Inside Stone Brewing's Hotel Dedicated to Craft Beer
Stone Brewing, the 10th largest brewery in the U.S., broke ground on a hotel that will feel like a Disney World for craft-beer fanatics.
With more than 100 craft breweries and brewpubs, San Diego is a destination for beer lovers. And soon they’ll have a unique place to rest their heads. Untitled Hospitality and Stone Brewing, the 10th largest brewery in the U.S., have recently broke ground on Stone Hotel.
“It’s the first of its kind. I don’t know of any other brewery-themed hotel in the world,” says Untitled Hospitality CEO Robert Cartwright.
The hotel will open in the first quarter of 2018 adjacent to the Escondido-based Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens, which is located just 30 miles north of San Diego.
“What we are creating with Stone Hotel is a new category of hotel,” Cartwright adds. “We fit in between an upper upscale hotel and a traditional boutique hotel—it’s a specialty hotel.”
Stone Brewing Director of Hospitality Steve Robbins says beer will remain “front of mind” throughout the whole guest experience but he hesitates to call it a beer-themed hotel.
“We’re not looking to be gimmicky about the beer—we want to make sure it has a beer focus, but much like we do for interior design, we like the ‘less is more’ theory,” Robbins says.
The 99-room hotel, which overlooks the valley on one side and the brewery on the other, will have three bars, including a non-traditional lobby check-in area with a tasting bar.
“Before you say hello, you’re going to get a beer,” he adds.
The first-floor library bar will serve archived beer among an abundance of craft beer books, which will give off a speakeasy feel. For those looking for a drink with a view, a third bar can be found near the rooftop pool. Guests who are looking to take a little something home with them won’t have a problem.
“We’re talking about doing an in-room delivery for growlers,” Robbins says. “We’re going to make sure you get your nice, fresh growler delivered to your door to take with you before you leave.”
While the concept for the restaurant is still being defined, Cartwright says it will be “in contrast” to the brewery’s farm-to-table bistro across the street—though it will still have a slow food focus with everything sourced from local farmers within a certain radius of the hotel.
“We’ll have more of a park-like setting with different pockets and enclaves where you can experience the food and beverage offerings,” he adds. “We will have a restaurant but we won’t limit the offerings to just that particular part of the hotel.”
Cartwright says the brewery alone gets 500,000 visitors per year. He likens Stone Brewing fans to Harley Davidson enthusiasts because each fan base is willing to go so far as to tattoo the logo to their bodies.
“They are evangelical in their commitment to the brand,” he says of Stone Brewing fans. “[The hotel] will be successful because they are a very authentic brand.”
But the hotel expects to attract more than just craft beer fans. From vacationing families to corporate employees to local wedding and event planners, Robbins says Stone Hotel “caters to everybody.”
“It really activates not only this area but the whole craft beer corridor,” Robbins says. “Having a hotel that takes craft beer to another level will definitely be something that will further drive tourism in North County and in San Diego, and it gives us the ability to continue to better educate people on craft beer.”
While the hotel may be a first of its kind, the brewery is no stranger to firsts—they opened Europe’s first U.S.-owned brewery in Berlin.
After 20 years in the business, Stone Brewing knows what it wants.
“We’ve been working on this and wanting this a long time and we found a great partner in Mr. Cartwright,” says Robbins.