named Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, a black IPA. Stone retired that beer last year.
1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido
Stone will not immediately name a new brewmaster, and its daily brewing and development will continue as they have, with cofounders Steve Wagner and Greg Koch overseeing final approval of new beers.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Stone Brewing Berlin is online and slated for a September 14 opening celebration, with another production brewery planned for Richmond, Virginia, also expected to open within the next few months.