Yesterday, a Harbor Island hotel ballroom was packed with bar owners, restaurateurs, brewers, politicians and advocates, all gathered to talk beer, namely San Diego-crafted beer. The crowd was assembled by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and Stone Brewing Co. for a second local Craft Beer Summit; the first was held in September 2013.
Among the afternoon's speakers were Interim Mayor Todd Gloria and former mayor Jerry Sanders, who continues to be a champion for the local beer industry and suggested that San Diego adopt a new slogan, "America's Best Craft Beer City".
Craft beer is big business in San Diego; a just-released report cites that in the last two years, local breweries have doubled (we're currently at 84), beer-related jobs have increased by 40% and beer sales have bumped up by $100 million.
Stone Brewing Co.'s CEO and co-founder Greg Koch, took to the stage to call for the "collective effort" of the entire industry to promote craft beer as part of San Diego's cultural identity. Koch asked local beer bars and restaurants to better highlight the San Diego-brewed beers on their menus and even encouraged the advent of San Diego-style craft beer pubs all over the world. In his recent pre-sabbatical interview with Eater, Koch hinted that his company may be opening Stone stores outside of our region.
Koch also presented a new tool for strengthening craft beer's presence around town, a door or window sticker that could be posted at establishments with a focus on San Diego beer, which would display the number of taps dedicated to local brews. A rep for Stone said that they haven't yet finalized how the stickers might be distributed.
· All Beer Coverage on Eater [~ESD~]