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Big Beer Tries To Open Beer Garden In Oakland's Temescal Neighborhood

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – The craft beer community in Oakland is trying to block Big Beer from setting up shop.

The new brewery and beer garden is planned for a lot at 40th and Broadway in North Oakland at an empty a 7,000 square foot lot.

If the Golden Road Breweries has their way, the lot will be transformed by colorful designs and shipping containers.

But local companies here are saying, make no mistake, this is no small company coming to town.

It's owned by the biggest beer company: Anheuser-Busch.

Nico Simonian, of Hog's Apothecary said, "Big Beer is a couple companies -- mostly AB -- which is the biggest beer company in the world, they own 70-80 percent of the market."

Now the Anheuser Busch-owned Golden Road Brewing wants to open a beer garden in an empty parking lot in the Temescal neighborhood.

It's around the corner from the local craft beer company Temescal Brewing and just down the street from Hog's Apothecary -- a craft beer hub -- serving up local brews daily.

"We are currently in the fight...they are looking to take over, they are not looking to be part of the neighborhood, they are looking to put others out of business," Simonian said.

Meg Gill, the co-founder and president of Golden Road Brewing defends her choice to come to Oakland in a statement saying "Golden Road is still very much autonomously run by me and our leadership team. Since partnering with A-B, our beer and our company have gotten stronger. We look forward to building and bringing a unique, beer positive space to Oakland."

But residents have their own concerns too, about noise, traffic and the company's plans to use portable shipping containers instead of building a facility.

Diane Stasko with Temescal Friends said, "They aren't investing in the community. I don't think they have the communities best interest at heart."

Critics say the flavor of the community is, and should be, locally crafted.

The zoning and planning commission will still have to approve the plans.

And this was the last week for the public comment period.

Residents submitted a petition to the city against the beer garden plans.

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