Will craft beer save San Diego? Usually these questions surface in my mind during the night while I am trying to sleep, and I lay in bed trying to discover several different hypothesis. A sleepless game that plagues my mind that I have named, “Pondering Questions of the Universe.” By morning time, my question was still chopping at my medulla oblongata, so I read the local business news in the San Diego Union Tribune. To my discovery, I read a disheartening report that Federal Funding for extended unemployment benefits for California and eight additional states was no longer available. Why? The unemployment rate for California has decreased, so our great state is no longer eligible for extended unemployment funds. Is this a victory? According to statistics and common understanding, the unemployment rate going down is a great news. Are you sure? Do statistics tell the whole story? What about the people who were on the extended unemployment? Will they continue to receive those benefits? According to the San Diego Union Tribune article, “100k Californians to lose unemployment benefits Saturday” published May 9, 2012, extended unemployment benefits have ceased for those individuals.

Why is this important to the craft beer industry? Does this mean everyone needs to start home brewing and open their own brewery? The answer is no. This expanding industry might be the answer to the failing economy in California. According to the local news, Channel 9, the California budget is estimated to soar to 16 billion by next year. When I heard this horrible news, I can not imagine the fear that local San Diego residents must feel. Again, I pose the question. Where does the craft beer industry fit into this scenario? The craft beer industry has doubled in size over the last few years, and several breweries have expanded. Their tiring expansion efforts and entrepreneurial spirit is creating jobs in a scarce market. The local San Diego community has embraced their existence, and locals are proud to live in craft beer mecca.

This finally leads me to my unanswer question. Will craft beer save San Diego? However, I believe the correct question is, “Do we, San Diego, want it to save our fair city?” I can not speak for millions of people, but I can tell my side of the story. My wife and I met each other 6 years ago, and we have been married for 5 years. We moved to Imperial Beach to start our lives together and raise our children. We feel connected to our community because they have embraced us and vice versa. In combination with starting our own small brewery business, we have the unique opportunity to give back to a community that freely gave to us. What did they give us? They gave us their friendship and a place to call home without asking anything in return. This is why San Diego is deeply connected to their specific communities. So, I ask the correct question, “Do we, San Diego, want the craft beer industry to help save our communities?” Like I said, I can not speak for millions; however, our community, Imperial Beach, needs job creation.

When we look at the troubled economy in California, we have to wonder what will pull it to safety. Obviously, breweries will not do it alone, but they are making a positive impact on the community by delivering job creation opportunities. I want you to think about this statement. By producing a quality product that is developed through an artisian spirit with passionate intentions, the outcome can only produce a positive impact. Your local brewery is not just serving tasters, pints, growlers and kegs; in addition, they are presenting job creation in your community.

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