Editorial: The rise of microbreweries in San Antonio

Branchline Brewing Company is the newest microbrewery to open in San Antonio, Texas while some are excited about the new change, others are being left with a bitter taste.
Branchline, formerly known as Old Boxcar Brewing Company, joins Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling as the second microbrewery in San Antonio. Microbreweries, which are small scale breweries, are sprouting up in areas all around the country. Another notable brewery in San Antonio is Freetails Brewing Company, located a few minutes away from UTSA.
Craft beer is not disappearing any time soon. It is projected by experts that the craft beer industry is roughly 1 percent of the current market in Texas and will rise in the years to come. Along with Branchline Brewing Company, two new breweries are expected to open in 2013: Busted Sandal Brewing Company and Alamo Beer Company.
Last year, Fredericksburg, Texas opened the doors to Pedernales Brewing Company, a brewery that takes pride in its German traditions. It only makes sense that San Antonio should cash in on the craze. The brewery is located in downtown San Antonio, an area marked off by the Alamodome and the San Antonio eastside. Some may contend that the brewery will revitalize an area with low property value and high crime while others argue that the business will disrupt the balance in an already fragile area of town.
Those against the brewery argue that the business will lead to more DUIs in San Antonio along with an increase in underage drinking. However, the two ideas are not necessarily connected to one another. It is the responsibility of the adult to make cautious decisions on their behalf and underage drinking has always been a problem. The brewery should be applauded for giving the San Antonio public more options in beer when we’re constantly bombarded with Anheuser Bush propaganda around the city.
It is important to look at all of the factors in this decision. The change will bring a new round of businesses and retail stores into the area. Those who reside in this district will most likely be forced out of their homes by the rising cost of rent along the potential gentrification of the area. Many fear that those who live in the area will be forced to move to a poorer side of town.
This is not the first time such an event has happened in San Antonio. In the mid-eighties, Blue Star Contemporary was once located in a neglected part of town. Now the area “Southtown” serves as a mecca for arts and culture in San Antonio.
Branchline will not only bring new jobs to Texas, but it also may improve the crime rate and promote tourism. This change should be welcomed with open arms instead of given the cold shoulder.
Yes, people will have to relocate and some will be outraged at this decision, but the overall results will improve the city.