San Diego has been at the epicenter of the microbrewery and craft beer scene since the beginning. The neighborhood my wife and I lived in when we were first married went from being an affordable place to rent an apartment, to becoming the scene for artisanal brews. The hookers have been mostly displaced by hipsters.
Besides my own personal observations, and bold statements made by various pundits in the local beer scene, is there really anything to this craft beer explosion in San Diego?
According to researchers at the National University System Institute for Policy Research, San Diego’s beer scene has a tremendous economic impact on the region, and is responsible for an estimated 6,200 jobs and $600-million of economic activity annually. KPBS’ Erik Andersen reports:
“What we do have here is a very talented workforce. That talent has, really over time, won a lot of awards and won a very strong reputation for San Diego craft beer,” researcher Vince Vasquez said.
The industry is tapping into a demographic trend, according to Vasquez. The number of brewpubs is up, there are more jobs and annual sales are approaching $900 million. All that is linked in part to craft beer’s appeal to young people.
“Millennials are younger people who have a preference for craft beer, over the macros, over the Budweisers,” Vasquez said. “And those millennials are only now emerging in significant numbers.”
Image courtesy Wikipedia