Airdales’ Closing and San Diego Craft Beer Market Saturation

The news this morning that Airdale Brewing Company has gone belly up and closing its’ doors has some people talking about the San Diego craft beer market and if we have hit a saturation point and if we are to see more breweries close shop.

Airdale Brewing, founded in 2008, ran its production up to an estimated 1,200 barrels in 2011 according to Peter Rowe of the Union Tribune. With a portfolio of seven different beers and being a mostly draught only company, “The Angry Panda” was its’ only bottled beer. Production levels for Airdale puts it about equal to Alpine, Lightning, and Manzanita Brewing. While these breweries are looking to expand and Lightning just having secured distribution through Stone, things looking to be going well for these three.

I do not know the story behind Airdales’ closing and can only speculate. According to Taphunter, an already 14 breweries are in planning or have opened up this year. What it means to the new comers to the market? I do not know, but to survive, it will have to be backed up by quality. San Diego is full of award winning breweries and it is a tough market to enter, but I do not think we have hit a saturation point. A bubble may be in the future, but as long as San Diego keeps being the leader in awesome beer, there will be room to grow.

More to come.

Cheers!

Manny O. (the younger)

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