Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Brewers Special Update

Friday we will release two new beers at our Town & Country location:

Abbey Extra (5.0%): An abbey single typically brewed by the Trappist monasteries for the monks personal consumption. A pale colored Belgian-inspired beer brewed with malted barley, malted wheat, oats and just a touch of Styrian Golding hops for aroma make a subtle but complex ale.

Barristers Bitter (4.0%): A British/American hybrid style pale ale with a name inspired by owner George Irwin's previous law profession. This is an English Session Beer inspired American ale featuring Crystal, Mt. Hood and Simcoe hops for big flavor in a small package.

There are only two kegs left of Imperial Red Ale and Batch 900 so get those while you can, they won't be around long!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pappy is Here...

We have released our first beer from our barrel aging program today at our Town and Country location. Old Pappy California Wheat Wine is a wheat wine style ale, much like a barleywine but with 50% wheat, that has been aged in 23 year old bourbon barrels. The beer itself has a deep caramel richness with just enough bitterness to balance. The bourbon barrels imparted a nice coconut, vanilla and pineapple note in the beer that has integrated nicely to form a complex and cohesive strong ale. It is 13.0% abv and does show some of the alcohol but not in a bad way. Just enough to remind you how strong it is.

You can get a 9 oz brandy snifter full of it for $3.75 but there is a limit of two per customer per day. No growlers but fear not, bottles are in the works.

Check out pictures of filling the barrels here if you are interested. (Courtesy of Rick Sellers from DRAFT and Pacific Brew News)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fall Brewer's Dinner

Our next brewer's dinner is upon us this Wednesday, November 5th at 6:00. This time we will be serving a collection of the favorite dishes Crecencio has presented over the last year at previous brewer's dinners.

Seared Ahi Tuna
Sashimi grade ahi with a mustard curry sauce and asparagus tips
India Pale Ale

Sweet Corn Soup with Crab Albonidas
Roasted Corn Soup with Crab Meatballs
Batch 900 (English Bitter)

Italian Market Arugula & Spinach Salad
Salami, fresh mozzarella, and sun dried tomatoes

Beer Battered Lobster Stuffed Chilies
Chili Rellenos with a twist.
Independence Double IPA

Ginger Custard with Poached Pears
Pears Poached in Brussels Blonde with Custard
Old Pappy California Wheat Wine &
Bourbon Barrel Aged Smokey's Imperial Red

$65 per person. Your payment holds your reservation. Seating begins at 6:00pm at Sacramento Brewing Company, Town and Country location (2713 El Paseo Lane, Sacramento, CA 958212)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Alpha King Challenge

Well, we did not win anything at the Alpha King Challenge this year but we did get this video of Sarah "Half-Pint" Irwin reacting to the news...

Friday, October 17, 2008


Join us for fun for the whole family Saturday, October 18th at our Town and Country Location! There will be face painting, German music, balloon animals and a fashion show. Oh, and there will be eight house brewed German beers along with pretzels and Morant's Old Fashioned sausages. The fest will run from 11:00 am to 7:30 pm but the party can continue in our bar if you aren't finished by then.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Dissident

Well, The Dissident has left our Town and Country location but fear not sour fans, we still have it at The Oasis. We will continue to run Eric's Ale at T&C for a while longer, there are a couple of 5 gallon kegs left so you can get your sour fix.

The Dissident has been replaced with our Oktoberfest Lager so we now have that at both locations. We don't make too many lagers so enjoy it while you can, it is moving fast and has only been out for a few days!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Oktoberfest Party

We are having an Oktoberfest Party on Saturday October 18th all day long at our Town & Country location. The cool news (from the brewery perspective) is that we will have 8 house brewed German style ales and lagers being served up that day! Here is the current list:

Brewhouse Lager - Munich Light Lager
Hefeweizen - Our German Style Unfiltered Wheat Beer
Kellerbier - Unfiltered Munich Light right off the fermenter
Sprockets Pilsner - German Style Pilsner
Luna de Miel - Vienna Style Lager
Oktoberfest - The Beer the Fest is Named After, an Amber Lager
Dusseldorf Alt - A Copper German Ale
Traditional Bock - A Dark German Lager

More details to follow but you can expect a big tent, lots of sausages and of course...BIER!

