Two of Sacramento's most suds-savvy beer guys are finally ready to show off their 17,000-square-foot brainchild just off Broadway at the corner of 14th and V streets.
Urban Roots Brewing and Smokehouse's grand opening is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, though co-founders Rob Archie and Peter Hoey have been serving thirsty workers from nearby state offices after 5 p.m. all week. The name fits a downtown brewery specializing in farmhouse ales, Hoey said.
"You go to a winery, and it's in the middle of a vineyard. You have to go to wine country, and it's clearly an agricultural pursuit," he said. "I think that people often forget that brewing is an agricultural pursuit as well, but we're in a city center."
Hoey and Archie met nearly a decade ago when Hoey's Facebook friend posted that Pangaea Bier Cafe hooked up a keg of Affligem Noel, a hard-to-find Belgian winter ale. Hoey turned to his wife and kids, said "I'm going to be right back" and dashed over to Archie's bar, where the owner poured him a glass and struck up a conversation.
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Many Urban Roots beers will be in the style of German lagers, a personal favorite of Hoey's, and the mild Belgian ales Archie fell in love with while playing B.League basketball overseas. That means subtle, balanced brews without one distinctive spice poking through to the drinker's taste buds.
"They're great for someone who doesn't drink a beer that often that's not looking for just big, smash-mouth flavor," Hoey said. "They're bold and flavorful, but they're very approachable."
That international touch is clear on Urban Roots' patio, which is set up with picnic tables similar to a European biergarten and features a large mural by Sacramento artists Maren Conrad and Lily Therens bearing a passport, plane, suitcase and sign reading "travelers welcome," among other personal touches. Conrad, who previously painted Saoirse Ronan's likeness after the release of "Lady Bird" and had done several other Wide Open Walls projects around Sacramento, also drew a pair of giant black Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars on Urban Roots' eastern wall.
A menu Archie described as "Texas-inspired but with California love" features brisket, ribs and sausage, as well as smoked Roma tomatoes with green beans and chunks of turkey legs mixed into collard greens instead of ham hocks. Pangaea executive chef Brett Stockdale and sous chef Greg Desmangles, Archie's nephew, will run the industrial smoker and Urban Roots' kitchen.
Opening beers include the EZ PZ (a smooth dry-hopped pilsner), the Push to Start (a vanilla porter with cocoa nibs and coffee) and the Luna de Miel, a Mexican amber lager that translates to "honeymoon," which Hoey first brewed 11 years ago for his wedding.
Eight beers brewed on site are hooked up to Urban Roots' taps right now, plus four more Hoey and Archie made at other breweries, and eight wines. About 15 of Urban Roots' 24 taps will flow on a given night once the production facility is running at peak output, and sour beers won't be ready until next year, Hoey said.
Urban Roots will open at 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday before regular hours begin Saturday. The general hours will be 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and closed Monday.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @BenjyEgel or by phone at (916) 321-1052.