Capital Beer Fest & Sacramento Beer Week

3 Mar

It’s been about six months since I stopped seeing the man that introduced me to good beer. And about five months and three weeks since I was really sorry that we stopped dating. His house was two blocks from one of the main Beer Week venues. Last year he told me he was taking vacation days during Beer Week and I thought that was a little crazy. Now I’m trying to decide if I can justify taking time off work next year. And if I can convince my friend Bonnie to takes days off, too. And who would let us stay with them across the Causeway in Sacramento proper for the week. Or how much a hotel would cost for seven nights. Sigh.

IMG_7860Tuesday night I was crazy hungry after work so instead of going to an “official” beer week event, took myself to Thai food. The Thai place actually has a decent selection of beers on tap, one of which was Ninkasi Brewing Co.’s Total Domination IPA. Ninkasi must have just started distributing in the greater Sacramento area because they are everywhere right now. I had actually stopped at the brewery in Eugene, Oregon last summer on a road trip and totally loved their Otis Oatmeal Stout. The IPA was a bit bitter for me to completely love (I told you, I’m still working up to my IPAs) but I enjoyed the pint and the pairing.

Wednesday night I decided I had to go to the New Belgium night at the Davis Beer Shoppe. They were at capacity so I had to wait to get in but it was worth it. They had 14 New Belgium beers on tap – I probably tried about half thanks to the nice guys working. Plus, I got to keep the glass!


What I remember of my favorites:

  • New Belgium Trippel – this I already knew I was a fan of; I had tried it before and drank it while making my quiche awhile back
  • New Belgium/Dieu Du Ciel Heavenly Fiejoa – one of two farmhouse-like ales on tap; I got a pint of this and really enjoyed the first half – towards the end it got a bit sour for me
  • New Belgium/Vivant Bierre de Garde – good but when I tasted, prefered the Heavenly Fiejoa
  • New Belgium Dig – a very nice pale ale; I want to get again just to drink at home
  • New Belgium Rampant DIPA – too bitter for me but I guessed that from the beginning
  • New Belgium Abbey – I wasn’t a fan; I’ve tried a fair number of Belgium abbey ales recently and in general I don’t like the style
  • New Belgium Hoppy Bock – this was the last beer I tried just as I was getting ready to go and it made me sad – I wish  had tried it earlier! It was smooth and easy to sip with the citrus-hoppy-loveliness and not too much bitter; hopefully I’ll get to taste it again soon!


Thursday night I convinced my sister and brother-in-law to go to an event in Sacramento. The sister chose food and a North Coast tasting at Magpie Cafe. The food was soooo good and the beer delicious. As a little sister should though, I completely mortified my sister taking pictures of the beer.


My brother-in-law and I shared the tasting and got to try:

  • Blue Star Wheat – an excellent and very drinkable wheat beer; I’m ready for several pool-side this summer
  • Le Merle Saison – a good saison; I enjoyed it but I don’t think it was super distinctive among other saisons
  • Brother Thelonious Abbey Ale – I actually liked this Abbey Ale in small amounts; this is a well known Abbey Ale for those who are just starting to taste
  • Old Stock, 2013 – Brian (the brother-in-law) said it tasted like rotten cantaloupe; not an overwhelming endorsement but I drank the rest of it so it was good enough; I just read about it on North Coast’s website and its suppose to be aged, which would be interesting
  • Old Rasputin Imperial Stout – a good stout (and another well known beer); its a little syrupy for me to be overly enthusiastic about but I did like it

Friday night I biked over again to my local grocery store where they were tasting two breweries: Deschutes and Boulevard.   Deschutes makes good, solid beers. Delicious and easy to drink. Boulevard Brewing is out of Kanas City and makes some more complex, interesting beers. They’re also something like the 10th largest brewer by volume. I got to try four of their beers:

  • Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale – yay! I actually have a bottle of this and now I’m even more stoked to open it; it was a really refreshing and crisp farmhouse ale
  • A beer here that now I can’t remember….but it was really good!
  • The Sixth Glass Quad – I wasn’t sure I would like it but for being over 10% it was smooth and (too) easy to drink
  • Dark Truth Stout – good chocolate-y flavors with a little bit, but not too much, roasty-ness

This post is already forever long and I haven’t even talked about Capital Beer Fest yet so I’m going to just do that mostly in pictures, although I only took a few. It was a great event! It felt a bit too crowded at first but after a few tastings I was great!

The line into the facility was HUGE! (This continued to curve around and go on for twice as long as you can see.)


So were the crowds inside.


The lovely ladies who went with me: Jess, Melissa, and Bonnie.


I liked something at Six Rivers Brewery because I took a picture of it.


And at Old Hangtown Brew Works.


Knee Deep & Track 7 did a Belgium IPA collaboration that was really good!


Goose Island! Good beers, very generous pours, and fun tap handles!


I liked something at Western Pacific Brewing & Dining, too!


Already I’m looking forward to next year’s Beer Week but for this upcoming week, I don’t think I’ll be drinking too much!

6 Responses to “Capital Beer Fest & Sacramento Beer Week”

  1. Jess March 3, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    I had a great time! I will try to figure something out in this neck of the woods and you will have to come. Why no mention of your amazing beer cake?

    • mmckenzie06 March 3, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

      Fairfax Brew Fest sounds like it would be a lot of fun! I’ll post the whole beer cake recipe in a day or two!


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