Thursday, July 19, 2007

New Breweries for Southern California

Yesterday I was at the brewery meeting with a family friend who was advising me on my plans, and had a surprise visitor-- a brewer who is setting up shop just a few miles from me. I won't say where his brewery is, or give details about it without his permission, but it sounds like he will be making some great beers. He's probably a month or so ahead of me, so you shouldn't have to wait too long for his beer. I'm excited that this area will have a few breweries to call home, and I think gives people an incentive to come out and visit us, along with the few other brewpubs in the area (Taps and BJ's).

Another brewery in the works is Hangar 24 Craft Brewery in Redlands. Ben Cook has been underway for some time, and from what I've heard, is about ready to start brewing.

My friend, Curt Dale, is expanding his Dale Brothers Brewery in Upland from a 4 BBL system to a 10 BBL system. Curt makes some great session beers, so I hope I'll see more of his tap handles in my area. Curt's old system has been purchased by a homebrewer from Costa Mesa / Newport Beach, who plans to open shop at some point, perhaps in Orange County?

I'm sure there's other breweries I haven't heard about in this area getting started. LA, Orange County, and the Inland Empire are reknown for the lack of craft beer, so we're due for some local breweries.

The influx of new breweries coming to this area would make some brewery owners a bit nervous, as there will be more competition. Oddly enough, having more craft beer being produced in a region more often than not leads to the increased sale of craft beers. That sounds a circular argument, but when people in an area have a higher degree of knowledge of craft beer, they are more likely to drink craft beer. Portland, Oregon, or San Diego are great examples of this phenomenon. Competition also compels breweries to produce a higher quality, more distinctive beer in order to stand out in the marketplace, which is a great thing for our customers and our own success.


Richard said...
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Richard said...

Is there any kind of Brewers Organization in OC? The San Diego Brewers Guild is important to the local scene down here. The locals all seem to support each other pretty well.

Patrick Rue said...

Good idea Richard. I could see an organization with LA, OC and IE brewers making an association, but it's perhaps too large of an area. I'll look into doing that-- it would be nice to organize some beer festivals in this area.

pluma said...

I was planning to head out there to visit your brewery as it was, but for me, knowing that there's an actual "beer scene" developing there rather than just one establishment is a plus, and only increases the likelihood of me visiting that area with a bit more frequency.

I'm reminded of the new bar that opened up in downtown L.A. a few months back. Word got out quickly, and now downtown L.A. actually has a night life with people flocking in from other parts of the county. The result: the other bars in the area are also doing better business due to gaining more visibility and the sheer overflow of customers at the new bar.

Plus, for us beer geeks, this is a great opportunity for a new beer crawl locale.