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Greg Koch stepping down as Stone Brewing CEO

Greg Koch CEO of Stone Brewing in 2011.
Mark Boster | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
Greg Koch CEO of Stone Brewing in 2011.

After 19 years at the helm, Stone Brewing co-founder Greg Koch has announced he will be giving up the CEO title and transitioning into a new role as executive chairman.

In his new role, Koch will focus on long-term strategic planning while leaving the day-to-day operations to the new CEO.

"This is a natural progression once companies reach our size and complexity," said Koch in a statement. "I see this as an opportunity to focus on future direction and projects for Stone Brewing."

Stone Brewing, located in Escondido, California, said no timetable has been set to find a new CEO, and Koch will remain in that role until his replacement is found.

Koch co-founded Stone Brewing in 1996 with its original brewmaster, Steve Wagner. Since then, the company has grown into the ninth-largest craft brewery in the U.S. based on 2014 beer sales volume.

The company now employees more than 1,100 employees and operates a production facility as well as two Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens restaurants in the San Diego area.

"The 'co-founder' part of my title won't change … that will never change," said Koch. "I get to keep that one for life, with all the beer privileges, of course!"

Stone Brewing has been picking up the pace of expansion of late, announcing last year it would be opening a brewery and bistro in Berlin, as well as a $74 million East Coast facility featuring a 200,000-square-foot production brewery/distribution center as well as a 30,000-square-foot restaurant.