ABC could suspend Golden Road’s license after minor allegedly drank at midtown bar

The state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control could suspend Golden Road Brewing’s license after a minor allegedly drank a beer at the midtown Sacramento brewpub.

An ABC agent determined that a minor bought or received a beer from Golden Road, at 1830 L Street, on Oct. 3, department spokesman John Carr said. The accusation was filed Jan. 18, per ABC records. The outdoor bar was closed from Jan. 8 until Tuesday, Jan. 29, due to a combination of plumbing issues, inclement weather and scheduled closures, according to an employee at the restaurant Tuesday.

Restaurants and bars are not required to close as a result of an ABC accusation, and Carr said the department did not instruct Golden Road to do so.

“When we file an accusation, a place can stay open and challenge the state’s filing, just like accused of crime,” Carr said. “We haven’t shut down Golden Road, we’ve filed an accusation saying ‘Business, we accuse you of selling alcohol to a minor.’”

Golden Road has until mid-February to decide whether to pursue a hearing with an administrative law judge or swallow whatever punishment the ABC determines, Carr said. That could mean suspension or revocation of the brewery’s license, according to the ABC’s letter of accusation.

A typical first-strike penalty for selling alcohol to minors in California includes a 15-day license suspension or fine, according to multiple legal sites, though Carr cautioned that sanctions are determined on a case-by-case basis.

Golden Road opened last May to criticism from Sacramento microbreweries, many of whom claimed the Los Angeles-based, Anheuser Busch InBev-owned brewery was misleading customers by billing itself as “craft.” Neighbors in the L Street Lofts complained of rowdy revelers into the early morning after the city admitted it neglected to properly condition Golden Road’s ABC license with time restrictions, and the outdoor brewpub was hit with a noise violation in July.

Local opposition and a residual headache from the Sacramento launch prompted Golden Road to scrap plans for an Oakland taproom last October, Berkeleyside reported. The Sacramento bar’s ABC license is up for renewal March 31.

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Benjy Egel covers local restaurants and bars for The Sacramento Bee as well as general breaking news and investigative projects. A Sacramento native, he previously covered business for the Amarillo Globe-News in Texas.