About a year ago, the City made the conditions to open a craft beverage company a whole lot easier. First, they rezoned a portion of downtown Paso Robles to expand the permitted areas where one could open a brewery, distillery or winery. They also opened a new treatment plant that accepts wastewater without having to install expensive pretreatment filters — nifty, right? The Chamber thought so and seized the opportunity to market these craft maker benefits to prospective investors.
Why Paso? Well, “Beer Cities” are popping up across the U.S. to capitalize on the momentum of the craft beer movement. To ensure this initiative was supported by the beer community, the Chamber (in conjunction with Cal Poly marketing students) discussed the opportunity with local brewers. Through their research, the students found brewers to be generally supportive of this exciting initiative stating they perceive room for growth in the Paso Robles craft beer market. After talking with an extremely supportive Adam Firestone, of Firestone Walker Brewing Company, he felt the new opportunity should be expanded to include all our local craft beverage makers… coffee, spirits, soda, mixers, and cider. In addition to attracting brewers, Firestone felt there is an opportunity to promote our craft beverage makers to our visitors.
This input led the Chamber to expand its marketing and messaging into the effort you see today. We call this “Brew Paso,” and our slogan is “Paso Robles; Craft Here, Taste Here.”
Craft Here: Calling All Craft Beverage Entrepreneurs
In addition to the improved conditions by the City, here are a few reasons why NOW is a good time to open a craft beverage company in Paso:
City staff has indicated that the provision of craft beverage manufacturers in downtown “tend to be compatible with surrounding restaurants and entertainment uses and add to a vibrant downtown atmosphere.” Therefore, there is staff support.
Manufacturers smaller than 10,000 square-feet can be approved administratively. New construction or significant exterior remodels only require site plan approval by the Development Review Committee. No Planning Commission and no Conditional Use Permit = fast track approval.
Entrepreneurs looking for locations outside of downtown are permitted in a variety of city zoning districts including: Industrial, Planned Industrial, Riverside Corridor, and Commercial/Light Industry.
The City has a diverse water portfolio, ensuring an adequate supply through General Plan build-out.
There are 26 existing craft beverage companies which generate a healthy local and tourist clientele and complement our thriving wine industry.
Taste Here: Calling All Craft Beverage Enthusiasts
Beverage enthusiasts will be pleased to learn that over 360 different beverages have been crafted in Paso Robles since 1996. These tasty delights were created by nine breweries, 10 distilleries, two cideries, two coffee roasters, a soda company, and a cocktail mixer company.
To guide visitors and locals alike, a Craft Trail map is available for viewing/download from brewpaso.com. Or snag a hard copy map at the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center located at 1225 Park Street in downtown Paso Robles. While visiting us, all are welcome to pick up a Brew Paso T-shirt, hat, cup or Koozies to strut your Brew Paso pride. Proceeds from merchandise sales go towards promoting the current and future craft beverage companies in Paso Robles.
Hope to see you on the Craft Trail!