When San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders declared June “Craft Beer Month” Friday, he chose new Tecolote Canyon brewery and tasting room as the place for the announcement.
“It’s pretty exciting to be known as the ‘Napa of craft beer,’” Sanders said, of the recent praise that's been heaped upon the region for its gains in the brewing world.
Two local microbreweries – CBC and Hess Brewing Company - are scheduled to open expanded brewing facilities later this summer.
The mayor also pointed out that Green Flash Brewing Company, New English Brewing Company, Rough Draft Brewing Company, Societe Brewing Company, White Labs and Wet & Reckless opened in the city over the past year.
Rick Chapman, a board member with the San Diego Brewers’ Guild and co-founder of CBC, said the knowledge and expertise of Sanders and his staff have fed the growth of the local industry.
“They have been there for us every step of the way,” he said, “not just at Coronado Brewing Company, but with our fellow brewers and the SD Brewers’ Guild. Not only did they assist us with the somewhat difficult permitting process, but they opened doors for the brewing community to better collaborate with the Alcoholic Beverage Control and the San Diego Police Department.”
The city has provided $400,000 in micro-loans to two breweries based on their potential to generate new jobs and tax revenues for the city, and has assisted others with permits and site selection.
The investment, Sanders said, has paid dividends. He estimates that the industry creates nearly six jobs indirectly per each actual brewery job.
The mayor added that $75,000 tourism officials spent on promotion of November's Craft Beer Week and microbreweries in general led to an estimated $470,000 return in hotel taxes as tourists flocked to the region to raise a glass.
The brewers' guild has seen the jump year over year. Marty Mendiola, the guild's president and part of Rock Bottom Brewery, said that two years ago, beer fans spent $175,000 at hotels. Last year that number nearly tripled.
“We are continuing to become better organized, to grow and to develop, ” he said. “This is an exciting time for all of us.”
The month's events kicked off with a BeerFest taking place at Petco Park during Friday's San Diego Padres game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Coronado Brewing Company's expanded facilities are set to open later this summer. The brewery is a 20,000-square-foot production facility and tasting room.
City News Service and Joe Ditler contributed to this report.