Sapporo Usa To Acquire California Craft Brewer Stone Brewing

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (AP) — Sapporo U.S.A. has reached an agreement to acquire popular Southern California-based craft brewer Stone Brewing, the companies announced Friday.

Stone will continue to brew its beers and retain its branding, management and workforce while Sapporo produces Sapporo-branded beers for U.S. distribution at Stone’s breweries in Escondido, California and Richmond, Virginia, a press release said.

Sapporo intends to brew 360,000 barrels in the U.S. by the end of 2024, essentially doubling Stone Brewing’s current production.

The companies said the transaction is expected to close in August. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Stone Brewing was founded by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner in 1996 in San Marcos, California. Koch announced Friday in his blog that he will soon leave the company.

Under the deal, Stone Brewing will continue to operate its seven Tap Rooms and World Bistro & Gardens destinations.

Stone Brewing’s distribution business, Stone Distributing Co., is not part of the sale. It will become an independent company and continue current operations.

Operations of San Francisco's Anchor Brewing Co., acquired by Sapporo U.S.A. in 2017, will remain unchanged.