Axios San Francisco

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Welcome to Thursday!

⛅️ Today's weather: Mostly sunny. High of 68.

Situational awareness: β˜” Dust off your umbrellas β€” rain is in the forecast this Sunday.

Today's newsletter is 938 words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: SF native's new book explores the changing city

Emil DeAndreis
Emil DeAndreis, author of "Tell us when to go." Photo: Megan Rose Dickey/Axios

San Francisco native Emil DeAndreis' semi-autobiographical novel, "Tell us when to go," explores the ever-changing city and various lived experiences of SF residents.

Details: The novel, which hits bookshelves next week, revolves around three characters: Cole Gallegos, a college dropout whose aspirations to become a professional baseball player fail to pan out; his roommate Isaac Moss, who landed a job in the tech industry; and Dizzy Benson, a young girl in foster care who lives on Treasure Island.

  • The novel takes place between 2010 and 2011, toward the end of the Bay Area's hyphy movement.

Be smart: Megan here πŸ‘‹πŸΎ. The title itself is a nod to that movement, which had its moment in 2006 when rapper E-40 released his album "The ghetto report card" with the hit "Tell me when to go."

  • The cultural and lifestyle movement centered around rap and hip-hop music.
  • Hyphy is about "gettin' hype, takin' it there," Golden State Warriors power forward Draymond Green said at the time.

The big picture: The book explores SF during a time of change driven by the arrival of Web 2.0 companies through the character of Gallegos, who works in public education, and Moss, the tech worker.

  • Throughout, their paths diverge while Gallegos' friendship with Benson blossoms.

What he's saying: "It's meant as a symbolic representation of the increasing gap in San Francisco that started to take place around that time [2010 and 2011]," DeAndreis tells Axios of his characters' relationship.

Yes, but: DeAndreis said it was important for his story not to be "too preachy" or force readers to pick sides.

  • "I just wanted to present the dichotomy as I saw it," he says. "[I]t was important to me to give voice to the many experiences, the many lives in San Francisco."

What's next: DeAndreis will participate in a discussion at Black Bird Bookstore & Cafe in the Outer Sunset on Oct. 1.

Disclosure: Megan and DeAndreis attended the same elementary, middle and high schools. They only knew each other tangentially.

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2. California's top craft breweries see mixed results

Credit: Data: Brewers Association; Table: Thomas Oide/Axios

California's largest craft breweries saw mixed results in 2021, a year after the pandemic shut down bars and taprooms and crippled the industry.

The state of beer: For breweries that produced at least 5,000 barrels in 2021, Farmers Brewing Co. in Princeton (30 miles south of Chico) was the state's fastest growing with a 140% increase in sales, according to an exclusive Axios analysis of data from the Brewers Association.

  • San Jose's Gordon Biersch β€” the fourth largest craft brewer in California β€” also saw notable growth, increasing production 52% in 2021.
  • 21st Amendment Brewery, which produces its beer in San Leandro and has a brewpub on 2nd street in the city, saw a 21% decline in sales.
  • In 2021, California saw 26 breweries close and 48 open, the data shows.

The big picture: The craft beer industry grew by 8% in 2021, while the overall market moved up 1%. California had seven breweries among the nation's top 50 largest.

Between the lines: The annual data β€” published for its members in the New Brewer journal and analyzed by Axios Denver reporter John Frank β€” is the most comprehensive breakdown of the state's craft beer industry.

Yes, but: Not all craft brewers are represented in the rankings because some do not submit sales and production data to the Colorado-based Brewers Association, the industry's trade group.

What's next ... the bottom line

3. The Wiggle: Navigating the news

Illustration of the arrow from the Wiggle sign, with arms and legs, riding a bike.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

πŸ₯ Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center is hoping to apply for recertification before the Nov. 13 deadline, its CEO Roland Pickens says.

  • Without recertification, it will shutter on Nov. 13. The hospital isn't quite ready to reapply, but Pickens says it's "on the right track." (SF Chronicle)

πŸ‘€ SF Mayor London Breed said police will not allow people to "continue to disrupt the [Castro]" if they refuse "multiple offers" of shelter or mental health services.

  • The Castro Merchants Association last month threatened to withhold taxes if the city didn't respond to homelessness and addiction in the neighborhood. (SF Chronicle)

β›‘ HIV diagnoses increased 16% from 2020 to 2021, going from 138 to 160 new cases in SF. Driven by the pandemic-driven shortage of testing and treatments, unhoused residents were hit hardest. (SF Examiner)

🏬 In The Black, a Black-owned marketplace, will eventually house 10 Black-owned businesses in the Fillmore District.

  • The market will host its grand opening the day after Thanksgiving. (SF Standard)

4. Automat's smash (hit) burger

Automat smash burger
Automat's "Cheezy Buddy" smash burger and fries. Photo: courtesy of Marlon Molinare

πŸ‘‹ Nick here.

My friends and I went to the recently opened Automat restaurant this week with one mission β€” to try the burger.

Details: The Automat burger ($25) is a smash burger with two crispy-edged patties layered with garlicky cheddar and pickled onions, served on a milk bun.

  • Dubbed the "Cheezy Buddy," it comes with dill-pickle-spiced fries and a side of "automac" sauce β€” the restaurant's version of Thousand Island dressing.
  • Ketchup was available upon request.

The verdict: Really good.

  • Crunchy sides might sound strange, but don't be fooled β€” it's incredibly tasty. And, while initially underwhelmed with just cheese and onion as toppings, the flavors worked wonders together.

The feedback: One of my friends wished sliced pickles were included, which I agree would have been interesting.

  • Also, Automat's founder/chef Matt Kirk told me over email that the two 4-oz Cream Co. beef patties are "intended to be well done [because] it's a smash burger and [you] want those crispy edges."

The rest: Automat has a bunch of other dinner options (including a $65 per person prix fixe, or "automatic," menu), and a daytime lineup that features their baked goods and sandwiches.

  • The burger is available at lunch as well.

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