Suds and spirits

Illustration by Mark Stivers

Prohibition no more: Turns out, Twelve Rounds Brewing Co. dreams of whiskey. The brewery plans to become Sacramento’s first distillery.

“There’s a lot of microdistilleries in Washington and Oregon,” said Twelve Rounds owner Dan Murphy. “For some reason, the concept just hasn’t caught on in Sacramento.”

Currently, there’s only one distillery in all of Sacramento County: Gold River Distillery in Rancho Cordova, and it was the county’s first distillery since Prohibition in the 1920s. Gold River launched in 2014.

The brewery-distillery concept isn’t new. In just California, Murphy cited the success of Anchor Brewery & Distillery in San Francisco and Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits in San Diego. Murphy plans to utilize a neighboring building and make all the mash in the East Sacramento brewery.

Murphy is actively looking for a distiller to join Twelve Rounds and estimates launching it in about a year. He plans to start with whiskey then maybe move on to white rum and gin. That’ll all happen before Twelve Rounds’ kitchen, which Murphy said he still plans to complete, but that construction will be challenging.

Noodle movement: Mongolian barbecue is weird. The name alone makes little sense. It’s not Mongolian, it’s Taiwanese. And it’s not barbecue, it’s stir-fry via a giant, circular griddle.

Mongolian barbecue spots were so popular in the ’90s, along with other customizable, all-you-can-eat options. Then, suddenly, they weren’t. Chinese restaurants, like Silver Garden on Madison started adding Mongolian barbecue sections instead.

One local spot managed to last for 35 whopping years: Mongolian Bar-B-Q by Great Wall (1537 Howe Avenue). It lost its lease and closed last week, though its owners intend to reopen somewhere else soon. Keep up on its progress at In the meantime, get your saucy noodle fix at Silver Garden, Golden Bowls Mongolian BBQ or somewhere out in the burbs.

Chef changes: After about a year-and-a-half as executive chef at Kupros Craft House, chef Martin “Marty” Hutton has moved on to food truck life. He’s now at Elk Grove’s Dojo Burger, which specializes in Asian fusion burgers. Prior to Kupros, Hutton worked at Broderick Roadhouse—and he brought a version of banh mi fries with him. He made some big changes at Kupros, altering basically the entire menu and introducing brunch. Former sous chef Caleb Meyer, who previously trained at Le Cordon Bleu, stepped in as executive chef at the start of 2016.