Visa for your vice

Illustration by Mark Stivers

Brewery passport: Last year, beer enthusiast Aaron O’Callaghan met with the Sacramento Area Brewer’s Guild to map 61 breweries in the area. Liking the map’s looks, O’Callaghan raised $8,632 on a Kickstarter page for his so-called Sacramento Beer Frontier. The project sells a passport ($12), which participants get stamped for rewards as they sample regional taprooms.

“The overall goal is to talk about the Sacramento region as an actual beer destination,” he said. “That adds to the long-term viability of the industry in this town.”

After four stops, passport collectors get a key chain. After 16, they score a pint glass. And if they hit all 61, O’Callaghan will make them a personalized map detailing their travels. Beyond bolstering the nascent scene, O’Callaghan wants people to drop their blue-lit screens and mingle.

At the moment, passports can be purchased at Taylor’s Market (2900 Freeport Boulevard), but soon they’ll be available online ( While rolling out the project at Fountainhead Brewing Co. (4621 24th Street) on January 12, a solid turnout pleasantly surprised O’Callaghan. He liked the implications for Sacramento.

“If taprooms are doing well, they can experiment and improve and become that much better, but it’s contingent upon this becoming a destination. It may never be a Portland or a San Diego,” he said, then paused and surveyed the room. “But why can’t it be?”

Comfy food: At Tahoe Park’s Bacon & Butter (5913 Broadway), pastry chef Nena Rasul has an enviable gig. Her commute takes two minutes. She’s buds with executive chef Billy Zoellin, and he lets her make whatever she wants.

“I love comfy food,” she said.

Recently, the Mulvaney’s alumna made a churro, laced with cloves and vanilla, and bent it into a doughnut ($3). Her other whimsical, limited-edition doughnuts include the croissant-based Cronut and a biscuit-dough variation, the delightfully named bonut, available in maple, Oreo or chocolate.

Her experiments, all made from scratch, occasionally find a spot on the full-time menu, like her cinnaroll ($4), crispy sugar biscuits ($4)—made by sweetening up leftover biscuit dough—or her bacon chocolate-chip cookies ($2).

She makes new cookies on a weekly basis. Upcoming flavors include: carrot cake, golden raisin oatmeal and M&Ms with Reese’s peanut butter. As for this week’s pastry …

“I’m in the mood for a Danish,” she said.