From the OC Beer Blog:
The Brewers Association reports the economic impact of craft brewers in America hit 34 Billion in 2012, with California leading the pack at 4.7 Billion. San Diego obviously leads the growth at 70+ breweries; Anaheim will lead OC with almost 9% of San Diego County’s number of breweries by the end of 2014, however San Diego far outweighs production with many large regional craft brewers.
Mayor Tait and city advisors have been active getting Orange County to utilize the State’s health inspection codes instead of OCHCA’s stringent regulations that treat breweries like restaurants; making it quicker to get doors open.
Mayor Tait devoted part of his State of the City address to the topic of making Anaheim a craft beer destination:
A fun example of how Anaheim is showcasing its business-friendly attitude involves one of my favorite topics: craft beer.
Anaheim’s German heritage means that we’ve actually been brewing beer here since city was founded. And in the last several years, the craft and microbrewery industry has seen tremendous growth. Anaheim will soon have more craft and micro-breweries than any other city in Orange County.
The city has been working on making it easier for these artisan beer makers to practice their craft in our town.
As a beer enthusiast, I’m really excited about the attraction of micro and craft brewers to our city. We have all of the elements that these entrepreneurs need—space, great water, a super-friendly regulatory climate, and Southern California’s tremendous population of thirsty residents and visitors.
This budding industry has great potential for our town. Think what the wine industry has done for places like the Napa Valley or Paso Robles over the years. And we’ve seen what the brew industry has done for the city of Portland. It has brought that city new jobs, lots of tourists and events, not to mention bringing the community together.
That’s why we’re branding Anaheim as the Southland’s BrewCity. In Southern California, when you think about craft beer and all that goes along with that scene, you’re going to think about Anaheim.
Moving beyond craft beer, I think Anaheim’s future can be summed up with what’s happening in the center of our city: it’s cool, diverse and authentic. It’s the type of place that young entrepreneurs are drawn to.
Maybe the city can sell growlers emblazoned with the Seal of the City.
I think more craft breweries in Anaheim is one of those things that all men and women of good will can agree on. As the sentiment in the quasi-apocryphal Benjamin Franklin quote goes: “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.“