The once tiny group of opponents of Alamo Beer owner Eugene Simor's plans to build a brewery, tasting room and restaurant alongside the historic Hays Street Bridge have gained some momentum with the addition of the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, a social-justice organization skilled at public protests and political pressure. Esperanza has focused its preservation efforts on the city's West Side culture, where the lack of grand homes, big stone buildings, and Anglo bias doomed many a potential landmark. In the wake of the fight to save the pink building on Guadalupe, Esperanza has worked to build alliances with other historic preservation districts and other preservation advocates through, for instance, the City's efforts to create a historic-district alliance and develop building and design standards for protected neighborhoods.
That explains in part how they ended up testifying at a Planning Commission hearing where one of the rallying cries is that people in favor of the brewery are arrivistes with no moral stake to make decisions for the East Side. Irony aside, it's no coincidence that the anti-brewery movement, which once seemed like a three- or four-person holdout now has a slogan (Public Views, Not Private Views), a Facebook presence, a schedule of events, and many more visible supporters.
The opponents are still likely to fail, however.