Part of the educational materials in my press packet at the California Craft Brewers Summit was a map showing all of the breweries in the greater Sacramento area. I would not have guessed that there were 40+ breweries, with around 10 more in the works!
I did not visit all the Sacramento breweries and even with a festival that featured many of them in small sample sizes, I was only able to sip from close to a quarter of them. Of that group, here are my suggestions for your next trip to California’s state capitol:
Fieldwork Brewing – This brewery is based in Berkeley, but they have opened a tap room on Capitol Street in Midtown and it earned two visits from me. Their Shower Beer with Mosaic hops was a low ABV wonder just bursting with flavor and if you order a flight, get ready to exercise your muscles; it is a big one. You can also taste test NE inspired IPAs and DIPAs to see what you think of that trend.
Track 7 Brewing – They have locations in two Sacramento neighborhoods. One in Curtis Park with the smaller brewing set-up and the other, a production facility in Natomas. Sukahop and Blood Transfusion were their hoppy offerings and both hit the mark, but they also have a wide variety of beers to sample.
Sactown Union – This was the #1 recommendation from the Beers in Sac website (which is a great spot to start your brewery planning), and though I did not get a chance to visit, I did try their take on a California Common which was a solid representation of the style.
Moonraker Brewing – I only tried one beer from this spot the Yojo 33 1/3 Session IPA. In a crowded IPA field, it stood out and had me looking for more. Which I still am.
Lastly, a great place to start your journey in Sacramento is the Capitol Beer Shop. Plenty of taps and seating on one side and a little bottle shop on the other. This is where El Segundo Brewing Co. and Smog City Brewing were featured for a Los Angeles tap take-over, if that tells you something.
The Beer of the Week is another Shower Beer, this one from SoLArc Brewing and it is their first ever canned release. Shower Beer will be released tomorrow, September 23, at Echo Park’s fabulous Sunset Beer Co.. Shower Beer is a coffee and tea infused ale from the gypsy Highland Park brewers. You are not required to drink it in the shower if you prefer not to do that.
Today’s Homework is to ask an impertinent question. I did a few times while in Sacramento. Instead of asking where should I go, ask where should I avoid. The answers (if people will be honest) will illuminate what beers have missed the mark. Hopefully, you will get a wide range of answers with helpful descriptions. If you feel that is too negative, ask which breweries are on the cusp of breaking out. The goal is to get something more than a bucket list and get a more rounded picture.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.