September 13th saw a new bottle measure added to California…

According to the Surfrider Foundation, “AB 962 would create a returnable bottle system in California and preserve bottles so that they can be washed and refilled by beverage producers rather than being crushed for recycling. It would also allow for returnable bottles to flow through the state’s Beverage Container Recycling Program (CRV/Bottle Bill). This bill would even the playing field between bottle washers and recyclers by paying the same amount.”

Granted we can do more but every little step helps. I don’t think we will ever hit the heights of growlers back in the early days but maybe we can get a return a bottle, buy a bottle going.

Through Dec. 31

Per the Los Angeles Times, California will continue to allow sidewalk alcohol through the end of 2021.

You can read the full story HERE.

But why is this important?

Because, unfortunately, this may not be the last time a pandemic wreaks havoc. Variants abound as I type this and the US probably won’t ever reach true herd immunity due to laggard states.

Since California is a tourist destination, what are temporary work arounds, will need to be permanent options for visitors and to make safe the restaurant workers that remain.

I do think that more imaginative outdoor dining set-ups can be found but without the certainty that they willbe viable in the future means that many may be slapdash as opposed to creative.


If you were told to go home today, and not return to work until April, without pay, could you do it?

What if the return date was unknown?

Well, Los Angeles bars and restaurants have been forced into that choice by the governor of California and the mayor of Los Angeles.

After those paragraphs, you might be surprised that I am for the halt. What I am fully against is not having any other part to the plan. If a restaurant chain lays off or furloughs their staff or is at a small margin and cannot survive a week off, then the results will be massive. And not in a good economic way.

Your favorite restaurant might be gone. Or breweries will close and not just temporarily. Without a second part to this plan, that involves supplementing income for both affected businesses and workers, then we will be forced into an economic panic and we have seen that Americans will panic and panic hard.

Closing bars and restaurants will put even more pressure on grocery stores and speaking as someone who waited 1 1/2 hours just to enter a well run Trader Joe’s and also saw the empty shelves at Amazon/Whole Foods can attest, that pressure is going to be too much. Then we expect underpaid gig economy workers to deliver food and groceries! Until one gets the virus, of course.

There needs to be a full multi-pronged effort. Even if the details are not ready, it should be made crystal fucking clear that restitution will absolutely be made. Or that a the very least that delays in payments will be vigorously enforced as business practice for now. All there is now is vague promises of support.

Health now is vital. But to sacrifice tomorrow in the process is just a Ponzi scheme. One that individuals and small business should not have to shoulder the cost of without a promise of having that favor be returned.

State Stats

The statistical arm of the Brewer’s Association put up a handy set of graphics for each state that gives a snapshot of brewing activity in the state.

This time around, I want to point out the rankings that are in smaller print underneath the headline numbers. And what I want to specifically call to attention are the per Capita numbers. California has the most breweries in the Union but factoring in our large population we fall to middle of the pack at 22nd. Same with economic impact, we fall from 1st to 27th.

Those aren’t to be read as negative because, we may have a higher proportion of tiny breweries. And ranking higher in per Capita breweries might strain the infrastructure and lead to unhealthy amounts of competition.

The last important number is that economic impact. If that continues to grow, even if the other numbers do not, then the clout that our brewer’s guilds can wield will grow.


An early economic gift popped up over social media from the California Craft Brewers Association….

5 years and 587 breweries started up in California. That is amazing.  And my eye picked out another pair of numbers that might be even more important in the future.  Over 91% of residents are within 10 miles of a brewery.  With that kind of base, taprooms can become that 3rd place hub that can really put down roots.  Even die hard (It’s Christmas) water lager fans will be tempted to try “their” community brewery if they can be there in a few minutes from work on a Friday, or it is near their favorite restaurant, or they have just driven by and seen a crowd outside.

Now when do you think California hits the 1,000 mark?

Brewing Skills and Sales Skills

College Agriculture programs do the typical hands-on work and even sell some food items, such as cheese or jam but the liquor laws and the fact that a good percentage of college students fall under the 21 year threshold have probably made colleges rightly wary of embracing any type of alcohol.

But that may change if this story.

There is currently an exemption for wine, so if that has not caused harm, then maybe this will allow for more public feedback for aspiring brewers.

CA vs OR

The Trailblazers fell (predictably) to the Warriors in the 1st round of the NBA playoffs and the Clippers of L.A. ran out of gas against the Jazz so we will not get an Oregon vs California battle.

But we can look at the numbers….

That is a mighty big brewery number from Cali but they will need more than that to catch up to Oregon per Capita.  And that is the story, Oregon is drinking and producing at a Top5 pace in 4 out of 6 thanks to that by person calculation.

If this was a seven game series, I would say that Oregon would probably win in seven games.