Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Drink local beer like the economy depends on it

For every beer employee out of work, five non-beer jobs are threatened

Vista brewery Iron Fist Brewing sits quiet and empty, the first brewery to close permanently during the pandemic.
Vista brewery Iron Fist Brewing sits quiet and empty, the first brewery to close permanently during the pandemic.

Drink local. This has long been a rallying cry of San Diego’s beer industry. But nearly a month into California’s covid-19 shutdown, the overture has more urgency than ever. Particularly for breweries that rely on taproom sales and keg distribution, rather than grocery store sales, the shutdown of public drinking spaces is an existential threat.

Last week’s national survey of breweries by craft beer trade group the Brewers Association reports that, if current social distancing measures continue for three months, 46.4 percent of brewery owners in the U.S. expect to go out of business. Of those, 12.7 percent doubt they will last another month.

The county experienced its first covid-era closing at the end of March, when ten-year-old Vista beermaker Iron Fist Brewing Company closed its doors permanently. The family-owned and -operated business had been waging a stiff battle against rising competition in recent years, and in a press release, cited a “lack of traction” with its distributor as a contributing factor to its closing. However, it was also clear that, “With… the final catalyst, the forced shutdown due to the Coronavirus, we just couldn’t sustain any longer.”

The craft beer industry operates on notoriously slim margins, and in recent years we’ve grown accustomed to seeing between 10 and 20 breweries close, annually, according to the an industry tracker maintained by the blog Craft Beer in San Diego). Roughly 142 distinct beer companies operate in San Diego, so if the Brewers Association survey prediction proves out in San Diego, we could see 18 breweries could close by May. By July, that number could rise to 66.

I hope those numbers will be tempered by the maturity of San Diego’s beer market, relative to other parts of the country, and the promise of state, federal, and local relief efforts, including moratoriums on evictions through May. The Brewers Association survey shows about half of breweries are counting on disaster loans and delayed payroll tax payments to get by. Nearly 56 percent are counting on $10,000 grants, such as being offered by the city of San Diego. And nearly 85 percent are hoping to survive with help from the forgivable small business loans established by the coronavirus stimulus relief bill enacted by Congress.

However, uncertain loan amounts and a botched rollout in the federal program has already forced businesses to re-apply for the program and sown confusion as to whether federal aid will be too little too late for breweries experiencing, per the survey, a 66 percent drop in sales on average since the pandemic began.

In 30 years, San Diego’s beer industry grew from a single downtown brewpub into an economic engine that pumped some $1.2 billion annually into the local economy. As of one year ago, it also employed 6,480 people.

In a single month, by the Brewers Association’s count, an estimate two-thirds are out of work. Most still employed continue with reduced income, as taprooms have cut hours for to-go beer sales, typically employing one or two persons per shift in otherwise empty venues.

And while the status of this industry may not appear a pressing concerning to non-beer drinkers, consider this: San Diego’s economic development department has estimated the craft beer business creates a relatively high employment multiplier of 5.7. This means for every job directly created by the craft beer industry, 4.7 other jobs are indirectly created in the local economy.

So as your fridge empties of the beer you purchased last month while panic buying ahead of the pandemic, don’t replenish with out-of-town beer at the grocery store. Contact your local brewery about ordering beer for curbside pick-up, home delivery, or shipping by mail. In these ways, many of our breweries are still selling beer. Many continue to make fresh beer, and new can releases are being announced weekly.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Brewery taprooms are back, with a catch

Next Article

San Diego's nay-sayers on opening up businesses now

Three Sharp Hospital nurses, Barbecue Pit and Breakfast Republic managers
Comments
6

Only the strong will survive.

April 10, 2020

Support the locals!

April 10, 2020

We know there be no "local" or 'retail' graded Cigarettes. Had there been such existence, it would have been great to do the same effect (generally) against Cigarettes as said against "local beer." For the sake of protecting/environment society in general.

