Let’s talk about NIMBYs and beer in Sacramento

Citizens Against Alcohol Manufacturing in Midtown is not a joke. It’s a new neighborhood group that recently filed a lawsuit against the city of Sacramento. Over beer smells.

CAAMM activists are upset about a proposed new brewery at R and 26th streets, which the planning commission approved last month. The lawsuit claims that the city needs to do an environmental impact report of the proposed spot.

“An EIR for a brewery?” you ask.

Well, neighbors and property owners say strange brewing odors—one resident likened the scent to “rotten eggs” on a local TV newscast—will permeate surrounding blocks. The group is also worried about traffic, of course.

My take? I have another acronym for CAAMM: NIMBY.

The “not in my backyard” contingent is in full effect recently, from the neighborhoods of McKinley Park and East Sacramento to southeast Midtown near the Newton Booth area.

I understand wanting to preserve our great neighborhoods. But let's lay off the beer fumes for a minute and look at the city from 30,000 feet:

What do we want Sacramento to be in five, 10, 20 and 50 years?

I surely don't want more suburban sprawl or more epic strip malls and Cordova Hills-type projects. I want urban density, people living in the central city and along abutting transit corridors. Riding light rail, shopping at Midtown boutiques and, yes, drinking locally brewed suds.

If Sacramento is going to be a sustainable region that adapts to climate change, its urban residents need to accept new, unprecedented growth and the accompanying hospitality. Including a little ol' brewery.

Speaking of which: I've lived around the corner from Rubicon Brewing Company for nearly seven years; the aroma of malt-and-grain mash … wonderful!