If you know your way around a pint, you’ve likely already heard of Greg Koch.
The Stone Brewing Co. CEO and co-founder is one of the top driving forces behind California’s unparalleled craft brewing culture, which has absolutely exploded in the last decade. His story is on display in Visit California’s latest installment of “California Dreamers” on Dream365TV.
Today, California has more craft breweries – over 750 in 2016 according to the California Craft Brewers Association – than any other state in the country, and it’s not even close. In recent years, breweries have become destination drivers in their own right, directly benefiting and bolstering local economies across the state, including in many of California’s beyond-the-gateway regions.
Koch is uniquely synonymous with the evolution of California’s craft beer culture, and in his newly launched “California Dreamers” video, he shows why he is the true “rebel of craft brewing.” The video profiles Greg through the eyes of fellow industry icons, from humble beginnings to accomplishing big dreams of firmly establishing California as the country’s top craft beer destination.
With roots planted in San Diego, Koch established himself in 1996 as pioneer of the craft beer movement by founding Stone Brewing, Southern California’s largest brewery and the ninth largest in the United States.
Back then, beer distributors were not interested in a carrying an unknown brand like Koch’s, so he instead went the DIY route and distributed his product himself, leading to the creation of Stone Distributing Co. Twenty-one years later, the company distributes to over 35 breweries in the United States; has four tap rooms/restaurants on two continents; is getting into the hospitality industry with the development of the Stone Hotel; and has been twice awarded the “All-Time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate magazine.
In 2016, Visit California awarded Koch for embodying California’s “anything is possible” spirit with the 2016 California Dreamer Award at the biennial Poppy Awards, which recognize the best and brightest in Golden State tourism promotion in addition to the innovators and influencers who are shaping the state’s culture.
“All of our accomplishments at Stone wouldn’t be possible without support from our fans and incredible team,” Koch said upon receiving the award. “Cheers to all the supporters of true California craft beer!”
Find out why Greg Koch is the rebel of craft brewing below, and see more stories of “California Dreamers” any time on Dream365TV.