Golden Road Expands in California and St. Louis

Austin Ray

THE GIST
Los Angeles’ Golden Road Brewing is expanding both within the borders of its home state and beyond. In California, the brewery, which sold to Anheuser-Busch InBev last year, has submitted plans to the city of Sacramento to build out a brewpub in midtown. The company is also expanding its distribution footprint, bringing its beers to Missouri.

WHY IT MATTERS
It’s in times likes these when it’s important to remember the sheer enormity of California. Sure, the brewpub is slated for construction in Golden Road’s home state, but Sacramento is a near 6-hour drive north from Los Angeles. Which is to say, from 10,000 feet, it looks like a local play. But on the ground, it feels more like a regional effort.

To that end, it’s worth mentioning that Bend, Oregon’s 10 Barrel Brewing—also acquired by A-B InBev in the last few years—is in the process of building out a brewpub of its own in Denver, Colo., and already operates others in Idaho and Oregon. Elsewhere, Goose Island is opening a brewpub in Philadelphia. All of which is to say: one should expect to see more brewpubs popping up from InBev acquisitions in the future.

Golden Road anticipates the Sacramento brewpub, which it plans to build in place of a derelict laundromat, will do more than embolden its bottom line. It will also enliven the area, it says. 

“Our intent is to take the existing property that is in need of revitalization and turn it into an outdoor beer garden that provides customers a safe drinking establishment with recreational opportunities,” the company wrote in its application to the city, according to The Sacramento Bee
 
As for the distribution move: Golden Road has enjoyed a fairly rapid ascension since launching, but the company has proven methodical and patient when it comes to activating new states. Before launching in Missouri, the only non-California state it tapped was Arizona, which itself shares a border with southern California—Golden Road’s home field. (It does also have its beers available at select airports and in a few urban markets, however.) 

So stretching half way across the country, to Missouri specifically, is interesting for a pair of somewhat paradoxical reasons. On one hand, it’s the furthest market away from home the company has activated to date. But on the other hand, now that A-B InBev owns the company, St. Louis is somewhat familiar territory. It is the market Budweiser built, after all, even though Golden Road technically exists in the company’s High End portfolio, which is itself headquartered in New York.

“[I]t’s obviously no secret that Golden Road is part of Anheuser-Busch and The High End,” Adam Warrington, spokesman with A-B InBev, tells GBH. “So St. Louis means a lot to Golden Road through that relationship, as well as what St. Louis means historically for the beer industry,” he said.
 
As for future distribution moves, Warrington says “it’s not something we’re discussing at this time,” adding Golden Road is “mainly focused on selling beer in California.”
 
—Dave Eisenberg
 
READ MORE
Golden Road Brewing Is Bringing LA-Style Craft Beer to St. Louis [Riverfront Times]
LA-based Golden Road to open pub in midtown [The Sacramento Bee]