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The venue – Slater’s 50/50: how it all began

When I set out to find a place to host the Craft Beer Debates, one of the locations that came to mind was Slater’s 50/50 in Liberty Station.  I’d first been there, drawn by the siren song of a half bacon burger, early in 2012.  What I realized was that the restaurant had an enormous list of local beers and an army of friendly bartenders.  Because Slater’s seemed pretty active in a recent political race, the Craft Beer Debates seemed like a natural fit.

Scott Slater is a 30-year-old San Diego State graduate with a passion for comfort food and a commitment to craft beer.  Slater started his career in 2003 by owning a food cart business outside of Home Depot stores across the country. When the economy burst, Slater sold off his part of the business and decided to open his next venture, Slater’s 50/50 Burgers by Design.

Owner Scott Slater in front of Slater’s 50/50 in Liberty Station

How it all began: On a dare at a Charger’s tailgate party, Slater and some of his college buddies made an all-bacon burger that was the inspiration for what would eventually become the restaurant’s signature 50/50 burger. It’s been three years since the first Slater’s 50/50 opened in Anaheim Hills in 2009 and has since expanded to Huntington Beach and San Diego. Slater’s 50/50 will continue to expand in the Southern California market while staying true to Slater’s strong community ties, fresh high-quality food and a great atmosphere.

Given how this all began, Slater’s 50/50 seems like the perfect place for our first debate about the future of the Chargers stadium.  Remember to check back on September 12th for the live Internet link. You can drop in to your favorite pub, grab a craft beer and  watch the debate live from your phone, iPad or laptop. Read What are the Craft Beer Debates for a quick background.  Sign up to come out and have some fun here// . Cheers!

A useful post over at SD Beer

I was poking around the Internets today and found this post from San Diego Beer Blog.  Enjoy…

What are the Craft Beer Debates?

It’s a simple idea.  I like craft beer (so does this person, who is my new hero) and really care about local issues in my hometown (San Diego).  I thought it would be fun to help people get more engaged by bringing these two ideas together in a unique way.  Back in late 2011 I came across the “discussion” below and thought people would be way more likely to tune in for this than for the traditional (read: boring) debate.

So I called up a few friends, tweeted to a few others and the Craft Beer Debates were hatched.  There will be more details to follow, but the basic format will be a fun back-and-forth involving high-profile panelists who are forced to speak in plain English. And beer, lots of quality, local craft beer.

The first debate is scheduled for Wednesday, September 12, 2012 from 6:30 – 8:30pm. It will be livecast on the “world wide web” and a link will be available here and several other places.  The subject is The Great Stadium Debate and the audience and panelists will have a controlled free-for-all over craft beer about whether to publicly fund a stadium for downtown San Diego.  We won’t be the first town to have this debate–as the good folks in Minne-sohta report–but ours has craft beer, fun and no political double-speak to confuse the issues.

A little more backstory on how this evolved: The past several months have involved lots of work to get people lined up, figure out formats and try to nail down things like dates and locations.  That’s the boring part, so I won’t bore you with how this particular sausage got made.  I will say that I got some very good advice about the format from Greg Koch of Stone Brewing Co., Erik Bruvold of National University Institute for Policy Research and Lucas O’Connor of San Diego/Imperial Counties Labor Council. Mr. Bruvold had the great idea of bringing a group of people together to form an “Advisory Council”, so I’ve also gotten help from this group.  It includes Erik, Scott Lewis of Voice of San Diego, Benjamin Bosanac of Emissary Relations, Barry Pollard, a local activist, Benjamin Katz of JSX, Inc., and Jonathan Heller, a Public Relations professional. I realize there are no women on this “advisory council” but that’s because all six of the high-powered women I asked were busy the night we met.  If you are up for giving your thoughts about this project, occasionally on the receiving end of a free beverage, please let me know.  Yes, I am “abusing” the use of “quotation marks” in an attempt to be “funny.”

Thanks for reading, more details to follow.  To register to attend click here// .