River Otter Ale

The last of the River Otter Ale is out of the serving tank and into kegs. We are discontinuing that beer to make room for increased production of our other year round brews and increased variety of Brewer's specials. As I write this it has been pulled from our Town & Country location and the last 7 kegs will get drained at the Oasis. If you still want a keg we can get it for you for a short time but when they are gone they are gone!

In the meantime we will not be replacing it with another pale ale per se although some of the brewers' specials planned are pale ales. We have a glut of German beers for our Oktoberfest party that will be taking up the taps for a while. More on that later...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Special Guest Beers

We are gearing up for some fun events this weekend between the California Brewers Festival and the Northern California Homebrewers Festival but after all that is over we have a great special release for you at both our pubs.

At 5:00 on Monday, September 22nd we will tap two special guest beers: The Dissident from Deschutes Brewing and Eric's Ale from New Belgium Brewing. Both are sour beers that use a combination of brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and pediocacus for flavor but they arrive at two very different tastes. Oh, and to head off any comments or concerns I want to remind all of you that no pathogens can live in beer so don't let this talk of lactic acid producing yeast and bacteria scare you off from trying a glass.

The Dissident is a Flanders style brown ale that has been aged in wine barrels along with whole Washington cherries and brettanomyces yeast. All of that comes together for a fruity, complex and sour beer.

Eric's Ale is a sour peach beer, much lighter in color than the Dissident that has been aged in barrels with a plethora of sour organisms and whole peaches. All of these critters contribute to a very tart but still fruity dry beer.

Now, both of these ales have fruit in them but don't think of the sickly sweet or artificial fruit flavored beers in the market. These are dry beers with subtle fruit character. Come enjoy them at both of our locations.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Trash & Trinkets Rally Tomorrow (9/9)

Come out to the Rubicon tomorrow morning at 10:30 am for a rally to veto bill AB1245, AKA "Trash & Trinkets". I know it is a work day, but I just dropped everything I had planned tomorrow to get be there and show the Governor that we as small brewers do not support this bill.

Jay summed it up (again) here if you want to read what this bill could potentially mean for us small brewers. Remember this, Anheuser Bush sponsored the bill and they are the ONLY brewery supporting it. This includes domestic big brewers, foreign breweries, microbreweries and every thing inbetween. Let me say it again, they are the ONLY brewery supporting this bill so they can further flex their marketing spending muscles far beyond what a small or even midsized company can compete with. Help us maintain the current gift spending limits and come down to the rally tomorrow.

If you are the kind of person that goes into bars and bottle shops and wishes there were more kinds of beer there then pay attention to this call. “The real loser in the AB marketing game will be the consumer who will likely see reduced choices at their local market,” said Tom McCormick, executive director of the California Small Brewers Association. Make no mistake, this bill will allow big brewers to squeeze out little guys. I hope to see you tomorrow, 10:30 am at the Rubicon Brewing Company at 20th and Capitol.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Brewhouse Lager

Our new beer, Brewhouse Lager, is now online at Town & Country and will be at the Oasis later this week. It is a Munich Light style, very pale and dry with a low hop aroma and bitterness. It is made with all malt, meaning no rice or corn, so it has a bit more body that your typical light lager. The low alcohol and smooth finish make it the ideal beer for finishing out this hot Sacramento summer.

Brewhouse Lager is based on a homebrew recipe that I used to make before becoming a professional brewer that originated from Greg Noonan's book New Brewing Lager Beer. If you are a homebrewer and don't own that book go get it, it is a great resource. I brewed this beer every summer and it made for a great thirst quencher while I was waiting tables and making coffee drinks trying to crack into the world of professional brewing.

So if I may go on a tangent for a minute, I have a new pet peeve which is part of the reason why we named this beer what we did. I am tired of bars calling themselves brewhouses. According to Webster the definition of a brewhouse is:


n.1.A house or building appropriated to brewing; a brewery.

This really hit home for me when a bar adjacent to the main stage at the California State Fair claimed to be a brewhouse. It was essentially a stand that sold macroswill and one or two craft beers. That example is illustrative of places that have been irking me. They typically have a modest (but not good) selection of beer and NEVER have a brewery on site. They are NOT breweries they are BARS. It just seems to be the hip thing to do right now but for the love of Pete stop calling yourself a brewhouse if you don't make your own beer!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Wow, only a couple of hours has gone by since the interview and they already have it posted! Click here if you missed it live today to see me on the air talking about pairing our beers with food!

There is a 30 second ad before the video starts.

Beer on TV: KCRA 3

A little late on this one for you working folks to set your tivo's...sorry about that.

