Found: Our Picks for Sacramento’s Beer Week

By Laura Braden

Since the time of Sumerians, over 6,000 years ago, beer has an integral part of human history:

  • Monks brewing beer in the Middle Ages were allowed to drink five quarts of beer a day.
  • The oldest known written recipe is for beer.
  • The Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock because of beer.  They had planned to sail further south to a warm climate, but had run out of beer on the journey.
  • The first United States Marine Recruiting Station was in a bar.

Joining the ranks of other cities (like San Diego and San Francisco), Sacramento launched its first (hopefully annual) Beer Week yesterday.  This festival is fitting given our town’s long history with breweries.

Now, I’m not a huge fan of beer, but I love the idea of supporting so many great local businesses.  And with so many tastings, classes and food pairing specials, what better to way to actually learn something about beer?

As exciting as it is, I was a bit overwhelmed by the shear number of choices.  So we combed through everything to bring you the events not to be missed!

And hats off to the organizers!  I hope others follow suit, join forces and launch similar events (how about a Yoga Week?  Or Martini Week?  Day Spa Week?).

GOTG’s Daily Picks:

Specials going on all week

  • Beach Hut Deli is offering $2 pints of Lost Coast Brewing Great White all day at their 24th and J Street location (while you’re there, do yourself a favor and order the Santa Cruz or Surfin’ Pig sammie).
  • MIX Downtown is offering Brats n’ Beer (including Firestone IPA, Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar, Hoegaarden, and Stella Artois) for only $7. (1531 L Street)
  • Paragary’s Bar and Oven’s “Belgian Beer Pairing.”  Three-course meal paired with Stella Artois, Hoegaarden White and Leffe Brown for $27.  And experts will be on hand to discuss these beers.  (1401 28th Street)
  • Monkey Bar’s “Old School Happy Hour” with classic brands including Busch, Schlitz, Old Milwaukee, Olympia, Miller High Life, Mickey’s Big Mouth, and Hamm’s for only $1.  3-7pm (2730 Capitol Avenue)

Tuesday 2/23

  • La Trattoria Bohemia’s “Czech Beer and Food Extravaganza.”  This little gem of a restaurant in East Sac is celebrating from 11:30am-9pm (live music starts at 6pm) with their Czech tap beer at happy hour prices (16 oz, $3.25) and Czech and Polish bottled beer $1.50 off.  If you purchase one of the five Czech dishes on the menu (all are delicious!), you’ll receive 2 pints of Czech beer for free. (3649 J Street)
  • L Wine Bar and Urban Kitchen’s “Sierra Nevada Tasting.”  Sample Sierra Nevada Kellerweis, Torpedo Extra IPA, Harvest Wet Hop Ale, Estate Brewers Harvest Ale, and Life & Limb with complimentary charcuterie.  $7 (1801 L Street)

Weds, 2/24

  • Two Rivers Cider’s “Open House.”  I’m obsessed with cider and Sacramento now has its own local brew!  Sample six house ciders (as well as rare craft ciders from elsewhere), and complimentary appetizers and snacks.  Extra bonus: dogs are welcome (leashed). (4311 Attawa Avenue)
  • Lounge on 20’s “Hop Plate.” Four West Coast-style hoppy creations from Green Flash Brewing and matched charcuterie.  $10 for beer tasting, $20 for beer and appetizer.  5:30 – 7:30 pm, call for reservations. (1050 20th Street)
  • River City Saloon’s “Recession Buster.”  This one sounds dangerous: 99 cent Corona Extra from 9:30pm – 1am. (916 2nd Street)

