Grape expectations: Stone Brewing opens in wine country

Stone co-founder Greg Koch has long argued that San Diego is to beer what Napa Valley is to wine. Fair enough — but will rich soil that nourishes so many wine grapes also provide fertile ground for Stone’s hop-forward brews?

On Monday, Stone opened a 9,500-square-foot restaurant and brewery in downtown Napa, the latest distant outpost for this Escondido-based outfit. The new brewpub occupies a landmark 1877 stone structure, the Borreo building.

“Seven years after I first set foot in the Borreo building,” Koch said in a statement released Monday, “this place is just what I dreamed of — a top-notch destination devoted to celebrating craft beer.”

Koch’s dreams, it turns out, are wide-ranging. Last week, Stone opened a tap room in central Berlin, which is already home to Stone’s German brewery and restaurant, while a Shanghai tap room is scheduled to open in June.

Read more from Peter Rowe’s beer column, here.