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Atwater Village’s Golden Road Brewing is expanding statewide

Golden Road brewery in Atwater Village

ATWATER VILLAGE —  The  brightly colored metal sheds of Golden Road Brewing turned the industrial north end of Atwater Village into a destination for craft beer lovers, Here, next to the railroad tracks and up the road from a strip club, customers pack into a giant beer hall and restaurant to wash down brews and snack on giant pretzels and other pub fare.  Now it appears that the brewer wants build upon the concept it created in north Atwater by opening a chain of Golden Road brewpubs — or “nano-breweries” and beer gardens across California.  But it turns out not everyone wants Golden Road to start brewing in their town.

Golden Road, which was acquired by beer giant Anheuser-Busch (now known as AB InBev) in 2015, already operates a stand at the Grand Central Market in DTLA and a tap room in Anaheim. However, a brewery is being added to the Anaheim location and Golden Road had hired a San Diego architecture firm to use shipping containers to build “multiple outdoor establishments”  featuring a pub, microbrewery and outdoor seating area across the state.

An announcement from the firm Architectural Concepts says:

“Shipping containers are utilized as the architectural shells to house all functions including the kitchen and brew house. The environment is further boosted by the bold colorful graphics on the containers. Signature trees are being used to create shade for alfresco dining with added ambiance provided by overhead market lights. Other signature features include large social fire pits, repurposed kegs and barrels as planters for herbs and vegetables, and popular games such as Giant Jenga, Giant Connect Four, and Corn Hole. Citrus trees will also be planted with the intention of pairing the fruit with the freshly brewed beer. Following the successful model of Golden Road’s original location in Los Angeles’ Atwater Village, the pubs are kid and pup friendly.”

Golden Road has already applied for permits to build new brewpubs and beer gardens in Downtown Sacramento and in Oakland. However, in Oakland, Golden Road’s proposed nano-brewery in the Temescal area met with stiff resistance from a smaller, independently owned craft brewery and others who are put off by Golden Road’s corporate parent.

“Golden Road is not healthy competition — it is a deliberate attempt by an international conglomerate to stifle small business and to cash in on a beer scene started through the risk and sacrifice of local beer lovers,” Sam Gilbert, founder of Temescal Brewing, told the SF Gate.

But Meg Gil, one of the founders of Golden Road who serves as company president, defended her brewery’s craft-beer roots and its Oakland project. “We look forward to building and bringing a unique, beer positive, space to Oakland.”

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