The dozens of craft breweries that have opened in the Sacramento area in recent years all tended to have the same business concept: Focus on the beer and leave the food to the food trucks.
Device Brewing, which operated that way since it opened in the summer of 2013, is poised to break out of that mold by making and serving pizza.
On Monday, owner Ken Anthony and brewer Ian Marriott relocated brewing equipment from behind the tasting room counter to make room for the Blodgett commercial pizza oven purchased from Hot City Pizza. The popular East Sacramento pizzeria and major player in craft beer recently upgraded to a larger oven.
Anthony says the move to pizza is in response to consumer demand, and it offers Device a new opportunity to pair the brewery’s many beers with food. Device soon will expand its hours to seven days a week and will open for lunch. Device, which is best known for its award-winning Integral India pale ale, is currently open 3-9 p.m Wednesday- Friday, and noon to 9 p.m. on weekends.
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The transition to Device Pizza Pub is expected to happen by the end of February, just in time for Sacramento Beer Week.
The tasting room (8166 14th Ave. Suite A, Sacramento) is in an industrial park off Power Inn Road and has been six different restaurants through the years.
The pizza will be a thin-crust style available with a variety of toppings, along with a weekly special. Ingredients will be sourced locally and the 10-inch pies are expected to be priced under $10.
Because pizza can serve as a blank canvas for eclectic toppings and flavor combinations, Anthony said it is an ideal food for beer pairing options. Having food available on site solves another issue for local craft breweries – getting hungry customers to stay longer.
“Our goal is to get the price so low that you’ll have a hard time not ordering pizza,” Anthony said.
Of the 60-plus craft breweries in the Sacramento region, only a handful operate as a brew pub with full restaurant service, including Rubicon, Auburn Alehouse and River City, which recently relocated from the downtown mall to Carmichael. Most of the other breweries are in industrial parks and have food trucks show up on a rotating basis.