Breweries in Los Angeles have been put through the ringer by the County of Los Angeles. On this Labor Day, I want to share the more dystopian look at what the landscape of beer will be here.
Breweries will close. Sad and entirely preventable but clearly ahead of us at this point barring some fast action. This will mean that suppliers won’t get paid, loans won’t get paid, rent won’t get paid and the effects will ripple outward.
That storefront will now be empty, boarded up in an economy where new breweries are not going to rush in. Yes, new breweries have opened during the pandemic but all were in planning well before it struck California. Who is going to have the money to enter the brewery business and who will want to after this governmental cock-up.
That empty building means empty tax revenues from company and employees alike. It means a drain on City, County and State financial resources for unemployment and safety net programs. It means whatever momentum was built to create economic opportunities will stall out because people will leave for jobs elsewhere, anywhere.
If the scuttlebutt is true, half of the 90+ breweries are at risk of closing. That means 45 empty breweries who instead of being a net positive to the economy will be a negative drain. That is on top of closed restaurants and shuttered bars and numerous other industries that will be memories only.
Think of it this way. The Los Angeles Lakers are forced out of business. Sure LeBron and Anthony Davis will find new jobs. But some of those players won’t and neither will a host of people who work for the team. Would the City of LA let that happen? Doubtful is the answer. But they seem more than willing to let that happen to 45 other teams in the city. That is a lot of lost Labor and lost beer.