My life throughout the beers (pun patent pending) has brought me to a great many establishments. Sometimes I quite literally stumble into new ones. With San Diego being home to 130 breweries and counting it is quite easy for this to happen. I used to think , I’m living through craft beer market saturation. The next week three breweries opened up under the same roof!
How is one city (let alone our country) supporting so many breweries? This question is always on my mind; especially when visiting a new place. Recently, I was out for a run. I noticed a new brewery called “Little Miss Brewing” (LMB) and once again my curiosity peaked. I had to investigate immediately….and drink their beer.
Owned and operated by Greg and Jade Malkin Little Miss Brewing opened in 2016. LMB started as a simple brew house in Miramar California’s odd brewery filled industrial park. Recently, they have expanded to open two new tasting rooms. One of the founding goals of the brewery was to bring the beer to where the people were, not the other way around. Greg Malkin further added to this stating, “We’re going to push more for pints and growler fills…we’d like to have more people from the community coming in on a regular basis.”.
When you first walk into Little Miss Brewing the decorations catch your attention. The theme is what I can only describe as WWII allied propaganda with a splash of Rosie the Riveter. Each of their tap handles takes the form of a metallic bomb (smirking face and all) headed straight for the Nazis! The beer itself has a wide arrangement from Wheats and IPAs to Belgiums and Porters. Pictured below is the mural describing their local beer delivery service.
I detail LMB for an actual reason, not just because they pour delicious beer. I wish to use this brewery as a case study on my initial question of: “why are we not at market saturation?” Little Miss was designed as a neighborhood brewery. It is clear, Greg said it himself, LMB has no ambition of growing into a national seller. Go visit any number of San Diego breweries and the vibes are similar.
The past few years have seen droves of people moving back into cities and out of the burbs. People, dare I say Millennials (blah I hate that term), want to live and shop local. The fascinating part: this is how beer sold many years ago. As the beer market continues to shift from macro to micro a rise in nano breweries seems to be the next logical step. The mere fact that San Diego (and cities like it) can sustain such a large number of breweries begs to verify this thesis. The market will determine if this is a fad or here to stick. In the meantime though I think I will go have another pint served from my new favorite local brewery