Cream of the crop

Illustration by Mark Stivers

Trophy beer: Auburn’s Moonraker Brewing Co., famous for its hazy, juicy New England IPAs, ranks among the best new breweries nationwide, according to USA Today. As of February 19, it sits in 17th place in a reader poll that lasts until March 13, with the 20 total breweries in the running selected by a panel of beer experts. (Follow along at

“The beer nerds have spoken,” head brewer Zack Frasher said. “I think we have a lot of people who have been starving for this style and wanted something else out of Sacramento besides West Coast IPA.”

RateBeer just named the less-than-a-year-old Moonraker the best new brewery in California, and ninth best in the world. And the business has excelled in styles beyond its domestic import.

At the 2016 Great American Beer Festival, the brewery snagged the silver medal for the Miss Conduct Blonde Ale. And at the renowned Bistro Double IPA Festival on February 11, its clear, West Coast-style triple IPA, Extremis, snagged first prize, dethroning Russian River’s legendary Pliny the Younger in a blind taste test.

Below freezing: The newly opened 8 Degrees Fahrenheit Ice Cream (4400 Freeport Boulevard, Suite 150) makes ice cream to order, literally.

In a two-minute process, the assemblers will drop toppings like brownie, Nutella or graham cracker onto a freezing countertop. Then, they pour on the customer’s choice of cream and chop it all together as it solidifies—a process reminiscent of omelet making that evenly disperses the fixin’s.

After the cream reaches the proper consistency, the mixture gets spread paper-thin, then scraped and rolled into little ice cream scrolls that fit six to a cup ($5.99). At that point, customers choose three toppings like pretzels, whipped cream or two freshly flambeed marshmallows on a stick.

Superior solidarity: On February 16, La Superior, a local supermarket chain, closed its doors to support the “Day Without Immigrants” protest—along with La Victoria Mercado y Carniceria and other local businesses. Nationwide, Latino laborers staged a strike to protest President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall and deportation of undocumented immigrants.

“We are all immigrants, we all come from another country,” Luis Velazquez, manager of the Stockton Boulevard site, told The Sacramento Bee. “When things like this happen, we come together and we value each other.”