I will be on KCRA 3 today for the Noon News hour in a segment about pairing our beers with food. Check it out, I don't know when it will be on exactly, it is a live show so they said it could air anytime. If they provide streaming video I will post a follow up for those who missed it or live out of the area.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Drinking in a Down Economy

This post started as a comment on Rick Sellers Pacific Brew News Blog and it quickly got too long to be contained in the comments section. Rick observed that some people may be reducing the amount they tip during these times of high gas prices, falling home values and increasing costs at the grocery stores. He brings up one of my favorite drinking etiquette rules from the Modern Drunkard: "If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to drink in a bar. Go to a liquor store."

I don't go out nearly as much as I would like because I subscribe to the Modern Drunkard ethos whole heartedly. I tip for good service and tip large for great service. I just consider it a cost of dining out. The beer community isn't limited to producers and drinkers, it is these men and women in the service industry that bring the two together. At my regular spots they take great care of me and I take great care of them.

I was just talking with my wife about the fact that so many people have never worked in a restaurant that there is no appreciation for what goes into the job. Many of the places we frequent are staffed by professionals. Service is their job and tips are their primary source of income. How would you like it if every time gas climbed above $4.00 per gallon your boss gave you a 5% pay cut? They are already feeling the pinch by people not dining out as frequently these days, why rub salt in the wound? Most of these folks work hard so you can sit relax and have the luxury of beer and food brought right to you and have the dirty dishes whisked away.

That being said, the choice between going out to a bar or drinking at home is where this tipping tangent came from. Our "to go" beer sales (growlers, kegs, bottles) are strong, in fact they are matching our highest sales ever as a percentage to total sales. The trouble I have with that trend is that a big part of the brewing scene is community and for some reason it feels like something is missing without gathering at a third place instead of hanging out at home with a brew.

The book Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam that examines how our "social capital" has been diminished over the years as in modern society we have fewer and fewer social outlets and are becoming increasingly isolated individuals. If people are increasingly taking beer home to drink because of the costs of going out it can only contribute to our diminished community connections.

I think a compromise is in order that solves both of these problems. Go out with friends, share a pitcher as they are generally cheaper than 4 individual pints. Split a pizza, share an appetizer, or dine during happy hour. If money is tight perhaps you don't order that additional beer or extra course if you can't afford it but don't skimp on the tip!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Summer Brewers Dinner

Our next Brewer's Dinner will be Tuesday, August 26th and will feature 5 courses prepared by our Executive Chef Crescencio Rodriguez and paired with a beer by Brewmaster Peter Hoey. Get your tickets now, they went on sale yesterday and we are already halfway sold out!

Seared Ahi Tuna
Sashimi grade ahi with a mustard curry sauce and asparagus tips
Independence Ale

Squash & Sweet Pea Soup with Fresh Oysters
Puree of yellow squash and fresh sweet peas garnished with a fresh oyster
India Pale Ale

Hearts of Artichoke Salad
Artichoke with baby spring mix, fresh mozzarella and sun dried tomatoes

Filet Mignon Marinated in Scotch Ale
Garnished with foie gras and swiss chard served aside potato ravioli
Scotch Ale

Bananas Royal
Caramelized bananas served with mango ice cream and chocolate

$60 per person. Your payment holds your reservation. Seating begins at 6:30pm at Sacramento Brewing Company, Town and Country location (2713 El Paseo Lane, Sacramento, CA 958212)

Friday, August 15, 2008

I Heart Pork Belly

This is an exciting time for craft beer as in recent years there has been a concerted movement to elevate beer to its proper place at the table. Beer dinners are popping up all over the Bay Area and we are starting to see more around Sacramento. I have always advocated that beer is far superior to wine when it comes to food pairings, especially for Thai, Chineese, and Mexican dishes and it seems as if at least a few people are catching the drift.

Last night Mulvaney's B&L hosted a brewers dinner featuring the beers of the Rubicon. The theme was Pork. Yum. Every course had pork in it, even dessert where in addition to the flourless chocolate cake there was chocolate covered bacon with a light pistachio crust.

My favorite beer and food pairing of the night was a preview of 2008 Rosebud, a Strong ale brewed with 12 different malts with big caramel, malty and fruity flavors. It was paired with "Jamican Bangers and Mash" which was pork sausage with jerk spices and mashed plantines. The sweetness of the beer was great to compliment the heat of the jerk spices.

