Sapporo expansion almost ready in Escondido

Category: News
Published: 2024-05-29
Sapporo expansion almost ready in Escondido

ESCONDIDO, CA – Two years after announcing its acquisition by Sapporo U.S.A., San Diego-based Sapporo-Stone Brewing is nearing completion of the initial phase of its ambitious expansion plan at the Escondido facility.

With a US$20 million investment in the Escondido, California plant and an additional US$40 million for operations in Richmond, Virginia, the company is poised to double its production capacity to 700,000 barrels per year between the two facilities. Production of Sapporo beers has already begun in Escondido and Richmond.

In 2022, Stone Brewing, recognized as the largest craft brewery in Southern California, became part of Sapporo U.S.A. This acquisition was intended to transform the company from an importer to a U.S. producer and ultimately produce, sell and distribute all Sapporo beers in the U.S. market locally.

The Richmond plant expansion is expected to be announced in the fall, and by the end of the summer, production of Sapporo beers is projected to have shifted entirely from Canada and Asia to the United States.

Currently, Sapporo-Stone Brewing employs about 850 people, with approximately 600 of them working in San Diego County. As part of its expansion, the company has created 125 new jobs in the region and an additional 75 outside the county. Since the acquisition, more than 150 employees have been promoted or relocated into new or expanded roles.

Zach Keeling, interim CEO of Sapporo-Stone Brewing, commented that operationally, the acquisition has turned out to be more of a merger. “Both companies are now fully integrated, innovating, brewing, selling, marketing and operating as one business entity,” he said in a statement. The Sapporo and Stone Brew brands are now part of a single unified vision.

The Escondido expansion project includes additional tanks and packaging lines to increase capacity and efficiency. On the West Coast, Sapporo-Stone now operates from its two Escondido brewing and packaging buildings and a distribution warehouse with offices also in Escondido.

The company also has warehouses in San Marcos, California, and Downey, California. The company operates two Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens and five Stone Brewing Tap Rooms. On the East Coast, Sapporo-Stone has another brewery, an off-site warehouse and a Stone Brewing Tap Room in Richmond, Virginia.