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Stone Brewing Takes Safety Steps for 14th Anniversary Bash

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Stone Brewery celebrated its 14th anniversary on Saturday, August 21st with a beer-tasting party at California State University San Marcos. Known for its local focus, Stone Brewery went to great lengths to train their servers and volunteers to keep attendees and the public safe from any dangerous activities that could result from such an event.

Chris Cochran was in charge of organizing this event for Stone. 2010 marks the ninth anniversary celebration that Cochran has organized for Stone Brewing. “We have 200 Stone employees that volunteer their time for the event and an additional 300 volunteers.”

For large events like this one, Stone puts their staff through Special Event Training. This training is required by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and provided by the Responsible Hospitality Coalition.

You gotta try the beer cheese!

Marian Novak has been training volunteers for events like this since 1995. “The goal of the Special Event training is to reduce underage access and reduce intoxication levels. Special events are a completely different environment than a restaurant or a bar. People are not monitored as closely. People are not as conscious about regulating their alcohol consumption. There’s a lot more freedom.”

Cochran explains how they monitor attendees’ alcohol intake. “Every attendee gets a wrist band with 10 plastic tabs on it that can be torn off. We train our servers to remove those tabs and to check how many tabs each attendee has remaining. We train them to recognize when someone is intoxicated and to stop serving them.”

“You used to be able to order 5 beers at a time,” said Novak. “We reduced that number to 2 and we reduced the cup size as well.”

Stone’s tasting glass included in ticket price

“We train the volunteers to fill the glass to an appropriate level to avoid over-serving attendees,” said Cochran.

Cochran expects there to be over 7,000 people attending this year’s celebration. “There will be around 3,000 people per session,” he said.

“The volunteers also receive training on how to spot fake I.D’s,” Novak added. “We advise the hosts of the party to use nice, plastic wristbands so that people can’t take them off and just give them to someone else.”

In addition to taking precautions for people while they’re at the event, Stone Brewery took steps to ensure that people are safe when the leave. “The North County Transit District is a great partner for us. They run double cars on the Sprinter line all day on Saturday. And they run later, they run one extra schedule that evening for us. We encourage people to let public transportation be their designated driver,” Cochran noted.

Stone’s beer-batter onion rings

Stone also offered incentives for designated drivers. “We only charge $10 for designated drivers as opposed to the normal $40 tickets,” said Cochran. “We hope that the designated drivers get to enjoy some of the free cheesecake, brownies, onion rings and home-brewed sodas.”

The charities benefited by the Stone Brewing annual party are the Surfrider Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club of San Marcos, the Palomar Family YMCA in Escondido and Fight ALD.

Shaun was born and raised in San Diego, CA. He attended San Pasqual High School, graduated in 2000 and received his B.A. from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in literature and creative writing. He speaks fluent English, a little Spanish, some Italian and even less Swedish. He golfs almost every weekend. He shoots in the mid 80's on a good day, mid 90's on a bad day. He enjoys good bourbon, black coffee and cloudy days. His favorite movie is the Big Lebowski.

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