Think of Napa, or Sonoma. Can’t help but picture acres of vineyards and cozy winery weekends, right?

That’s exactly what Stone Brewing Co. CEO Greg Koch wants to do for San Diego, but with craft beer. He and his hoppy cohorts are leading quite the charge: In just a few years, the beer industry has grown to contribute around $300 million annually to the local economy, raking in more than Comic-Con.

San Diego beer advocates have highlighted the craft brew phenomenon nationwide, and are pushing to take advantage of that growing popularity. Gov. Jerry Brown appears to be on board —  he signed AB 647 Thursday, allowing beer drinkers to reuse their growlers from brewery to brewery.

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NBC 7’s Catherine Garcia and Voice of San Diego’s Andrew Keatts explain the industry’s economic impact, and where the beer community hopes it’ll go next.

Catherine Green was formerly the deputy editor at Voice of San Diego. She handled daily operations while helping to plan new long-term projects.

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