VISTA, Calif. — No secret, San Diego County loves its beer, but the city with the most breweries in the state of California, per capita may surprise you.
Vista’s taps are flowing. 14 breweries are in the small north county community and another five are set to open soon.
“Businesses are successful, people are happy and the vacancy in the business park is less than three percent,” Kevin Ham said, who is the Director of Economic Development at the City.
Those 14 breweries all moved in within the last six years, meaning there’s one brewery for every 7,000 people in Vista. For comparison, there’s one brewery for every 19,000 people in the City of San Diego.
“We’re bringing a ton of people to the area and putting Vista on a new map,” Kris Anacleto said, who is the General Manager of Booze Brother Brewing Co. and the President of the Brewers Guild.
There’s beer to drink in the business park and with the downtown village growing, so are the options on tap.
“We have 15 beers on tap, the Ol’ Grandaddy’s double IPA is our most popular,” Anacleto said.
Like many success stories the Booze Brothers started home brewing as a hobby, then made it their profession with the help of the city. “Vista has been more accommodating than other cities,” he said.
A fellow home brewer turned businessmen and now owner of Wavelength Brewing Company agrees and says the city was very accommodating, helping out with everything from planning to permitting.
“Good timing, good policy, good communication from the city made a big difference,” Hans Haas said, who is the owner and President of Wavelength.
So chalk it up to the fact Vista has the space, reasonable rents and, mostly – a City Council that says “yes.” For nearly a decade, this has been part of their economic development plan. While other cities were leery of an influx of breweries, Vista saw their value.
“They bring people into the business park, so there are eyes and ears in the park when we might not have them there,” Ham added. In addition to helping breweries get on their feet, the city also enacted noise and operating ordinances to keep residents happy.
Original article available at: www.cw6sandiego.com