League of extraordinary brews

Glynn Phillips where the beer begins, before heading off to Raley Field next Saturday.

Glynn Phillips where the beer begins, before heading off to Raley Field next Saturday.


Raley Field

400 Ballpark Dr.
West Sacramento, CA 95691

(916) 376-4676

Like most teenagers, Glynn Phillips wasn’t allowed to drink beer when he was 16. So, he did the next logical thing: He made his own.

Those first concoctions were so awful, recalls Phillips, he’s blocked the taste from his memory. Today, though, the Midtown Rubicon Brewing Company owner and president of the Northern California Brewers Guild is creating masterful brews that have become local favorites.

And next Saturday, Rubicon’s famed IPA and a few seasonal brews, along with varieties from 29 other Northern California breweries, will be flowing and foaming at the third annual Raley Field Brewfest.

“When you come to this brewfest, you’re going to see a lot of the smaller breweries that don’t come to brewfests,” Phillips says. A treat for beer lovers, he adds, since smaller breweries simply offer better beer—especially Northern California breweries.

“Californian’s palates are very educated for food and wine and beer and beverage, and so they demand a better quality product,” Phillips explains.

While the proper protocol for tasting wine—the swirl, sniff, sip, swish—is well-known around wine country, Phillips offers essential beer-tasting tips: “You want to take a sip, and if you like it, then take another sip, and if you really like it, then sip again.”

If there’s a certain style you like, try that style at each brewery and see which particular brewery you like best, he suggests.

Tickets include 10 5-ounce tastings. Purchase a VIP pass for $40 and get an additional eight tastings plus a VIP tasting session from noon to 1 p.m.

Tickets for 16-year-olds are forthcoming, pending plans for the eighth annual Raley Field Brewfest. And we suggest not traumatizing your taste buds by making your own beer. Just ask Phillips.