Thursday, 2/25

  • Hoppy Brewing’s “Open House.”  Check out how craft beer is made at one of Sac’s oldest breweries.  They’re offering tours and specials from 11am-6pm. (6300 Folsom Blvd.)
  • Bring it on!  The Flaming Grill and Sudwerk Brewery’s “Absolutely Hottest Hot Wing Eating Contest.”  Come see who is first to finish 8 of the hottest habanero wings in Sacramento (no napkins, no beverages, just bones left).  $10 entrance fee includes a Sudwerk lager to cool your burning mouth.  Rules may change if the wings are simply too hot to legally allow you to eat them without serious risk.  9pm (2319 El Camino Ave)
  • (OFF THE GRID in DAVIS) The Davis Graduate’s “He’Brew Pint Night” featuring beer from Shmaltz Brewing.  Serving Jewbelation 13, Jewbelation 12, Rejewvenator 2009, Genesis Ale, Messiah Bold, Bittersweet Lenny RIPA, Origin Pomegranate Ale.  1st 72 samplers get a free He’Brew pint glass. 3 samples for $4.95. 6-9 pm (805 Russell Blvd, Davis)
  • Bonn Lair’s “Cider Night.”  More cider!  Enjoy samples and specials on Wyders, Strongbow and Woodchuck and others from 7-10pm.  The closest thing Sac has to an authentic Euro pub! (3651 J Street)

Friday, 2/26

  • For those who LIKE beer, but LOVE chocolate, check out Lounge on 20’s “Belgian Ales meet Le Grand Chocolate Truffles.” 6 Belgian and Belgian-style ales paired with truffles from Sacramento’s Le Grand Confectionery.  $30, 8 -10pm.  An early reception at 6:30pm will be hosted by Judy Ashworth and Beer Chef Bruce Paton, with menu items available. (1050 20th Street)
  • Rubicon is hosting Sac’s first ever “Cask Tasting Event.”  Beers include Rubicon TBA, Sierra Nevada TBA, Bear Republic Brewing Company’s APEX, Stone Brewing Company’s ARROGANT BASTARD, Sudwerk’s UNFILTERED MARZEN, Auburn Alehouse GOLD DIGGER I.P.A.. (2004 Capitol Ave)

Saturday, 2/27

  • Two Rivers Cider’s “The Cider Pub Pedal” (not Crawl). This is a twofer – burn off calories while you drink!  Be at Rubicon by 3pm and then pedal to various establishments serving Two Rivers Cider, and then ride off in search of the magical Two Rivers Bus along the beautiful new Two Rivers Bike Trail on the American River. 3-7 pm (2004 Capitol Avenue)
  • Extreme Pizza’s “Pizza Eating Contest.”  This is not for amateurs: all you can eat cheese pizza for 15 minutes with a pint of California microbrew to wash it down. $15, limited to ten people, cash prizes to first and second place. Call to reserve your spot. 3pm (1140 Exposition Blvd)

Sunday, 2/28

  • Hilltop Tavern’s “Fling Pong Ping Ping Tournament” with Pyramid Brewing.  A throwback to college, contestants will enjoy Pyramid’s new Spring seasonal, Fling Pale Ale, and battle to claim bragging rights as Beer Week’s ultimate flinger and to win prizes from Pyramid. 1-3pm. (4757 Folsom Blvd)
  • Rubicon‘s “Beer of California.”  All day, a variety of different guest beers from across the state will be featured (regular drafts are $3, strong ales are $3.75 and cask ales are $4). (2004 Capitol Ave)
  • Tuli Bistro’s “Pigs and Kegs” – brunch plates individually paired with an international selection of craft beer from 10:30am-2pm. (2031 S Street)

Want To Learn More?

  • The official website for Sacramento’s Beer Week (includes full schedule) (LINK)
  • Sacramento’s Beer Week on Twitter (LINK)
  • SN&R’s Beer Week Guide (LINK)
  • KCRA: Cheers!  It’s Sacramento’s Beer Week (LINK)
  • Sacramento Press: Historic City Cemetery kicks off Beer Week (LINK)
  • Fox 40: Local Breweries Hope Beer Week Boosts Business (LINK)

And Of Course, Be Safe and DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!

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