Chula Vista’s Third Avenue is lined with breweries and tasting rooms. Two new tasting rooms have been approved in National City. In Imperial Beach, Coronado Brewing Company is building a 10-barrel brewery with a 7,000 square-foot restaurant.
Anywhere else in craft beer-devoted San Diego County, openings like these would be unremarkable. But the South Bay has long been one corner of the county the craft beer boom hasn’t touched.
At the end of 2015, San Diego County had 114 breweries and brewpubs – only two of which were located in the South Bay, according to a National University System Institute for Policy Research study.
When I asked the brewers, bar owners, city planners and real estate agents in the South Bay to explain the disparity, some cited land use issues and local politics, but most pointed to assumptions about who’s drinking beer there. Citing the region’s generally low incomes and its minority-majority population, some brewers, sales representatives and distributors from outside the South Bay have assumed residents there only have taste buds for macro brews, like Bud Light, Corona and Dos Equis.
The South Bay’s mini craft beer boom, though, is upending those assumptions.
Perceptions and the #SouthBayUprising
“The biggest hurdle has been the perception that the South Bay either didn’t want [craft beer], wasn’t ready for it, or didn’t have the market for it,” said Eddie Trejo, co-owner of Machete Beer House in National City. “All these misguided perceptions: It’s low-income; there is mostly Mexicans and Filipinos; they don’t want [craft beer].”
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The section about Labella Pizza is BS, Gonzalo Didn't work there in 2012. Tony Raso III Was totally responsible for Starting the Craft beer Program at La Bella and Getting the into it a such a huge degree. He Tried out Hundreds of different beers thoughout the years that it was insane. Many people would be surprised about what kind of beers were on tap early on that it was a huge hit(Sometimes the beer were a dud base on the the oddness of it) but he Pushed for it a huge degree, and got Labella on the map First with it early on, Gonzalo only took over after Tony left and Didn't know squat about it( he suuuucks man as a manager , and "General Manager" is a Joke, He comes in the morning barely knows how to set a drawer up right and NEVER manages any Shifts and couldn't run a bar! Doesn't know how to mix drinks or poor a beer!! Give Credit where its due. and The Machete and Ale House are small and cheap places. There are Two breweries in Chula vista that I know about and which LaBella Doesn't promote.