Beer

Spanish-style brewery with tapas announces opening date in former Rubicon building

Alaro Brewing Co., a brewery and restaurant with a Spanish flavor, will take over the midtown Sacramento space long held by Rubicon Brewing Co.
Alaro Brewing Co., a brewery and restaurant with a Spanish flavor, will take over the midtown Sacramento space long held by Rubicon Brewing Co. Alaro Brewing via Twitter

Alaro Brewing Co. will open June 30 at 2004 Capitol Ave., where some of Sacramento's beer pioneers honed their craft decades ago.

The Spanish-style brewery and tapas joint has been renovating what used to be the old Rubicon Brewing Co., founders Ray and Annette Ballestero announced in a press release Thursday. The brewery's name refers to a scenic town on Majorca, a Spanish island from where Ray's ancestors came.

Annette Ballestero co-founded River City Brewing Co. in the Downtown Plaza complex before Downtown Commons was built, and the rest of the staff has Sacramento roots, too. Head brewer Chris Keeton spent five years with Rubicon, executive chef Jason Azevedo previously worked at Hock Farm Craft & Provisions and the old Might Tavern, and sous chef David Santana put in four years next door at The Waterboy.

In addition to the IPAs, pale ales, stouts, porters, pilsners and seasonal beers flowing from Alaro's taps, the brewery will sell local and Spanish wine and other house-made beverages. They're hoping to make people who don't drink beer feel at home, but it'll be a brewery first, Ray Ballestero said.

"My dream is not to have our beer in every store but to make and serve our beer to our local community dispensed directly from our serving tanks, fresh from the source," he said. "To me, this is the outstanding and unique experience that can only be had at your local brewpub."

Rubicon Brewing Co. became one of only two breweries in Sacramento when Ed Brown opened it in 1987. That was far from the case last August, when robust competition and a wet winter forced owner Glynn Phillips to shut Rubicon down after nearly 30 years in business.

Alaro's Facebook page features several photos of Rubicon relics found while clearing out the building, including a box of old bottle caps and the original floor plan.

The Bee's Benjy Egel is launching a new effort to cover Sacramento's dining and beer scene. Please send tips and story ideas by email at begel@sacbee.com, on Twitter @BenjyEgel or by phone at (916) 321-1052.

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