Friday, March 24, 2017

Corporate Beer Overlords AB InBev To Open Golden Road 'Craft' Beer Garden in North Oakland

by Nick Miller
Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 10:21 AM

AB InBev, the world's largest macro beer corporation — owner of such brands as Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois ... you name it — is coming to North Oakland.

The beer empire's arrival will be clandestine, however, in the form of Golden Road Brewing, one of formerly craft-beer brands that AB InBev gobbled up in the summer of 2015.

Permits filed with the city of Oakland this month show that Golden Road is planning to open a 7,000-square-foot brewery and beer garden in North Oakland, which will take up three lots on 40th Street between Broadway and Manila Avenue.

According to this application with the Planning and Zoning Division, Golden Road intends to brew on site, serve food, and also feature an outdoor beer garden with fire pits. The entire structure will be — wait for it — constructed out of shipping containers.

There are several locally owned breweries within a mile of the proposed Golden Road site, including newly opened Temescal Brewing and Drakes Dealership.

The AB InBev incursion into Oakland isn't its first announced foray into Northern California. Last year, the corporation released plans to open a similar Golden Road beer garden in Sacramento's Midtown neighborhood. AB InBev also purchased Oakland-based Horizon Beverage Company, a distribution outfit, in 2015.

Golden Road co-founder and president Meg Gill said in a statement that the company "happened to have found two great markets in NorCal that embraced Golden Road’s Flipflop Pub (our concept of a nano-brewery made out of container), that also both have a relaxed, yet active, outdoor atmosphere.”

Last year, when the Express spoke to Tom McCormick, head of statewide advocacy group the California Craft Brewers Association, he said the No. 1 threat to the thriving craft-beer industry is AB InBev's takeover of independent breweries:
"If you were to ask me the greatest threat to our industry now, that is far and away it," he said of macro beer. "And it is clear now what their strategy is: If you can't beat them, buy them."
Also last year, AB InBev paid more than $100 billion to absorb its chief competitor, SABMiller , an acquisition that the Department of Justice antitrust officials (inconceivably) green lit.

AB InBev now controls more than 30 percent of the global beer market.

Correction: A previous version of this story reported that AB InBev owns MillerCoors. That is incorrect; when AB InBev acquired SABMiller, the MillerCoors holdings were not part of it.

AB InBev also does not own Modelo; they are owned by Constellation.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Complex Oakland to Focus on Coffee and Creole Food Instead of Clubbing

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 2:30 PM

Available Friday nights at Complex Oakland: Dungeness crab, blackened shrimp, and garlic noodles. - INSTAGRAM @CHEFSMELLY
  • Instagram @chefsmelly
  • Available Friday nights at Complex Oakland: Dungeness crab, blackened shrimp, and garlic noodles.

Oscar Edwards saw all of the shiny new high-rise apartment buildings planned for Downtown Oakland and figured the writing was on the wall: There probably wasn’t much of a future in running a nightclub in that neighborhood.

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Lady Esther’s Rises Once Again, Now in Downtown Oakland

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 11:39 AM

Esther Clay opened the first Lady Esther's in 1968. - DEIMENTRIUS CLAY
  • Deimentrius Clay
  • Esther Clay opened the first Lady Esther's in 1968.

Lady Esther’s has been open a little over a week, and the place is already drawing on five decades of Oakland soul-food history.

The restaurant only recently took over the Frank Ogawa Plaza space last occupied by Crossburgers, but oldtimers should remember the name: In 1968, a Louisiana native named Esther Clay — aka Lady Esther — opened the original Lady Esther’s, then moved the soul food restaurant down the road a few times before settling into the tiny East Oakland storefront at the corner of E. 14th and 53rd streets that it occupied for 27 years.

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Monday, March 6, 2017

A Black-Owned, Woman-Owned Craft Bottle Shop Is Coming to Uptown Oakland

by Luke Tsai
Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 11:53 AM

Jessica Moncada wants her bottle shop to be a resource for Bay Area bartenders. - NEIL ROCHE
  • Neil Roche
  • Jessica Moncada wants her bottle shop to be a resource for Bay Area bartenders.

Jessica Moncada is no stranger to breaking barriers: She was one of the first female bartenders to be hired at the Uptown Oakland bar Flora, and over the years she’s gotten her fair share of funny looks when telling strangers that she works in the craft spirits industry — because she doesn’t have “the mustache, or the height, or the look.”

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Mid-Week Menu: Old Kan, Drip Line, and a Korean Fried Chicken Heavyweight

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 5:12 PM

The open-face meatball sandwich at Old Kan. - INSTAGRAM @OLDKANBEER
  • Instagram @oldkanbeer
  • The open-face meatball sandwich at Old Kan.

Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) This week’s big new restaurant opening is more of a reopening: James Syhabout has rebranded the former Dock at Linden Street as a full-fledged brewery called Old Kan Beer & Co. (95 Linden St., Oakland). Head brewer Adam Lamoreaux, will focus on classic, all-American beers — a sensibility reflected in their no-nonsense names: “Old Kan Original,” “Old Kan Dark,” and “Old Kan Light.”

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