It’s Beer Week in Sacramento so I got the bright idea to see how many breweries I could visit in one day. With over 50 breweries in our area, I was thinking I could get maybe a couple dozen in easy.
Obviously, I didn’t really think this plan through.
Visiting a bunch of breweries is super easy, but actually having a beer at each one is a totally different challenge. So I recruited a group of my dumbest friends to help me along. My plan was to start in West Sacramento and work our way east. Of course, we’d have a driver. So that part was easy.
Then I explained to them that I was thinking we could just split a flight of beers at each place or even just order tiny beers. This is where misguided masculinity ruined yet another perfectly good idea just like it always has since the dawn of time. Apparently, sharing a flight or having anything less than a full beer at each brewery was socially unacceptable.
So I had to alter my goal a bit. I thought maybe – just maybe – I could still squeeze in 10 breweries. If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s drinking 10 beers.
Of course, another thing working against visiting a bunch of breweries in one day is that they don’t open early in the morning. There’s that old quote out there falsely attributed to Frank Sinatra or WC Fields or someone that says “You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning.” Well, most of these places don’t even open until noon and since I like to be home in time for Jeopardy, my window of beer drinkin’ time (BDT) was actually pretty small.
Anyhow, we started in West Sacramento at Bike Dog Brewing….which has a great milk stout and one of the best beer logos in town. And because it has “dog” in its name people tend to bring their pups there. This also cut into my BDT because I’ve developed an inability to walk past a dog without petting it, learning its name and letting it know it’s a good boy/girl.
From Bike Dog, there are two other breweries within walking distance so I went from zero breweries to three breweries real quick.
Yolo Brewing: check.
Jackrabbit Brewing: check
Then it was on to Two Rivers Cider which is one of the oldest hard cider makers in the country and probably definitely the oldest with a skeeball machine.
All this drinking got me thinking that there should be some kind of beer passport in town where you collect a stamp and earn cool stuff as you check each brewery off the list. Luckily, before I put too much time into that idea, I learned that it already exists. And the Sacramento Beer Frontier guy did a way better job than I ever could have. Plus, he’s way nicer than I am. Check out their website, earn some stamps and get some cool stuff.
I collected my first stamp at Fountainhead Brewing and look how cool the stamps are:
Unfortunately for me, Fountainhead was my fifth stop so I had to spend the rest of my afternoon expertly forging the stamps of the places I had already been. Pretty sure these will slide right by the Beer Frontier authorities.
From there it was off to New Glory and Device Brewing.
By this point my friends were dropping off one by one. I had secretly been going through with my plan to only order small beers, but those macho dummies were already maxed out.
I made it to one last place, Hot City Pizza which is the secret hole-in-the-wall beer joint that’s the stuff of legend. They are in a typically boring strip mall where their sign reads simply “Pizza” and the tanning salon nextdoor is just labeled “Tanning.” They’ve embraced the name (and website) “Pizza Tanning” which is either a stroke of genius or the dumbest thing ever.
Either way, the beer list is amazing and their “Angry Pig” pizza is the perfect complement for any Murder, She Wrote bender.
So, if we count the pizza place, I made it to 8 beer stops in one day. Well short of my goal, but I guess what I learned is that maybe visiting as many breweries as possible in one day is a dumb thing to do. Seems a lot smarter to just pick a few spots, kick back and enjoy yourself instead of pretending to drink a full pint and rushing off to the the next stop.
Seriously, like three breweries is more than enough in one day…plus, that gives you at least 20 full days worth of breweries to visit in Sacramento. Which brings me to the whole point of this blog: If you’re interested in bringing a group for a 20-night Sacramento hotel stay, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.