Oakland has officially cleared a path forward for Los Angeles-based brewery Golden Road to open a controversial brew pub and beer garden in a currently empty Temescal lot (at 320, 322, and 330 40th Street). After early hints that Golden Road had addressed noise, trash, and traffic concerns aroused by its initial plans, the city’s planning department issued a letter of approval for the downscaled project, which would entail a series of brightly- painted shipping containers.
But the changes aren’t likely to endear Golden Road to its harshest opponents: Local beer advocates. Their objection is to the brewery’s owner, Anheuser-Busch Inbev, the beverage giant that bought Golden Road in 2015 and has gobbled up other craft beer companies like Wicked Weed and Goose Island over the years.
“Golden Road saw an overwhelmingly negative response to their first attempt at bringing a beer garden to the neighborhood,” Sam Gilbert, proprietor of nearby brewery and beer garden Temescal Brewing, told Eater SF in an email after the revised plans were publicized.
“Their redesign addresses some of the community's concerns, but mostly it looks like they're trying to shave back scope so folks won't care enough to publicly comment on it a second time. I'm still hearing from a lot of angry neighbors,” Gilbert remarked. “For us, it doesn't matter if they're opening a mega beer garden or a [100-square-foot] kiosk. This is a massive company with values and corporate strategies that are a direct threat to the local beer community and what we stand for. They're trying to see what they can get away with, and we'll oppose it at every turn.”
The Oakland planning department, for its part, finds that “the project will enhance the existing neighborhood by continuing the well-defined and vibrant urban design and continuous storefronts along Broadway and at the corner of 40th Street around the corner.” There, the surface parking lot “currently disrupts this character, the new development will fill this gap with an urban courtyard that draws the pedestrian to the interior of the property.”
An appeal to the decision must be filed before November 28th. Eater SF has reached out to Golden Road for comment but has yet to receive a response.