April 11, 2020
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
April 12, 2020
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
April 13, 2020
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
April 14, 2020

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Vista brewery Iron Fist Brewing sits quiet and empty, the first brewery to close permanently during the pandemic.
Vista brewery Iron Fist Brewing sits quiet and empty, the first brewery to close permanently during the pandemic.

Drink local. This has long been a rallying cry of San Diego’s beer industry. But nearly a month into California’s covid-19 shutdown, the overture has more urgency than ever. Particularly for breweries that rely on taproom sales and keg distribution, rather than grocery store sales, the shutdown of public drinking spaces is an existential threat.

Last week’s national survey of breweries by craft beer trade group the Brewers Association reports that, if current social distancing measures continue for three months, 46.4 percent of brewery owners in the U.S. expect to go out of business. Of those, 12.7 percent doubt they will last another month.

The county experienced its first covid-era closing at the end of March, when ten-year-old Vista beermaker Iron Fist Brewing Company closed its doors permanently. The family-owned and -operated business had been waging a stiff battle against rising competition in recent years, and in a press release, cited a “lack of traction” with its distributor as a contributing factor to its closing. However, it was also clear that, “With… the final catalyst, the forced shutdown due to the Coronavirus, we just couldn’t sustain any longer.”

The craft beer industry operates on notoriously slim margins, and in recent years we’ve grown accustomed to seeing between 10 and 20 breweries close, annually, according to the an industry tracker maintained by the blog Craft Beer in San Diego). Roughly 142 distinct beer companies operate in San Diego, so if the Brewers Association survey prediction proves out in San Diego, we could see 18 breweries could close by May. By July, that number could rise to 66.

I hope those numbers will be tempered by the maturity of San Diego’s beer market, relative to other parts of the country, and the promise of state, federal, and local relief efforts, including moratoriums on evictions through May. The Brewers Association survey shows about half of breweries are counting on disaster loans and delayed payroll tax payments to get by. Nearly 56 percent are counting on $10,000 grants, such as being offered by the city of San Diego. And nearly 85 percent are hoping to survive with help from the forgivable small business loans established by the coronavirus stimulus relief bill enacted by Congress.

However, uncertain loan amounts and a botched rollout in the federal program has already forced businesses to re-apply for the program and sown confusion as to whether federal aid will be too little too late for breweries experiencing, per the survey, a 66 percent drop in sales on average since the pandemic began.

In 30 years, San Diego’s beer industry grew from a single downtown brewpub into an economic engine that pumped some $1.2 billion annually into the local economy. As of one year ago, it also employed 6,480 people.

In a single month, by the Brewers Association’s count, an estimate two-thirds are out of work. Most still employed continue with reduced income, as taprooms have cut hours for to-go beer sales, typically employing one or two persons per shift in otherwise empty venues.

And while the status of this industry may not appear a pressing concerning to non-beer drinkers, consider this: San Diego’s economic development department has estimated the craft beer business creates a relatively high employment multiplier of 5.7. This means for every job directly created by the craft beer industry, 4.7 other jobs are indirectly created in the local economy.

So as your fridge empties of the beer you purchased last month while panic buying ahead of the pandemic, don’t replenish with out-of-town beer at the grocery store. Contact your local brewery about ordering beer for curbside pick-up, home delivery, or shipping by mail. In these ways, many of our breweries are still selling beer. Many continue to make fresh beer, and new can releases are being announced weekly.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Streaming with the Electric Waste Band

Winstons adapts to COVID-19 safety concerns
Next Article

Yonder Mountain String Band, Live Animal Friday: Sea Stars, Slay at Home Virtual Music Festival

Events May 28-May 30, 2020
Comments
6

Only the strong will survive.

April 10, 2020

Support the locals!

April 10, 2020

We know there be no "local" or 'retail' graded Cigarettes. Had there been such existence, it would have been great to do the same effect (generally) against Cigarettes as said against "local beer." For the sake of protecting/environment society in general.

April 11, 2020
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
April 12, 2020
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
April 13, 2020
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
April 14, 2020

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close