Stone Brewing Issues Official Statement on Layoffs
(Escondido, CA) – Due to an unforeseen slowdown in our consistent growth and changes in the craft beer landscape, we have had to make the difficult decision to restructure our staff. Unfortunately, this comes despite a year that includes the incredible accomplishments of opening two new breweries, which are ultimately expanding the availability of Stone beers and boosting the reputation of American craft beer in Europe.
More recently however, the larger independent craft segment has developed tremendous pressures. Specifically, the onset of greater pressures from Big Beer as a result of their acquisition strategies, and the further proliferation of small, hyper-local breweries has slowed growth. With business and the market now less predictable, we must restructure to preserve a healthy future for our company. Even given this unfortunate circumstance, we will continue to be fiercely independent and, importantly, Stone remains one of the largest – if not the largest – employers in the craft brewing segment.
It is crucial to recognize that this decision was made after much careful consideration. Approximately 5% of all team members were affected, and they were offered a substantial notice period and career transition services. The team members no longer with our company are talented, committed individuals who have held important roles in our organization, and we expect that their talents will be in high demand. This reduction was not a reflection of the work they did, but a careful decision made to ensure that our company will remain competitive and profitable. No additional layoffs are expected within Stone’s foreseeable future.
In summary, we want to emphasize the following points:
- This year, we completed several significant investments that have been in the works for a number of years.
- A recent decline in domestic growth for the category and for Stone has forced us to restructure in order to preserve our independence in an increasingly competitive category.
- Stone remains one of the largest – if not the largest – employer in the craft beer segment and remains dedicated to providing our fans with fresh beer
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January 11, 2017 @ 11:07 pm
[…] READ: Stone Brewing Issues Official Statement on Layoffs […]
October 18, 2016 @ 9:33 am
This really sucks the big one.
Flexibility: Real Options – MGMT 7160 Blog
October 15, 2016 @ 3:38 pm
[…] is known for very unique beers. This week we learned that Stone experienced a setback and will be laying off approximately 5% of their workforce. Maybe this is unique to Stone’s situation and only time will tell whether […]
October 14, 2016 @ 3:59 pm
I remember when Stone was a small warehouse gig. I enjoyed the simpleness of it and the focus of quality beer. It was a relaxed comfortable place where beer lovers came to bs and talk beer. Over the years I have seen Stone turn into something I no longer enjoyed. The big fancy over priced indulged house on the hill and the uber hip beer garden down south. I feel like they lost focus on what it was that made the every day beer drinker love them. Sadly the same has happened with Ballast Point. I miss the original Home Brew mart with it’s standing room only intimate feel and focus on quality beer. In the end when you waste all the time and money on things that don’t matter you lose sight of what the original goal was. It’s sad. All the money that went in to building these lavish facilities could have went to other things that would sustain a flashy restaurant or a well kept garden.
October 14, 2016 @ 10:33 am
Word is another local smaller brewery just laid off a dozen or so employees. It’s gonna be a big party at Lagunitas in January.
October 14, 2016 @ 6:45 am
“…and Greg’s justifying that as not being a sell out because the investor was not Big Beer. Like that somehow matters; you sold a piece of the company to someone else.”
You can be against selling any piece of the business off, and that’s fine, but it absolutely matters that its not to big beer. Goose Island is the standard IPA at bad bars everywhere not because they got an influx of cash (or because of quality), but because of who owns them. Leverage/monopolies are what’s harmful, not funding.
October 14, 2016 @ 6:07 am
I had applied for a somewhat senior role there a couple of years ago. With Greg off trying to become the beer Willy Wonka of Europe, there was clearly nobody in charge back in Escondido. The other senior managers were unresponsive, the HR dept. was incompetent and the guy recruiting me was also selling t-shirts. The process took almost a year and – in retrospect – I’m glad nothing came to fruition. One only needs to read their Glassdoor reviews to see the workers are not impressed. There are bars down the street from Stone that don’t sell it, a dozens of other brewers just in San Diego cranking out more interesting and better beer. Stone has been coasting on reputation, but now is seemingly running out of steam. They can’t blame ‘big beer” for their own incompetence.
October 14, 2016 @ 4:12 am
Put another way: “We became the very big beer we claimed to despise and discovered we were pretty shit at it, so we made our employees pay the price.”
