If you haven’t read my article, The State of San Diego Craft – 2015, you should. This will be a series of posts where I share the complete and full statements from 20+ amazing individuals that contributed to my work. There’s still 6 statements you haven’t even heard about. Today we’re going to dive into three! First up we have Giana Rodriguez, she’s the program director of the SDSU Craft Beer Certification program, of which, I’m a student. I really enjoy her call for maintaining quality throughout the entire process of creating the amazing beer we have grown accustomed to in San Diego.
In 2015, the demand for jobs and education within the industry grew significantly. With so many new breweries/brew pubs/craft beer bars opening and the established breweries expanding, the requests to send out job openings to our student list has increased significantly. In addition to the brewery jobs, I have seen an increase in openings for the distribution and sales sector of the industry. With so many more people acquiring positions on the “front lines” and being charged with being ambassadors for the product, the demand for education has grown as it is dangerous for the reputation of craft beer to have unskilled workers talking to, selling or serving the client. As the industry continues to grow nationally and internationally, I believe more resources will be spent on education to ensure that the quality of craft remains high.
I don’t see the momentum slowing down in 2016 as culturally, people are embracing craft beer. Community, farm to table, knowing where your food comes from are increasing in value and craft beer fits perfectly into that. The industry has proven to fulfill these needs and are helping to build pride in local small business. Now it is our responsibility to uphold the quality not only in the product itself, but throughout the entire process it takes to reach the customer.
Next up we have Ian Anderson, yes the author of “Craft is Dead. Now We Drink Indie Beer”
. He nails last year’s trend of coffee and fruited beers and brings up a great point, when those collaborations are local and authentic, they cannot be copied by the macro giants of the brewing world.
I’ve been seeing an increase of cross industry collaborations. There’s a long history of coffee beers with local roasters, but there’s been huge growth in coffee with two or three dozen local coffee roasters in San Diego the past couple years and in 2015 the partnerships went every which way. Many roasters have been collaborating with multiple breweries, and vice versa. These collaborations include craft spirits now. We’re going to be seeing craft spirit companies collaborating with brewers, things like distilling beer into liquor, and probably some other creative approaches beyond that.
I’m also intrigued by all the fruited beer. I don’t know if maybe everybody’s chasing the success of grapefruit Sculpin, but in adding fruits and other ingredients I wind up hearing about more breweries forging relationships with local farmers, which is pretty outstanding. They’re getting fruit in-season and taking inspiration from the flavors in that particular harvest. They’re getting fresh picked hops in the late summer and fall to make outstanding flavorful beers. These are things that can’t be replicated on a macro scale that truly demonstrate the value of supporting local, small batch beer.
Closing out this edition will be Curtis Hawes, he’s the Chief Tasting Officer at Second Chance Brewing. He keeps it simple and straight forward.
It’s been another giant leap forward for us craft breweries! 2016 looks like more of the same. Continuing to gain market share on the Fizzy Yellow Water conglomerates, while they continue the “can’t beat em’, so buy em” game. We will obviously see more of that this year as well.
I don’t have much more to say, other than, “while Big Beer continues to obfuscate, and many are entering the industry to make a quick buck, We at Second Chance will continue to do what we’ve always done…..keep our heads down, our hands on the mash paddle, and brew great beer.”
To each of these amazing individuals I want to relay my true appreciation for them taking the time out of their day to send me their thoughts on the craft industry here in San Diego. While I may not have directly quoted everyone that contributed in the main article, each and every single person’s thoughts were integral for me to capture The State of San Diego Craft Beer – 2015 !