BrewingTV interviewed some of the Stone guys, one of whom was Mitch Steele. About his past at Anheuser-Busch he said:
we were in an environment where the beers we brewed were very much marketing driven and very much competitive.
He inadvertently describes Stone's beers raison d'etre better than I could have. Budweiser, at least, has cost prohibitions on their beer which they have to deal with. Stone's are something that purely seem to be born in the marketing world. I have not had a drop of their beer since coming here, and after watching, I don't feel too bad about it. Greg Koch is a precocious snob, who would be lucky to be as brash and unappealing as his company's marketing is. You can watch him describe Stone's plans to build a brewery in Europe to save European beer drinkers from themselves and also to help build a world where white bread and freeze dried coffee don't exist. I am personally not a fan of freeze dried coffee and store bought bread, but I'm lucky to have the good fortune to be in that position. Most people simply don't have the luxury to buy boutique artisan products. Speaking at a time when unemployment here is at least 10%, the unawareness of any difference between luxury and necessity is a bit too much for this blogger.
Watch and decide for yourself.
Brewing TV - Episode 41: Stone Brewing Co. from Brewing TV on Vimeo.