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Owner Dave Gull behind the bar at New Helvetia Brewing

New Helvetia celebrates Year 1, Device gets rolling

Published: Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 - 10:32 am

I stopped in at New Helvetia Brewing on Friday for the one-year anniversary bash and I was impressed with the great crowd. The place was hopping and everybody was having a good time.

There was plenty of beer, live music on the back patio and Chando’s food truck parked right outside. I took advantage of all three offerings at some point in the night. An adobada quesadilla is a pretty nice choice with any beer.

The highlight beer-wise that night was something called the “Mystery Airship,” an imperial stout (10% ABV) that had been aged six months in bourbon barrels. This beer was big, but it had plenty of nuance and a long, lingering finish. The barrels, of course, impart different flavor characteristics and provide more complexity to the beer.

Congratulations to Dave Gull, brewmaster Brian Cofresi and crew on hitting the one-year mark. Best of luck going forward. I know bottling is on the near horizon, and we’ll report back when that is about to happen.

The following night, I visited Device Brewing and, let me tell you, turning left off Power Inn (coming from Howe Avenue) onto 14th Avenue takes a leap of faith. It’s really dark and abandoned-looking.

Yet, I drove up 14th toward an industrial park and saw some signs of life. Device is owned by Ken Anthony (who is also the brewmaster) and wife Melissa. It is a modest operation, but judging from my brief visit, they know what they’re doing with the beer.

I had the pale ale and found it to be full-flavored and pleasingly hoppy. My friends both went with the double IPA and were very impressed. Even though it is an industrial setting, the interior is actually built out like a real bar, albeit a bare bones one. More seating and more decor will come in time, I’m told.

If you’re in the area, check out Device. It’s got four beers at the moment and Anthony is working on a lower-alcohol beer he hopes to roll out soon. Device Brewing is at 8166 14th Ave., Sacramento.

Call The Bee’s Blair Anthony Robertson, (916) 321-1099. Follow him on Twitter @Blarob.

About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob

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Note: The Appetizers blog switched blog platforms in August 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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