SN&R picks its favorite events for 2016 Sacramento Beer Week
As the saying goes: all things in moderation, including moderation. This week, it’s high time to move beyond our steady appreciation of one of civilization’s oldest alcoholic beverages (bless you, whoever decided it seemed legit to drink some old, fizzy barley water back in the day) and devote a whole week of celebration to the bounty of good local brew. Enter Sacramento Beer Week, which is unmercifully 11 days rather than a week (bless you, committee that planned this and forgot how long a week was).
This year’s lineup places a strong emphasis on much-deserving local purveyors as well as craft-beer experts from the best breweries all over the country. Do right by our swilling ancestors and local craftspeople alike, but don’t forget to hydrate and get around responsibly: No one likes a hophead that can’t hang.
Sacramento Brewers' Showcase
Is farm-to-liver a thing yet? The Sacramento Area Brewer’s Guild hosts over 30 local breweries to kick off beer week by showcasing beers specially made for the celebration. Thursday, February 25; 6 p.m., 1600 Exposition Boulevard, $40, http://sacbeerweek.com.
Long Live the Kings & Beer Week
Raise a toast to the Kings as they play one of their very last games at Sleep Train with a pregame Beer Week party, put on by Track 7 Brewing Co. and Beers in Sac. The first 20 people to purchase tickets to the game using the code “Beers In Sac” will have the chance to high-five the players as they take the court against the L.A. Clippers. Friday, February 26; 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., 3747 West Pacific Avenue; game tickets start at $30, shuttle to the game is $5 and includes beer, www.beersinsac.com/long-live-the-kings-beer-week.
BBQ, Brews and Beats
Oak Park Brewing Co. celebrates the release of its Vanilla Cream Stout with a low-key, neighborhood-party vibe, featuring meats on the grill, live music and brews. It’s pretty much summer, right? Saturday, February 27, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., 3514 Broadway, www.opbrewco.com.
Sacramento Beer Train
Sip on brews from 21st Amendment Brewery, Lost Coast Brewery and Mendocino Brewing Co. as you ride the rails through Delta scenery, accompanied by Blue a Fuse with the live tunes. Tickets include eight tastings plus a souvenir glass; VIP tickets come with lunch and an additional two tastings. Dogs are also welcome for an additional $10. Saturday, February 27, and March 6, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., 400 North Harbor Boulevard, $25-$65, www.sierradinnertrain.com/experiences/beer-train.
Cirque de Beer 2016
It’s a fact that barbecue is enhanced by beer and vice versa; throw in some burlesque, acro yoga, games, live painting and other antics, and this Dad’s Kitchen-hosted circus may very well be the one you want to run away with. Saturday, February 27, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., 2114 P Street, $45, http://ilovedadskitchen.com.
Ninkasi's Garden: A Toga Party
Oregon-based Ninkasi Brewing—named after the Sumerian goddess of beer—joins forces with Blackbird Kitchen for a night of good ol’ fashioned hedonism. Artists Sunya Whitelight and Shaun Burner will be curating the three-level party, plus there will dancing, live music and bites from chef Carina Lampkin. Saturday, February 27; 7 p.m., 1015 Ninth Street, $25-$40, www.blackbird-kitchen.com.
Sac Beer Week 5K
Detox before you retox by sweating it out in a 5K with your fellow local brew nuts. The run starts at New Helvetia Brewing Co. and will end with beer at the finish line, obviously. Sunday, February 28; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., 1730 Broadway, $35 pre-registration, $40 walk-up registration, http://newhelvetiabrew.com.
Track 7 IPA, Specialty IPA and Anything Goes Invitational + Competition
The best thing about going to an event aimed at IPA lovers is that you can talk about hops as much as you’d like without running the risk of annoying everyone around you. Twenty-five breweries are bringing their most prized IPAs for an unlimited sampling event, with food from the Pizza Co. and Chando’s Tacos. Sunday, February 28; noon to 4 p.m., 826 Professor Lane, Suite 100, $50, http://track7brewing.com.
Dad’s Kitchen Beer School with Ninkasi and New Glory
Science disguised as beer drinking? It’s like the opposite of that bachelor’s degree that cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Brewing experts from Ninkasi Brewing Co. in Eugene, Ore. and Sacto’s own New Glory Craft Brewery expound upon the principles of beer making while you taste and eat snacks. Sunday, February 28; 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., 8928 Sunset Avenue in Fair Oaks, $35-$45, http://ilovedadskitchen.com.
Beer & Bites: Bike Dog Brewing Co.
Pizza and beer will be besties forever, to be sure, but the ways to mix and match beer varieties and foods from all different cultures make for endless options for the perfect pairing. Chef Dionisio Esperas and beer expert Tyson Herzog demo crab cakes, Thai drunken noodles, pork chops, chicken mole and chocolate mousse along with their ideal companion brew. Monday, February 29, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., 1914 Alhambra Boulevard, $45-$55, www.sacfoodcoop.com.
Placer County Bounty
An excellent reason to get your butt off the grid this week: Breweries in Placer County have been getting busy for a while now. Come check out the latest offerings and chat with brewers from Boneshaker Community Brewery/Black Vinyl Ale Project, Loomis Basin, Auburn Alehouse, Knee Deep, Goat House and more. Thursday, March 3, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., 2168 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 104, in Rocklin, www.boneshakerpub.com.
Capitol Beer Fest
The biggest event of beer week returns for its sixth year with over 125 breweries slinging more than 300 craft beers. Food will be available from Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen, Slightly Skewed, North Border Taco, Bacon Mania, Dogtown and more, and tunes will be provided by Daze on the Green. Sunday, March 6, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., 300 Capitol Mall, $15-$65, www.capitolbeerfest.com.