Let me start this post with a little story from 2007. I was at a local beer store looking around when someone I knew and trusted came up to me and struck up a conversation. At some point during the conversation he mentioned that Stone Brewing Co. was going to be in St. Louis in 2008. He claimed that he heard the information from a salesman from one of the local distributors. I was elated to hear the news. I had just visited Stone in 2006, so I was excited to get some of their great beer.
Obviously that never came to fruition.
I don’t think the guy was lying, I honestly do believe he heard this news. But as I quickly realized, this was an oft repeated story in St. Louis. I doubt there are very many people that have been involved in the St. Louis craft beer scene that haven’t heard at some point that Stone will be in St. Louis soon.
So when Evan Benn reports yesterday that Stone is close to making its move into Missouri in 2011 all I can think is, “I’m from Missouri, you’ll have to show me.” Don’t get me wrong, when Greg Koch, the CEO of Stone says, “Yes, I believe that we may be able to line everything up to be able to start shipping into Missouri next year,” it’s obviously a bit more trustworthy than the word of some local beer store guy.
I hate to be a Debbie Downer here, but while I absolutely believe that Koch is being earnest in his desire to see Stone in Missouri next year, it’s important remember this is far from a guarantee. This is certainly a step in the right direction, but until I see the beers get registered with the state and the ink is dry with a distributor, I’ll remain cautiously optimistic. I would recommend you remain cautiously optimistic as well.