Appetizers

Sactown Union Brewery nears its debut in East Sacramento

Sactown Union Brewery will soon join the growing ranks of local beer makers.
Sactown Union Brewery will soon join the growing ranks of local beer makers. Sactown Union Brewery

A new craft brewery and tasting room is about to debut in East Sacramento, adding another beer maker to the capital’s growing menu of specialty brews.

Located in an industrial/commercial complex near California State University, Sacramento, Sactown Union Brewery’s owners hope to open their taps by Sacramento Beer Week, Feb. 27 to March 9.

“That’s absolutely doable,” said co-owner Quinn Gardner, Sactown Union’s CEO. “We’re aiming pretty hard for Beer Week. We really, really want to take advantage of that event.”

Sactown Union is awaiting the last of its city permits, which may push its opening into April, Gardner said. The business already has hired an initial staff of 12. Michael Barker, Gardner’s business partner, will serve as brewmaster. An award-winning brewer, Barker formerly made great kölsch, pale ales and other brews at Rock Bottom Brewery and Santa Cruz Aleworks.

“We’ve been working on this project for five years now,” added Gardner, formerly of 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco. “We thought we’d be open by July (2014). We had our investors, we found our building, but it’s a process.”

Sactown Union joins an explosion of new beer makers. About two dozen craft breweries have opened in the greater Sacramento area since 2011.

On 66th Street between Folsom Boulevard and Elvas Avenue, the 7,200-square-foot site formerly housed Vitafreze Frozen Confections.

“All that infrastructure (for food processing) was already there,” Gardner said. “That helped us out a lot.”

Just under 2,000 square feet will be devoted to the tasting room. The interior will be designed by Whitney Johnson, who created the ambiance at Hook & Ladder, Shady Lady Saloon and other popular Sacramento restaurants and watering holes.

“Whitney calls our look ‘urban rustic,’ ” Gardner said. “She said it will look like The Black Keys sound; new but old. We wanted something that acknowledges Sacramento history but also has a very urban feel. We respect the area’s history, but our eyes are on the future.”

Call The Bee’s Debbie Arrington, (916) 321-1075. Follow her on Twitter @debarrington.

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