Patrick Mulvaney is a fantastic chef and all the courses were meticulously prepared including stretching his own mozzarella and curing his own copa for one dish to the wonderful hand passed appetizers that included roasted figs with shaft blue cheese, house smoked salmon on a potato chip, and mini ruben sandwiches with local lamb pastrami. There was also crispy pork belly to go along with a smoked pork shoulder. Yum and yum.

Get down to Mulvaney's if you haven't been before. It is in Midtown Sacramento at 1215 19th Street. The food is fantastic, ingredients are local and house made, the ambiance is relaxing and the service is professional. What more could you ask for?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Beer on the Radio

I along with Bryan Shadden, producer of "On Tap" and JJ Jackson of the Homebrew Outlet were guests on Capital Public Radio's program Insight. We discussed the local beers scene, the science of brewing, and promoted the On Tap premier.

You can download the show here. It is an hour long and we are the last segment if you are looking for the beer content.

The End of Summer

I love the changing of the seasons. For some reason Fall has always been my favorite season and as a brewer I get excited about this time of year. I know a reprieve from the hot weather is on the horizon with that comes all the fall seasonal beers. Granted, it is certainly still summer here in Sacramento, the 101 degree day yesterday was a painful reminder of that. Despite the current hot snap, activity in the brewhouse is starting to feel like Fall.

One last summer brew, our new Brewhouse Lager, is to be released in about three weeks. It is a light lager brewed with domestic Pilsner Malt, German Munich and Carafoam malts finished with Tetnang hops. We are trying a new lager yeast strain in this batch from Augustiner instead of our normal lager yeast so we are excited to see how it tastes compared to our normal pilsner yeast.

Independence Ale is all but gone, there is one keg left at the Oasis that will likely run out this week. Oktoberfest is in the tank and the bigger beers have been brewed for our Great American Beer Festival entries. Smokey's Imperial Red is the beer most people are interested in, especially now that Independence has just about run out. It has been brewed but needs another month or so to age and be dry hopped over and over again. And again. It should make an appearance towards the end of September and will be one of our GABF and Alpha King entries.

B900 is the same recipe we brewed last year for our 900th batch at our original location. It is an ordinary bitter brewed with floor malted Maris Otter malt, English caramel malts and East Kent Golding hops. Very flavorful but low alcohol beer, great for drinking lots of without getting smashed. I am going to brew it next week and it doesn't take long to ferment and condition. Look for it in about three weeks from the date of this post.

We also have a nice selection of some guest beers right now at Town & Country. As I write this we have the last keg of Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA on line and I just tapped a keg of Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale this morning. There are some other treats lined up, keep an eye on the blog for some more special guest beers coming soon!


Friday, August 8, 2008

Action Alert: Trash and Trinkets

There is a serious action alert for all of you California craft beer lovers. AB 1245 or the "Trash and Trinkets" bill is up for a vote on Monday. Anheuser-Busch is currently the ONLY brewery supporting this bill which will increase the gift-to-consumer limit from $0.25 to $5.00 per item. It may seem small but it will make it extremely difficult for us small breweries to compete. Please call your Senator and encourage them to vote no on AB 1245, these phone calls really make a difference. You can find your senator and their contact information here.

If you want to read more about this issue check out what Jay Brooks has to say about it here and here.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

KVIE On Tap Premier

A couple of months ago Sacramento Brewing was selected to be one of the breweries featured in a new program called On Tap. The show is part of the ViewFinder series, a locally produced program for KVIE Channel 6 that covers a variety of local topics from railroads to 1950's vacations.

In addition to visiting our brewery and getting some shots of the pub and me brewing the producers invited some industry veterans to talk about and taste some Sacramento beers. Jay Brooks, Rick Sellers, and JJ Jackson join the program to talk about their selections and discuss the state of the brewing industry. Jay selected our Russian Imperial Stout for the tasting, Rick chose Rubicon IPA, and JJ went with Sudwerk Pilsner. There are also interviews with Sierra Nevada and Anchor Brewing so it is not just limited to Sacramento brews but still has a nice local perspective.