October 13, 2016 @ 7:02 pm
If we read between the lines, we will quickly realize that the restructuring isn’t about Big Beer, or “ultra-local” beer, whatever that means (it’s also a pretty cowardly move on Stones part to try and deflect the blame onto their fellow craft beer comrades, many of whom they distribute for, I might add). No. This restructuring is about years and years of Stone’s careless hiring, an unfocused and seemingly random game plan, and a blatant disregard for employee’s satisfaction and well-being. I speak for the vast majority of Stone expats when I say that the employees at Stone were never a top priority for the company. Ask anyone who worked there, or still works there for that matter, and they will tell you that they are underpaid and overworked. Morale within the walls of Stone is often shockingly low, I’m sure lower after today. The real sadness about this though, is that the people in charge of making these careless decisions won’t at all be affected by their actions.
Over the last many years, I’ve watched as Stone has quietly transitioned from a company who’s bottom line is focused strictly on the quality of their products, to a company who’s bottom line is focused strictly on the amount of money coming through the door at the end of the day. This transition is a sad, and all too common reality in the current craft beer world. It’s sadder to see companies as monumental as Stone fall for the same hook. The beauty of being a part of a craft industry is that we don’t have to focus our bottom line on money. We can instead focus on innovation and passion, and let the money come second as a result of those things. When a craft company becomes about the money, they may as well not even bother to call themselves craft anymore. Stone is a perfect example of this, especially as they flail to keep the illusion that they will continue to remain “fiercely independent,” despite recently reaching a sizable deal with a private equity firm.
I hope that the news today sheds a little bit of light on the ugly underside of Stone’s giant and intimidating façade. It’s a disappointing reality who’s exposure was a long time coming.
October 13, 2016 @ 6:19 pm
While this appears to be bad, businesses no matter how big or small have to make tough business decisions based on the profitability and stability of the company and the future of the company. While employees or people outside of management might not understand that the company is not in business just to create jobs and employee people. The ultimate goal is too Make Money. Period. When you are a business owner you have to make business decisions based on business information. All personal feels set aside, they make business decisions based on profitability and sustainability of the company.
While these people that have been let go from Stone they will find a job in the industry somewhere. They come from a very good company in the craft beer business and they have hopefully learned something that will carry them onto there next employer. What a great thing to have on your resume that you worked at Stone Brewing Company.
Enough said Cheers.
October 13, 2016 @ 5:58 pm
I love how both Big Beer and “hyper-local” breweries are being blamed. What’s really to blame is an incompetent senior management team that launched more projects than it could effectively afford (not just construction, but revenue ramp-up time) because of that team’s desire for spontaneous global brand domination. They seem more interested in selling merch than beer at times. The place is horribly run. Meanwhile, there’s better balanced, more innovative beer being poured ‘across the street’ at places with less attitude. Hidden from the “fiercely independent” rhetoric is the fact that they recently sold off a piece of the company to an angel investor…and Greg’s justifying that as not being a sell out because the investor was not Big Beer. Like that somehow matters; you sold a piece of the company to someone else. Every investor wants a return on its money. Someone has to answer for that now. This statement shows just how out of touch the execs and founders are. There’s no assumption of responsibility. They haven’t hit bottom yet. I am relieved I left a few months before this crap storm happened. Pretty sure the new CEO was the ultimate catalyst here, but the stage was already set for this.
October 13, 2016 @ 4:45 pm
Just a sign that the bubble may finally have burst. The craft beer bubble bursting was never going to hurt Bud-Miller-Coors but the larger craft brewers like Stone, Dogfish and Sierra Nevada. Too many smaller-more hipper breweries making the beers that people crave while the giant craft dinosaurs start to become extinct.
[Updated] Stone Brewing Allegedly Lays Off Dozens Of Employees • thefullpint.com
October 13, 2016 @ 3:18 pm
[…] Update 3: Here is Stone’s official statement: http://dev.thefullpint.com/beer-news/stone-brewing-issues-official-statement-layoffs/ […]
October 13, 2016 @ 2:37 pm
Stone. Brewery has a lay off. Discontinues their flagship beer SPA in half barrels, and hires a new CEO. Hmmmmm!
October 13, 2016 @ 2:33 pm
A slow down in growth? More like they expanded past their profitability. Unfortunately there will now be a glut of brewery workers vying for the very limited openings in the region. I saw this coming after Mitch Steele left. Stone is setting themselves up to be the next big purchase by “Big Beer”