Sacramento Capital Beer Festival
The line into the Sacramento Capital Beer Festival this year was at least a half-mile long at the 2 PM opening. We walked around a full big city block, for 50 minutes to get in. I was too whiney, because it was worth the wait (though next year I may shell out for early entry VIP tickets).
The beer selection this year was great. It seems like the American IPA, while still very popular, didn’t overshadow other beer types. There were saisons, barleywines, ciders, honey ales, pilsners, black lagers, porters, and other types.
I’m not sure if it’s just out of season, but I was disappointed there weren’t more brown beers. The one I had wasn’t very northern, which is my style.
High Sierra Brewing Company’s Buzzed Bee was a most interesting beer, because I recently started homebrewing, making both mead and beer. Buzzed Bee was the best of both worlds, as a gently dry and mildly hopped beer, with lovely floral overtones. Quite refreshing and ready for a hot day.
Also refreshing was Crabbies Ginger Beer. Sweet ginger flavors with only a slightly peppery flavor, I thought Crabbies worked it perfectly. I’ve seen this drink mixed with rum, for the pirate types, and plan on mixing it with Sailor Jerry’s, or some Kraken.
Track 7, a great place to take your growler to, served me a fantastic barleywine, Friendly Fire. This was a well balanced beer, with plenty of hops to match the sweet malty flavor. I like beers of this type that finish cleanly, and Friendly Fire did not disappoint.
Anderson Valley is one of the booths I ran to, hoping they would have either of their solstice beers. The Winter Solstice was on tap, and it was as great as I remembered from my first taste years and years ago. I adore the graham cracker and mild ginger tastes this beer has. It makes me yearn for a fireplace and a good book.
Sudwerks is a booth I’ve skipped over in the past. I thought they held to a tradition of their own beer styles that I found to be fine, but they weren’t as pushy as I like. We’ll, toss out that old thought, because Sudwerks is under new employee ownership, and it’s obvious they mean to take our taste buds on a finely calculated adventure.
I believe they’ll bring back the American lager from the skunky weak grave that the corporate American beer companies buried beer in. Thank the beer gods, because someone should rectify this most dire situation.
My favorite of the week was Sudwerk’s cask conditioned Dunkel. This was a malty wonder with perfectly balanced hops and a lovely floral nose. I’d guess they used Munich malts and Noble hops, as this beer had an ancient time-tested flavor.
The Capital Brew Festival was great fun, I advise it for any beer lover. Special thanks to Rachelle, for being my DD and note taking beer assistant. I could not have done it with out her.