Check it out, the show premiers August 13th at 7:00 on KVIE Channel 6. Tell your friends, the producers want to make this a regular series and we need more shows about the great craft beer being made in this state!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

International Brewers Day

Don't forget that International Brewers Day is right around the corner on July 18th! Celebrate by patronizing your local brewery (or breweries!) as well as meeting the people who work hard every day making sure your glass is full of great beer!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Oregon Brewers Festival

We are getting close to one of my favorite beer festivals in one of my favorite cities. Join Sacramento Brewing Company (and many, many other breweries) July 24th to the 27th at the Oregon Brewers Festival in Portland, OR. We will be pouring Unfiltered Red Horse Ale at the fest so stop by our trailer and grab a glass!

Last year there were over 60,000 people at the fest, lots of good beer and tons of off site events with some of my favorite brewers hosting great parties. I know I am looking forward to spending some time at the new Hopworks Urban Brewery in particular.

As a side note, how stoked are Shaun & Nico from the 21st Amendment Brewery about the theme for this year!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

State Fair Results

We were able to start the year off with a bang winning a Bronze Medal at the World Beer Cup for Red Horse Ale as well as fairing pretty well in a small local competition. The State Fair results were just released to us today and here is the latest hardware:

1st Place:
Oatmeal Stout
Celtic Amber Ale

2nd Place:
Aye! Aye! Aye! Chili Beer

3rd Place:
Brussels Blond Belgian Strong Golden Ale
Sac Squatch Scotch Ale
Russian Imperial Stout

Eventually the fair will get around to posting the complete list here. Keep your eyes peeled if you are interested in the other winners.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

How to Taste A Lot of Beers Without Being A Drunk

Perhaps you have a beer cellar, perhaps you don't. You may be fortunate enough to have a local bottle shop that has an immense selection of beers and it would take you years to taste your way through them all. You might be a brewer or beer writer that is often gifted with a nice selection of homebrew and commercial beers from your patrons, friends and family. Any way you slice there is always the problem of too many beers and too little time.

The solution: Have a tasting party. Invite your friends, have them pull a couple of beers from their secret stash or go to their local bottle shop and buy some. Seek out the rare, exotic or simply that bottle you have been meaning to try. Better yet have your friends bring some beers AND a hunk of cheese.

My friend Jay Brooks suffers from the "problem" of too many beers. Jay writes about beer for many publications as well as the Brookston Beer Bulletin (which is required daily reading as far as I am concerned) so you can imagine that he has quite a collection at his house. The many samples from breweries in addition to purchasing beers from around the world during his travels all add up to over stuffed refrigerators.

I was fortunate to be invited to a tasting at Jay Brook's house for a "fridge emptying party" as his collection had become too immense to be contained by his three refrigerators. Being the world traveler that he is there were many beers that would not be available in the local market adding up to a plethora of rare or otherwise special selections.

To encourage variety and avoid going directly to the cream of the crop Jay devised a method to at least randomize the style that was selected. A simple die was rolled with various colors on each face representing a broad beer style: ale, lagers & hybrids (referred to as "not ale"), Belgian and then one face that granted access to the secret stash where Jay kept some of the more coveted bottles. The roller would select a beer from the category for all to taste. This way you can minimize personal preference a little and have variety in the sequence of beers.

The bottles were shared with the entire group even if it was only an ounce between all the tasters. This isn't a beer review, even though there were several standouts that were a nice blend of beers I have had before, beers I have always wanted to try, and beers I have never heard of. Most, but not all, were good but even those that were questionable either had a remarkable history surrounding the bottle or prompted an educational discussion about brewers practices and flavor sources.

I encourage you to get a group of your friends together, raid your own stash, pick up some beers on your next vacation or by some new beers at a local shop and have one of these tastings. It gives you the opportunity to taste lots of beer (we managed to get through 52), get together with friends and expand your ability to try many, many of the great beers being brewed around the world without being a drunk.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Should You Drink With Your Kids?

Time magazine has published a well written piece proposing drinking with your kids. Let's pause here to eliminate any knee jerk outrage about this idea. What Time is discussing is not binge drinking with your kids. It is about having a glass or wine or beer with dinner, not sucking down a twelve pack.

Having just become a father this year this is something that I have given great thought about. I have always advocated drinking at home with the family, it seemed to make sense to demystify alcohol and teach teenagers acceptable drinking practices. Who do I want to teach my daughter to drink? Certainly not some frat boy with questionable intentions.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dogfish Head

We bring in guest beers from time to time and we try to do it when we find something special. In this case it is a rarity, at least on the west coast and certainly Sacramento. We have secured several 5 gallon kegs of Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA.

