Sacramento Beer Week, which kicks off Feb. 26 with the Brewers Showcase and ends with the Capitol Beer Fest on March 8, is bigger, more diverse and, yes, more daunting than ever.
We’re here to help. While it’s impossible to attend all of the hundreds of events at the dozens of participating breweries, pubs and restaurants, there is a way to make things manageable.
Pick the breweries you already love and visit those to show your support. Pick breweries you have yet to experience and visit those to expand your horizons. Look for events featuring beer styles you already love and attend one. Look for events with beer styles you have yet to try and attend one. This way, you’ll encounter familiar beer and familiar faces, along with new beer and new faces. It’s a winning strategy.
There are so many great beer bars now that you could easily enjoy an excellent Beer Week by selecting just one bar and attending several events there. The line-ups are that impressive across the board.
After a few fits and starts, the calendar at Sacbeerweek.com is now fully loaded and, frankly, mind-boggling. But what’s the worst that can happen? If you miss an event because it’s sold out, there will be plenty of time during the rest of the year to make amends.
What follows is a list of the events we hope to attend. Some of the hottest events are already sold out, including the March 2 beer dinner at Mother, where the $40 tickets went faster than you could say “mushroom po boy.”
Feb. 27: “Locals Only Day” at Capitol Beer and Taproom (2222 Fair Oaks Blvd., Sacramento). Get a taste of the best local beer out there, all under one roof. On tap will be beer from Device, Sudwerk, Auburn Alehouse, Berryessa, Track 7, New Glory, Ol’ Republic and more. 5 p.m. to midnight.
Feb. 27: “Barrel-aged and Scarce Beers” at Extreme Pizza (1140 Exposition Blvd., #200, Sacramento). Owner Fred Munday has made this pizza joint a destination for craft beer fans. Special beers from Firestone Walker, Anderson Valley, Out of Bounds, Mraz and more. If you have yet to try beer that has aged in barrels, here’s your chance to do it in a laid-back setting.
Feb. 28: Local tap takeover and “meet your local brewer” at Final Gravity (9205 Sierra College Blvd., Roseville). Another chance to support local at another excellent beer bar. The list of local beers being served is very impressive. Brewers from many local breweries will be on hand to talk about their beer.
Feb. 28: Barrel-aged beer night at Mraz Brewing (2222 Francisco Drive, Suite 510, El Dorado Hills). Get in on the action and find out why beer insiders are saying Mike Mraz and his brewery are on the verge of greatness. There will be an amazing 10 barrel-aged beers on tap. 3-11 p.m.
March 2: Attend a talk and tasting with highly regarded beer judge Mike Moore at New Helvetia Brewing (1730 Broadway). Here’s a great change to up your beer game by tasting with a true expert. “Big Mike” will walk you through a tasting of several New Helvetia beers, including the “Thurston Adambier,” which won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival. Tickets are $25 and are available online at Eventbrite.
March 3: “Beer and Cupcakes” at Final Gravity. Wait! What? That’s right, if you dial in the flavor profiles, beer and cupcakes are an inspired pairing. If you don’t believe it, you will likely become a convert after this cool event. Pairings include Goose Island’s renowned Bourbon County Stout with Coffee paired with chocolate fudge cupcakes; Oskar Blues Death by Coconut (an Irish stout with notes of coconut and dark chocolate) paired with coconut cream cupcakes.
March 7: “Sac Beer Week 5k.” Don’t just stand around and drink beer. Run. Yes, you’ll notice a lot of of really fit people – runners, cyclists, climbers, crossfitters and more and are also into craft beer. You’ll see plenty of them at this Beer Week foot race. The race starts at noon at New Helvetia (1730 Broadway, Sacramento). It costs $35 and includes a T-shirt. Register here by March 5.
March 7: “Walker’s Wild Ride” at Pangaea Bier Cafe (2743 Franklin Blvd., Sacramento). Renowned brewer David Walker of Firestone Walker will personally deliver a mystery keg of rare beer to launch Pangaea’s Sour Fest. Starts at 1 p.m., when the keg will be tapped and, more than likely, blown out in no time.
Call The Bee’s Blair Anthony Robertson, (916) 321-1099. Follow him on Twitter @Blarob.