News broke recently that 10 Barrel Brewing, one of the more recent purchases by the powers that be over at AB InBev, has sent an application to the City of San Diego requesting to take over an existing building in the neighborhood of East Village. The acquisition and expansion of this building in this Downtown Neighborhood would, of course, be used to open a 10 Barrel Brewing tasting room and brewpub.
With report after report showcasing the poor business practices by InBev to try stomping out and removing local, independently owned beer, this can easily be seen as yet another attempt to deceive and confuse the beer drinking public. Of course, San Diego’s vast and thriving beer scene has found itself with a target on its back. (Click here to read the PDF)
Anheuser Busch/InBev is a company widely known for its deceptive and highly questionable choices regarding its approach to taking over their corner of the “craft beer” market place. They use these deceptive practices to lie to the beer-drinking consumer about what is truly “craft” while using their beer acquisitions to hide behind a false sense of “local”. By confusing beer drinkers they think they can claim a stake in the local beer community – OUR beer community. By opening a brewpub here in San Diego, they will have, and will most certainly exercise their ability to brew beer at the new location. Giving them an even more solid ground to stand upon while tricking San Diego beer fans by saying their beer is brewed locally. But, just because it is produced within our city limits, does not give them the distinction of a part of our beloved beer community.
By allowing 10 Barrel to set up shop in our city it will open the door for “Big Beer” to actively attempt to steer the beer buying public into believing that they are a part of our tight-knit and proud beer community. Something of which they cannot, and will never be a member. We can’t allow them to move into our neighborhood and masquerade as something, which they can no longer be – an independent brewery.
I have heard it so many times – If its good beer then it doesn’t matter. But it does matter and, in my opinion, in a big way. 10 Barrel moving into our city is not being done as a way to better our already strong beer community, it is an attempt to take away from it. By pretending to be a cool new local business, they look to take income from the locally owned breweries and brewpubs in San Diego who have fought since Day 1 to succeed in this market. Think a small, locally owned video store that thrives on the commitment of a community intent on supporting a privately owned business, only to have a Blockbuster Video move in right next door. Possibly poor example, but it works for my point. Which is that AB InBev is the Blockbuster Video of the beer world, and 10 Barrel is nothing more than another storefront for their entire mega-corporation looking to squash any and all competition.
That is why this matters. The competition it looks to squash happens to be owned and operated by your friends, family or even colleagues. In fact, this location in question happens to be right down the road from Monkey Paw Pub and Brewery, which will be its direct competition and target in the East Village.
San Diego is proud of its beer community, and the people who make it happen work hard to produce both locally made and owned products of the highest standard. Furthermore, San Diego beer has solidified itself as one of the best beer communities in the entire country. Our world-class breweries are owned and operated by a diverse group of individuals. Allowing a tasting room into our neighborhood whose parent company uses blatant sexist practices to try and strong arm our local breweries out of their way to sell their product is a disgusting attempt to belittle the strong women in our city who work incredibly hard to make our local beer community what it has become.
Our San Diego Beer Community has been built on pride, hard work, diversity and a strong collaborative spirit. Qualities not shared by AB and InBev. These are qualities that AB InBev wish to rip to absolute shreds, tearing apart the tightly wound fabric in which our beer community has been built. We can’t let that happen in San Diego. It has never been more important than it is right now to support local, Independent Beer. (#IndieBeer)
It is nauseating to keep having to discuss moves like this, and hopefully if the San Diego beer community stands strongly together stories like these will be nothing more than a hiccup in our quest for Indie Beer domination. So, where do you stand?