If you haven't had it before it is a double IPA that has a bit more malt presence that the west coast double IPAs you might be used to. In addition to the expected citrus notes from the use of American hops there is a firm malt and caramel as well as a raisin like character. See what other beer fans have to say about it at

Join us at the Oasis where the first keg will be tapped on Monday, June 30th. There is a very limited supply and we will likely sell out that same day.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Southern California Beer Run

When the posts get farther and farther apart it usually means that we are real busy in the brewery. In this case we have been brewing and packaging beer for our newest market: Southern California.

The first two pallets of beer left our brewery today and will be arriving at El Dorado Distributing in a couple of days. This means that you can now get Red Horse Ale and Sac-Squatch Scotch 6 packs in Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego Counties. We also sent about 16 kegs that way, mostly Red Horse and Scotch but there are a couple IPA and Imperial Stout kegs riding along.

If you are looking, Beverages and More would be a good bet to find the bottled product and rumor has it that Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach and Hamilton's Tavern in San Diego will be taking some kegs. Ask for it at your favorite watering hole if you are at one of the amazing beer bars in that area.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Miner's Golden Ale

Sorry Pilsner fans, we are out until mid June. We sold the last batch in 13 days and the lagers take at least 45 days to ferment and condition. So, instead of releasing a Pilsner that is much too young we quickly brewed a golden ale to satisfy those who seek a lighter style ale.

It is what we are referring to as an American Bitter. Brewed in the spirit of English Bitters, a session ale that is easy to drink but still retains a lot of flavor. The main difference is it is made from American hops and malt and fermented with an American ale yeast. At 4% ABV several can be consumed without over imbibing yet there is enough flavor to elevate it above a typical golden ale.

It is finished with 11 lbs of Crystal hops and then dry hopped with 13 more pounds in the serving tank. Crystal hops have a subtle citrus and eucalyptus aroma adding a delicate fragrant note to the beer. The aroma will continue to change (and increase) the longer the beer rests on the hops.

I hope you enjoy it, there is only one batch and then we will return to serving Pilsner.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Raley Field Brewfest

Mark your Calendar on May 24th for the Raley Field Brewfest, the best brewfest in Sacramento! We will have over 40 breweries from Northern California! This is your chance to sample beer from our regions best breweries that do not attend ANY other beer festivals in Sacramento. In addition to that there are bathrooms for 14,680 people and we are only expecting 5,000 attendees this year so no lines for restrooms!

Gates open at 1:00 for general admission or you can purchase the limited VIP tickets that get you in an hour early at 12:00 pm.

Proceeds go directly to the Northern California Brewers Guild, a non-profit organization that promotes Northern California breweries. This fest is by the brewers, for the brewers.

Get your tickets at the Raley Field Box Office, Sacramento Brewing Company (Town & Country location only), Rubicon Brewing Company, Auburn Ale House, Marin Brewing Company, Moylans Brewing Company, Blue Frog Grog & Grill or buy them online through ticketmaster.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Best Brewpub on KCRA A-List

Thank you to everyone who voted for us recently in the KCRA A-List for best brewpub! Sacramento Brewing Company was named best brewpub in Sacramento. You can see the results here.

To say thank you to our patrons, fans and friends who voted for us we are offering $2.50 pints ($10 pitchers) of River Otter Ale for the whole month of May. Any day, any time. Come in and raise a glass with us!


Monday, April 28, 2008

The Brewing Network

Last night I did an interview on The Brewing Network about single hop beers and our new barrel program. You can check out the audio here in case you missed it. While you are there check out some of the archived shows, there is a wealth of knowledge from beer experts (and JP) about brewing, tasting, and appreciating craft beer.

Sean Paxton joins the conversation to talk about our barrel project and Jamil Zainasheff stops in for a bit early in the show.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Red Horse Wins at World Beer Cup!

Sacramento Brewing Company took home their first World Beer Cup® medal this year for Red Horse Ale! We were awarded a Bronze Medal in the American Amber/Red Ale Category. There were 53 other entries in this category alone.

This is a big competition that includes international breweries so we are overjoyed for this win! There were over 2,800 entries in total divided into 91 categories in the competition.

Thanks to the brewery staff at the Oasis for this one, I couldn't do it without you guys!

