Unfortunately, Stone Brewing is laying off some employees. That’s part of running a business. Stone saw our coverage of the layoffs last Friday, and they wanted you, the CBB reader, to have all the info. Below are two official statements from Stone, one specifically for the Richmond area.
Greg Koch, Stone Brewing executive chairman and co-founder, and Steve Wagner, president and co-founder.
“These adjustments, along with others we’ve made internally, help position Stone for the future — come what may. We are still seeing growth, just more modest growth. We are focused on the long-term development of our business in North America and Europe, including the Eastern seaboard anchored from our new Richmond facility. There are no changes to our plans or our confidence in our Virginia facility. Stone continues to grow, outpacing the market as in the past.
The Richmond staff has been minimally impacted by Stone’s recent restructuring. We provided 60 days of paid salary and career transition services to the few people who were affected, all of which held roles responsible for getting the project up and running. We still employ 61 team members and we will fulfill our 88 total planned brewery positions within our first year of operations. We also plan to hire an additional 200 people with the opening of Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens — Richmond, still on track to open as scheduled before the end of 2019. Our projected barrelage for 2016 remains on track at our Richmond and Escondido breweries.”
From Dominic Engels, Stone Brewing CEO
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 including 60 days paid salary (more for those with extensive tenure) 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