Dear Oakland, Just Say No To Golden Road Brewing

craft beer oakland say no golden road brewing

Turning Craft is the show that’s converting the world to craft beer, one drinker at a time.

The Bay Area has so much more to offer.

Beer Revolution, The Trappist, Novel Brewing and Temescal Brewing are just a few of the the places to drink craft beer in Oakland, California. San Francisco usually gets most of the attention, but in recent years, Oakland and the 510 area have been producing world class beer. Fieldwork and Rare Barrel from Berkeley, Drake’s from San Leandro, Alameda Island and Faction Brewing from Alameda are among the many dope breweries propping up the East Bay Craft Beer Renaissance.

Living in the East Bay right now is just a dream if you’re a lover of well crafted beer. If you aren’t the kind of person who never tires of trying new brews, you might say there are plenty of options when it comes to drinking the good stuff. Enter Golden Road Brewing from Los Angeles.

Founded in 2011 in Northeast LA as a craft brewery, Golden Road is now owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev (A-B InBev). The company’s founder and soon-to-be reality television star, Margaret “Meg” Bruce Gill, sold out to the world’s largest beer conglomerate in 2015. Meg would probably like to tell you that Golden Road still craft beer, but in reality they are a fully owned subsidiary of its number one enemy.

The city of Oakland, the city I reside in, the city I love so much is now the latest city that A-B InBev (ABI) is trying to invade. In fact, Temescal Brewing Company, which I mentioned earlier, may have new neighbors moving in very soon, as Golden Road has announced that will open a beer garden in the Temescal Area of Oakland. And they plan to open it just two blocks away from the real craft brewery that is TBC.

Temescal was founded in June of 2016 and already has a huge following in the Bay Area with their Saved by The Bell themed taproom, great music and great beer. They are everything I love about craft beer.

So, you may ask: “What is the issue with Golden Road moving to Oakland?” Well, the proposed beer garden in the Temescal Area is just one in a recent streak of crafty ABI brands opening around the country in prime locations, and it all smells like the beginnings of a chain model designed to steal away taproom traffic from real craft breweries. It’s already happening in downtown Portland, Oregon and in downtown Denver with the openings of 10 Barrel Brewing gastropubs. This model is allowing ABI to Disneyfy craft beer and scoop up tourist and foot traffic that could otherwise be served by small and independent, locally run businesses.

A-B InBev spends lots, billions, of dollars on marketing every year. In 2015 alone, they spent $1.6B on just advertising. Imagine that kind of budget power being used to compete against the most beloved brewery in your hometown.

Corporate Beer masquerading as craft wants to move to Oakland, California, home of the some of the best independently owned restaurants and stores on the West Coast, home to homegrown, independently owned breweries who care about the communities they serve. You think A-B InBev gives a damn about Oakland or Craft Beer? That Belgo-Brazilian run multinational just wants to use Golden Road Brewing to lie to people of the East Bay, to fool them into believing they are bringing great craft beer to this proud city.

If you are a fan of craft beer and support independent business in Oakland, just be aware of what you’re supporting if you spend your money with ABI’s new proxy. Oakland is the same city that told Google to get the hell out; I hope we will do the same to Golden Road if they arrive.

I filmed this video at Temescal Brewing and had a great time drinking their beer. If you’re in the area check them out.

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I'm a craft beer nerd who lives in Oakland, California. My YouTube channel, All Things Beer 510, is growing fast, bringing a different look and flavor to craft beer reviews. You should follow along, because no style is untouched, and I hold nothing back. Cheers!


  1. Mike Landis

    April 24, 2017 at 1:03 PM

    I wonder if the author of this story also has a problem with Ballast Point… claiming that they are no longer a genuine craft beer brewer given that they were bought out by Constellation Brands for $1.0 Billion in late 2015.

    The fact of the matter is that the majority of craft beer brewers in the East Bay are not looking to pump out huge volumes of beer and distribute them Nationally. That just isn’t their business model and they know it. The majority simply wish to be (like Califcraft) and distribute locally in the Nor-Cal area, outside of their very profitable taproom in Walnut Creek. It’s a different market place and a completely different business model than what A-B InBev and Constellation embrace.

    • Jeremy Fultz

      April 24, 2017 at 2:18 PM

      I think the point here is that InBev is trying to compete at the small, local level by opening up brewpub/gastropub/beer garden establishments, something that they’re prevented from doing in most states under the Budweiser brand. They are setting up shop in the same general vicinity of true craft beer taprooms with the same or very similar business models in all of these cases.

    • Allthingsbeer510

      April 24, 2017 at 2:29 PM

      Ballast point has been around since 1996 and contributed to the industry. According to the Brewers Association they are not craft because they are not independent. I love Ballast Point’s beers, but that’s just the truth. Also, Ballast Point to my knowledge is not opening up new taprooms across the street from true craft breweries and trying to compete with them. There are a lot of layers that people are missing with this. I explain this in the video as well.

  2. Adam

    April 25, 2017 at 8:41 PM

    Aside from the fact that I don’t think there is a reasonable legal argument for the City of Oakland to block out Golden Road Brewing, I don’t think you have anything to worry about. Opening up several boutique breweries does not fit InBev’s business model, which is to scale out something locally successful to a national or global level. Assuming that happens, “Golden Road Brewing” would then be identified as a “chain,” loosing its “rare” factor that is largely responsible for the high demand for local craft beers. Additionally, it is almost certain that ingredients, processes, and overall quality will decline as InBev scales out this brand, so people can choose for themselves. At the end of the day, if this company can make a better product for cheaper and people choose to go there instead of local places then so be it, that’s how capitalism works…

  3. Jason Chalifour

    August 6, 2017 at 8:37 PM

    Just because you find AB’s business practices distasteful doesn’t mean they should be stopped from doing business. It’s up to beer drinkers to vote with their wallets. If they choose not to patronize Golden Road, they will close.

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