Our fair city finally got national recognition for what it does well yesterday when a writer who actually drinks beer put San Diego at the top of a “Non Fiction” list of the best beer towns in America. And our new mayor got schooled yesterday in what it really takes to be a game changer when it comes to medical marijuana.
Columnist Steve Body, who pens The Pour Fool column for Seattlepi.com did a little research into the business of compiling best beer cities and was shocked to discover that even big time media outlets weren’t using any sources with backgrounds in the field.
NONE of the people who authored these lists were any more than semi-casual beer fans. None had written extensively about beer at all, except for one guy who had written a detailed exploration of funky brewpubs in which fighting or arm-wrestling were the main events, for which the production of beer served as a slightly-exotic adjunct.
I searched twenty-six pages deep into google and found NO lists written by anyone professing to be an avid beer freak. I don’t blame the people who wrote these tragically misguided/uninformed lists. They’re just writers trying to patch together an income in a hideously difficult profession. I DO blame their editors, to whom credibility and any hint of acumen clearly meant nothing – beer as a page-filler along the lines of padding out short columns with “Fun Facts and Anecdotes”.
Then he set to work, compiling a ‘non-fiction’ list, taking into account things like national recognition for local breweries and the actual number of people engaging in the making of craft beer and not including things like civic amenities and near-by tourist attractions. He acknowledges all such lists are bound to be subjective, but at least this one was compiled by an actual known craft beer drinker.
Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! San Diego, we won! Here’s what he said:
Number One: San Diego, California: With superstars like AleSmith, Green Flash, Coronado, Port, Lost Abbey, Alpine, Stone, Societe, Ballast Point, Iron Fist, Mike Hess Brewing, the remarkable and venerable Karl Strauss Brewing, and the emergingAutomaticBrewingCo.,
In other news (like that segue?), Mayor Filner walked back an earlier promise to get the City of San Diego out of the business of prosecuting medical marijuana dispensary owners yesterday.
Following a closed meeting between hizzoner, city councilmembers (except Kevin Falconer, who was absent) and the city attorney, Filner’s office released a statement saying the City Attorney will not drop the lawsuits and the City will not be calling off enforcement of current code. A new zoning ordinance will be presented to the City Council at an upcoming meeting.
Here’s the money quote from the Mayor’s release:
“I will be working very hard in the next 30 days to bring an ordinance to the City Council that ensures that the zoning law allows for reasonable regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries in the City of San Diego. As I’ve said before, I want those who legitimately need medical marijuana for the relief of pain to have access to it legally. That is the compassionate thing to do.”
Editor: This is a section of Doug Porter’s daily column at San Diego Free Press.