You can see the complete winner list here. Our friends at Rubicon Brewing took home a gold medal for their Wheat Wine, and Elk Grove Brewing won a gold medal for their Bock Lager.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Saucerful of Merkins

At the Oasis on Monday, April 14th we will tap a keg of Saucerful of Merkins from Firestone Walker Brewing Company. It is a blend of two beers and is truly a unique drinking experience. The two beers in the blend are:

Saucerful of Secrets (10.2% ABV):
Stainless Steel Fermented
High Gravity Belgian Dark Ale, a tribute to Sid Barrett!
OG: 23P/1.100
FG: 6P/1.024
IBU: 24
Color: 40
Late Charge of Belgian Candi Sugar / Styrian Golding Hops

Velvet Merkin (5.5% ABV):
Traditional Oatmeal Stout -Aged in Bourbon Barrels
OG: 15P
FG: 5.5P
IBU: 32.5
Color: Black
15% Oats / Hopped with 100% US grown Fuggles

The final blend was 80% Velvent Merkin and 20% Saucerful of Secrets and results in a complex, bourbon accented but fruity and spicy ale with a silky smooth body. It is a really unique beer that highlights the creativity and ingenuity of Matt Brynildson, the Brewmaster at Firestone Walker. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

UPDATE: Now available at Town & Country location.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Spring Brewmaster's Dinner

Our executive Chef, Crescencio Rodriguez had been hard at work developing new recipes for our next Brewmaster's Dinner. Join us Wednesday, April 23rd at our Town and Country Location for a great 5 course meal designed to compliment our hand crafted ales. Sign up now, our Winter dinner sold out in one week!

Fresh Wild Alaskan Ivory Salmon with Spicy Pecan Butter
India Pale Ale

Robollita (Italian Bean Soup)
Nut Brown Ale

Arugula & Spinach Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Dry Salami, and Baby Mozzarella

Seared Breast of Duck with Mushroom Cannelloni and Golden Marsala Sauce
Red Horse Ale

Beer poached Pear Strudel Served with Brussels Blonde Reduction Sauce
Brussels Blonde

$50 Inclusive
Your payment holds your reservation
Seating begins at 6:30
Sacramento Brewing Company
Town & Country, 485-4677

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Session: Beer People

The April Session is hosted by Stonch's Beer Blog.

One thing I really love about this industry is that there are so many good people who are brewers, publicans, owners, chefs, patrons and writers. Many good friendships I have developed over the years started with a call to another brewer asking to borrow yeast or get advice on brewing techniques. Others sprung from mutual love of great beer. All these relationships are connected by the brewing industry and I am fortunate to be a part of it.

One friend I made in the industry is Rick Sellers. He produces a podcast and blog for the Pacific Brew News and his passion for beer and skill with the pen garnered the attention DRAFT Magazine where he is now director of beer content. He is now fortunate to be able to make a living in the industry he loves.

He continues to blog in addition to his duties for the magazine and does a great job of keeping beer fans in Northern California updated on events, news, legal issues or even just musings about beer. Part activist, part enthusiast and part social commentator his blog helps raise awareness of the good in our industry and helps ward off those who wish to do it harm.

I first met him when I held an organic beer tasting at my house and noticed he had a particularly sharp pallet. He is based in Sacramento so I can often find him and his wife Tracy in our local brewpubs, beer bars, beer centric events and sometimes at surprise birthday parties. We have been able to get to know one another through our common interest in beer.

Rick is someone I love to drink beer with because while he has his favorites he is not limited to all IPAs, Belgian Ales or Imperial Stouts. He appreciates nuance just as much as blunt hop force. He has a beautiful way or articulating flavors and aromas in ways a lesser experienced beer drinker can grasp and understand. This skill has been something I have been trying to incorporate into my own descriptions for our pub, writing this blog and when talking to customers.

Rick stopped by Wednesday morning to help me fill our bourbon barrels full of Old Pappy California Wheat Wine. He came camera in hand as he often does, to take some pictures of the days work. You can check out his shots of the procedure here. He is the kind of guy I would welcome into my brewery any day, a fantastic ambassador for craft beer and a great friend. I am glad that my first blog for The Session was to recognize Rick and his contributions to this industry.

UPDATE: Here is the roundup of all the posts.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Brewing Wheat Wine

Old Pappy California Wheat Wine is in the tank, thanks to the help of The Homebrew Chef, Sean Paxton (right). Sean helped our brewery secure the whiskey barrels that will ultimately house Old Pappy so I was excited to have him in the brewery today to help with the brew.

