San Diego Business Journal

Think Tank Formed to Promote San Diego Craft Beer

By Lou Hirsh Originally published April 20, 2014 at 3:02 p.m., updated April 21, 2014 at 9:16 a.m.

A new independent think tank, called the Craft Beer Association of San Diego, has been formed with the goal of raising the national and international profile of the local region’s burgeoning brewing industry.

Association representatives said the think tank is looking to support the industry through education, research, advocacy and marketing initiatives. It plans to work with local brewers, civic leaders and existing trade associations.

“Specific organizational goals include bridging gaps with policy makers, elevating out-of-market brand awareness, and strengthening economic development opportunities for the local industry,” an association statement said.

Founding partners of the think tank are David Lizerbram, an attorney with David Lizerbram & Associates; Omar Passons, senior counsel at the law firm Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz; Tim Stahl, photographer and owner of Stahl Photographics; Vince Vasquez, senior policy analyst with the National University System Institute for Policy Research; Gonzalo Quintero, professor of marketing with the San Diego State University Business of Craft Beer certificate program; and Tiffany Bromfield, an expert in small business issues and economic development

The organization was scheduled to officially launch on April 19, during a public introduction at a CityBeat Festival of Beers event at Lafayette Hotel in North Park. The organization has established a website at craftbeer.is/sandiego.

San Diego County’s craft beer brewers – numbering more than 80 with more in development ¬– saw sales grow from $680.9 million in 2011 to $781.5 million in 2013, a rise of nearly 15 percent, according to a recent report by the National University policy institute.