More Breweries Coming to SF’s Bayview

Source: San Francisco Business Journal
Reporter: Annie Sciacca
Date: December 9, 2014

The Bay Area craft beer boom may be about to hit San Francisco’s Bayview.

The Board of Supervisors passed an amendment Tuesday to allow small beer manufacturing licenses along the Third Street corridor of the Bayview, after years of restricting alcohol sales in the area.

The move is part of the city’s push to support food and beverage manufacturers and comes as the Dogpatch neighborhood, just north of the Bayview, has become ground zero for the city’s craft brewing scene. The idea is also to create more jobs in the Bayview neighborhood, which has historically struggled with high unemployment and crime. However, the area is starting to see a wave of gentrification and has also been the site of rising home prices recently, with professionals moving in and buying up property.

The change in city law comes after 2003 legislation prohibited any new alcohol-related outlets on the corridor, citing an “unusually large” number of spots selling alcohol for both on-site and off-site consumption. That legislation attributed the high number of alcohol sellers to the “numerous peace, health, safety and general welfare problems in the area.”But legislators appear to be changing their tune. The Third Street Restricted Use District was amended to allow the sale of alcohol at grocery stores in 2007 and again in 2013 to allow wineries into the area. The amendment passed Tuesday will allow small beer manufacturing licenses for the production of up to 60,000 barrels of beer per year, tasting rooms and the sale of microbrewed beer.

With the passage of the amendment, Laughing Monk Brewing has plans to start brewing Belgian style beers at 1439 Egbert Avenue and to open an onsite tasting room with retail sales by the middle of 2015, according to planning documents. That brewery will join longtime Bayview brewery, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers.

Al Norman, president of the Bayview Merchants Association, said the amendment is drawing some resentment from merchants who have long requested but have been denied permits for selling alcohol.

But Barbara Gratta, a longtime Bayview resident and owner of Gratta Wines, said she sees the amendment as positive for the community.
Gratta will open up her first tasting room in Bayview in January in Butchertown Gourmet, which will consist of her Gratta Wines and Fox and Lion Breads.

“We’re a totally different kind of business than the existing alcohol sellers in the area,” Gratta said, pointing out that many of the existing sellers are corner liquor stores. “I think that’s one reason the (amendment to allow) wineries passed. What we’re intending to do is to promote a food and wine environment.”

Oakland has experienced a similar movement throughout the city to allow craft brewers to move in. For years, Oakland has put restrictions on the number of companies with liquor licenses in an attempt to limit a proliferation of corner liquor stores that tend to populate poor neighborhoods, said Margot Prado from Oakland’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development. But with the recent trend in local brewing, the city is not only lifting those restrictions, but encouraging breweries to open.

Prado said that Oakland recently passed an amendment to its zoning laws that allows breweries with manufacturing onsite to enjoy a shorter permitting process, and breweries are flourishing there because of it.

Link to article: Bayview Breweries