Stone Brewing Co-Founder Featured In New Full-Length Documentary Film "The Beer Jesus From America"

November 21, 2019

Sweetwood Films and San Diego-based Stone Brewing has released a new full-length feature film that documents Stone’s often tumultuous journey to becoming the first American independent craft brewery to build, own and operate its own brewery in Europe. The 104-minute The Beer Jesus From America has made its public debut with streaming now available on Amazon Prime Video and Vimeo On Demand.

The film's title stems from a 2014 article in the German tabloid newspaper, the Berliner Kurier, in which Koch made front page headlines. The newspaper's cheeky and somewhat cynical article nicknamed him "Der Bier Jesus aus Amerika" and reported on the company’s plans to risk millions building a brewery in Germany. To Sweetwood, the name represents the misperception of who Koch really is, and he set out to tell the full story of the man and the adventure. Koch admits that he is somewhat uncomfortable with the 'Beer Jesus' moniker, in addition to many parts of the film, however he enjoys being able to share the story of the historic undertaking and its many challenges.

Directed by Matt Sweetwood (Beerland, Forgetting Dad), The Beer Jesus From America takes viewers on a journey with Greg as he builds his European craft brewery from scratch in a sleepy corner of Berlin, Germany, where he faces seemingly endless challenges that threaten to end the entire project. Over four years, Matt captures the unexpected twists in a story full of blood, sweat, tears, and beers. The film is a story not just about the birth of a brewery and the fight against mass market beer, but also about an inspiring character who understands the importance of sticking to your dreams, no matter how crazy they might seem.

"When we set out to build the first American independent Craft Brewery in Europe, we did so with that same spark - that passion and intensity - that drove us to offer something different in the US back in 1996," explained Koch. "This film captures the trials, challenges, roadblocks and occasional triumphs of the project, but on a deeper level, it's a story of following your heart and challenging convention."

Earlier this spring, San Diego's Stone Brewing transferred its Berlin brewery property to Scotland-based Brewdog, who as part of the deal agreed to continue to brew Stone beers on the property and distribute those beers to 26 countries around Europe.

The Beer Jesus From America debuted this week on Prime Video and Vimeo On Demand. A commemorative DVD will also be available online at in 2020.