The grist is fairly simple consisting of 2-Row malted barley, malted white wheat, caramunich & carawheat. I have never used carawheat before and it is totally unlike anything I expected or have brewed with before. The malt tastes like a cross between grape nuts cereal and sunflower seeds and doesn't have much sweetness like I was expecting. The final impact of that grain on the beer should be interesting.

It is a big beer coming in at 25.8 degrees plato (1.109 SG) so depending on how the fermentation progresses it will be around 11% alcohol. It will be fermented with an English ale yeast, not a weizen strain so do not expect any banana or clove notes like a weizenbock. Think barleywine that happens to be brewed with a whole bunch of wheat malt.

After a month or so in the fermenter the entire batch will be transfered to the Van Winkle Whiskey Barrels where it will age from 3 to 7 months. The barrels are 23 years old and were emptied only 4 weeks ago so there should be lots of whiskey flavor there. The beer will be monitored closely to determine when it is ready to be removed and packaged. The idea is not to produce a beer that tastes like a shot of whiskey was added to it, but to add complexity and layers of flavor so timing is everything.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Barrel Aged Beers

I just had a daughter five weeks ago. It was a process that at times seemed to take forever and at times seems to have gone by in a blink of an eye. I am learning a whole new meaning for the word patience between waiting for her birth and learning to care for a newborn. It is this patience that will pay off for our next major project: Barrel Aged Beers.

These beers will age and mature in wooden barrels that have previously held whiskey, port and various varieties of wine. Patience will be required as our usual 21 day fermentation and conditioning cycle will be replaced with months or even years of aging. Having never done anything like this before we plan to let the beer guide us and tell us when it is ready.


We acquired six 23 year old Rip Van Winkle whiskey barrels thanks to the help of Sean Paxton, The Homebrew Chef. These barrels were shipped from the Buffalo Trace distillery in Kentucky and are now resting quietly in our banquet room, waiting to be filled with the following beers:

Old Pappy California Wheat Wine: Rip Van Winkle whiskey is made with "a whisper of wheat" instead of rye or barley. As an homage to these barrels previous contents we decided to put a wheat wine in them. This beer is being brewed specifically for barrel aging as no "unoaked" version of this ale will see the light of day. Well, at least not much. A full 15 barrel batch of this beer will be brewed and available for sale once it has had time to soak up the flavors of the barrel.

Barrel Aged Imperial Red Ale: We knew these whiskey barrels were coming last fall so we saved a few kegs of 2007 Smokey's Imperial Red Ale to age in whiskey barrels. This will be a small release as we only have enough beer for one whiskey barrel which will yield about 55 gallons.


We got our wine barrels from Dragonfly Cellars (which is the winery my brother owns) and from J. Lohr in San Jose. All of them will house sour beer. The general idea is a traditional lambic base beer will be brewed and it will be barrel fermented with a combination of saccharomyces, brettanomyces, lactobacillius, & pediococus. These beers will likely take 18-24 months in barrel before they see the light of day so we all have to be extremely patient with this part of the project.

There will be some cool experimentation that hopefully results in some tasty sour beers so stay tuned and I will update this site with what is going on in the sour barrels in more detail later.

All of this is really exciting, the barrels are breathing new life in to the restaurant and brewery and they haven't even been filled yet! It is a project that is going to take a long time compared to our typical production schedule but I think it will be worth the wait. I am looking forward to all the great beers we can add layers of flavor to through this old world process that is experiencing a rebirth in American Craft Brewing. Look for our first release in the fall of 2008.


And so it begins....

For the first post of the brand spankin' new Sacramento Brewing Company blog I just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Peter Hoey and I am the Brewmaster at Sacramento Brewing Company.

I have been brewing professionally since I was 19 years old with my first job being the assistant brewer at Sacramento Brewing Company's Oasis. While working there I graduated from the American Brewers Guild Intensive Brewing Science course in 2000. Since then I worked as brewer at Sierra Nevada and Brewmaster at Bison Brewing Company.

I returned to Sacramento Brewing to manage the brewpub operations at Town & Country in July of 2006 and took on the responsibility of running our second location and production facility, The Oasis, in May 2007. We made some big changes to recipes, procedures and equipment at that time and have been working hard to constantly improve our beers. We have an awesome staff in place that are skilled at what they do and have a passion for great beer.

The main function of this website is to let our customers, home brewers, fans and staff know what we are doing, what beers we are serving at our pubs and what events we will be attending. We have some interesting projects in the works that will be documented here so I hope you find this blog somewhat entertaining and informative.