Beer Brawl Brewing Between Breweries

There's a beer battle brewing in San Diego over craft beer.

In the East Village, many consider Monkey Paw a craft beer jewel. Saturday, a new Oregon-based brewery owned by Anheuser Busch opened called 10 Barrel.

Around 6 p.m. a crowd gathered outside Monkey Paw. Cheers erupted as a plane flew by. Behind it was a sign that read "10 Barrel is not craft beer."

"You know it was just a crazy idea," says Robert Esparza.

Esparza was behind the sign. He set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the plane. The campaign resonated. He needed $900, as of Saturday he was closing in on $5,000.

"It really shows that people are up against a hard battle and it means a lot to them. Otherwise, they wouldn't put their hard earned money towards it," he said.

"Everyone's got their own opinion and who am I to tell them what that opinion should be, right? But at the end of the day, we're not here trying to fool anyone," said Garret Wales, co-founder of 10 Barrel Brewing.

He flew in for Saturday's grand opening.

"We're having a good laugh about it. Hey, we just want to be friends," Wales said. "I can assure you that the intentions of 10 Barrel is to join this craft beer community. Help how we can. Get help where we need it and just be a member."

This debate ultimately boils down to two points. First, that buy-in to the community over time. Second, the definition of craft beer.

"I don't let someone else tell me what's craft," Wales said. "I define craft as something that's made with love; made with care. That's exactly what we've always done."

The Brewers Association defines it as something small, independent and traditional.

Though many people NBC7 talked to still described large local breweries as "craft."

"I think it's because they're San Diego based breweries from the get go. They're not moving into San Diego trying to masquerade as a craft brewery. They're born and raised here. And that matters to a lot of people," Esparza said.

10 Barrel has added 90 jobs to run it's new location here in San Diego.

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