The popular San Diego based Stone Brewing Company has expanded to Downtown Napa’s historic Borreo Building.
The 1887 stone building, that went through a six-year complete earthquake retrofit laid dormant since 1999 to make way for the Napa Flood Control Project. Last month it began buzzing with activity again as the iconic structure filled to capacity on opening day. Stone Brewing Napa’s Co-owner and CEO, Greg Koch was thrilled with the response.
“I didn’t have any expectations going into opening day,” said Koch. “But I’m very pleased and feel welcomed by the Napa community.”
Koch, a self-proclaimed “Beer Geek Gone Pro” said he loves Napa and always enjoys visiting the Valley. Six years ago, he came across the abandoned building and saw an opportunity to create something special for downtown Napa.
“I like old buildings,” said Koch. “This is the oldest building we are occupying of our four location. We have two in the San Diego area and one in Berlin, Germany. We are the first American Brewing Company allowed in Germany.”
It was a six-year journey from Koch’s idea to opening day, but he’s all smiles now.
“Our goal was to be open by BottleRock 2018 and we made it two weeks prior,” said Koch. “People seem to be enjoying themselves and there is an overall feeling of camaraderie.”
Koch said his goal for Stone Brewing Napa is to become a local favorite and a place locals can be proud of and show off to family and friends visiting. He refers to his customers as fans and wants to create a low-key relaxed vibe.
“I want Stone Brewing Napa to be a place where people can detach from outside distractions and focus 100-percent on the present,” he said. “There will be no TV’s to watch and all our piped in music will either be instrumental or only foreign language sung. The music is background so people can concentrate on conversations with others.”
The Borreo Building is owned by the West Pueblo Partners, which consists of Kevin Teague, Mile Holcomb, Michael Holcomb and John Nichols.
“This iconic building is the third oldest building in Napa,” said Kevin Teague, who is a big fan of Stone Brewing Company. “We thought of the concept for a brewery or something similar so I was excited to talk to Greg.”
The West Pueblo Partners took on the retrofit and their work was tested in the 2014 Napaquake.
“The Napaquake was a dramatic event for us,” said Teague. “It was important for us to create a safe place where people can gather and share stories. This building goes above and beyond for safety measures.”
“We are excited to have Stone Brewing Napa as a tenant and view them as long term partners,” said Teague as he looks around the second-floor bar area staring out the expansive openings overlooking the Napa River. “When we knocked out the stone to create those three windows I was blown away by the view.”
The views were important to Koch as well.
“It doesn’t matter where you are in the building we are surrounded by outdoor beauty,” said Koch. “That was important to us when we chose this location.”
“This has been exciting for everyone,” said Teague. “To bring an 1800 building back to life and seeing the long lines on opening day was rewarding and validating of our original vision.”
The first month, the food offering was a modest bar menu, but Koch said by June the full dinner menu will be in place with locally sourced ingredients. The food style will be eclectic and world-inspired.
Stone Brewing Napa is open seven-days week
11 a.m. – 11 p.m. and until midnight on Friday and Saturdays.
920 3rd St, Napa, CA, 707-252-2337, stonebrewing.com
Article by: Kari Ruel
Photos by: Lowell Downey of Art and Clarity