Some Beer Musings

24 Feb
Sac Beer Week

(Image grabbed from Sac Beer Week Facebook page)

It’s Sacramento beer week here in Northern California and I am excited! I only got out to one of the sponsored events Friday but made my own celebration the rest of the weekend.

My local grocery store was sponsoring a beer tasting – $5 for three breweries – and close enough to walk there and back. A perfect start to the weekend.

The first beers we tried were from Karl Strauss Brewing Company. There were three to taste:

  • Tower 10 IPA – which my friend said tasted like a Christmas tree in a glass
  • Boardwalk Black Rye IPA – which I enjoyed; the extra roast flavor was interesting
  • Blackball Belgium IPA – which was my favorite; it was a bit spicier than a typical IPA and more… refreshing I guess I would say

We also tried three beers from Ruhstaller. If I’m remembering my NPR story correctly, Ruhstaller was an old Sacramento label that has just lately been resurrected. They use California grown hops and barley in their beers:

  • 1881 California Red Ale – which I liked and will probably buy for the tasting portion of the April beer dinner
  • CAPT California Black IPA – which I also liked; this night was my first time trying black IPAs and I think I like the style
  • Founders Blend – which is a blend of the other two beers and didn’t really stand out to me

The third brewery was Almanac Beer Co. Farm to Bottle Beers. I was a bit disappointed with their beers. After having a great Honey Saison a few weeks ago I was hoping for more but the three we tried were too fruity (or sour) for me.

Saturday afternoon I finally made it to a Total Wine and was absolutely in awe of their beer aisle. I left with six new beers to try and two favorites.


I’ve been looking at that Tank Farmhouse Ale for awhile and am looking forward to it. I also picked up two Pale Ales, an IPA, and an Amber Lager to consider for my April beer party. I made a Spicy Vegetarian Torilla Soup this afternoon and tried the Flying Dog Amber Lager with it.


Saturday night I biked over to a friend’s house to play beer pong. Now I’m not good at beer pong. I mean, really not good. And you know what happens when you’re not good at beer pong? You end up drinking a lot of beer. A lot of really bad beer. Especially when you play with people who have organized a beer pong league. Trophies and everything. Luckily the boys I was playing with were very gentlemanly and helped me finish my leftover cups. (And I actually got better as the evening progressed!)

It was a nice beginning to Beer Week and I have a few more events I might try to get to but really, I’m saving up for next Saturday – Capital Beer Fest. They’re expecting 90 breweries! I can’t wait to discover even more great new beers.


3 Responses to “Some Beer Musings”

  1. Bonnie February 25, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    What are your two favorites from Total Wine?

  2. mmckenzie06 February 25, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    Hi Bonnie! So far I’ve only tried the Fly Dog Amber Lager, but I’ll let you know when I’ve tried more!


  1. Mini Tamale Pies | Flour & Hops - March 11, 2013

    […] paired my meal with Karl Strauss Blackball Belgian IPA. I first tried this beer during Sacramento Beer Week and was considering it for my April beer dinner but I think I’ll look for another beer to go […]

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