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The layman’s guide to Sacramento Beer Week: Weekend events

There are many kinds of beer drinkers in this world, and Sacramento Beer Week caters to each and every one of them. Starting Friday, restaurants, bars, cafes and brewpubs all around Sacramento will be stocked with great beers for great prices.

Beer Week will continue through Sunday, March 6. Until then, the citizens of Sacramento and the surrounding areas will be able to satisfy their liquid palate with regional and local brews, world brews and even a few rare and vintage brews.

While their website is a wonderful place to browse for the perfect SBW event, it can be difficult to orient yourself among the 300 or more events. In hopes of eliminating any stress the plethora of drinking events may cause you, the following is an attempt to sort things out in a simple way. Pick your personality or preferred beer genre and discover the possibilities.

For those who only hope for an ice-cold beer after work for a good price, Sacramento Beer Week excels. The $1 beer Old School Happy Hours at Monkey Bar and R15 are a good start.  Hoppy Brewing Company will be hosting event after event with rock-bottom prices, including $1.75 pints and $2 appetizers. Bisla’s Sports Bar focuses on affordable grub and featured taps with $1 sliders and half-price wings. Lastly, Mary’s Pizza Shack of Roseville will be serving pizza and a pint for just $5 all week long.

As far as style goes, if you don’t care what hops or jumps and you would rather the malt stay in the malt shop, there are plenty of events that fit your beer style. Check out Sam Adams day at Swabbies for pints, fish tacos and live music. Plus, don’t forget those $1 beers at the Old School Happy Hours. For tastings of all sorts, stop by your local BevMo! or Nugget Market for almost-daily events.

If you are inclined to the finer styles, pick your brewery, your brewer, your style or even your vintage. This is the area in which Sacramento Beer Week really shines. SBW is the perfect chance to hobnob with other beer aficionados and perhaps even the brewers themselves.

If you drink great beer every weekend but are looking for something special, check into the various new and vintage beer release parties. The vintages start on Friday, when Alley Katz and Rogue Brewing will be serving up a rare whiskey barrel-aged keg of John John Dead Guy Ale. Throughout SBW, Alley Katz will have a vintage barley wine available as well. Pangaea Two Brews Cafe will have its own exotic pairings on Sunday, including what is said to be an “international surprise.” Samuel Horne’s of Folsom will have an untouchable event of their own, pouring bottles of numerous Firestone Walker anniversary blends. Stay tuned for other rare and vintage beers at Bonn Lair, Streets of London and Rubicon early next week.

If your dreams at night aren’t happy, but hoppy, and you are still nursing a broken heart from the end of the Pliny the Younger release, your hoppy hour calendar should be plastered with events. On Friday, local brewer Peter Hoey will release his double IPA at Pangaea. Also, on Friday, don’t miss a chance to camp out at The Shack, complete with Sierra Nevada Torpedo on tap. Other highlighted hoppy spots include the numerous daily events at Hoppy Brewing, a day of Stone Brewing Co. at Rubicon on Saturday, and Hop-Fest in Davis at The Grad on Sunday. If you are interested in chatting with a brewer or two, the brewmasters from Ale Industries and the newly established Oakland Brewing Company will be at Dad’s Kitchen on Saturday for some celebration and discussion on their own fresh brewing experiences.

There are beer consumers who cannot help but think, the darker, the better. If you found the previous joke about malt personally offensive, look no further than the events held at The Grad or at Pangaea, where you can always find a rich, Belgian beer. Most fortunately, the best is yet to come for lovers of the thick and rich. Next week, Cigars & Brew will have a string of great beers, featuring Lost Coast Brewery and North Coast and Anderson Valley Brewing Companies. Also on the sweeter side, Bonn Lair will host Cider Night on Saturday evening, coupled by the Cellar Wine Bar serving up chocolate and rich Mendocino Stout at several locations.

On a nightly basis, Sacramento Beer Week offers dinners for those who appreciate a good beer but believe that, like a good wine, food can only improve the experience. Enlighten yourselves at the nightly beer dinner hosted by The Grange. Saison salad and an Old Rasputin ice cream float are just the outer edges of this meal.

If you are less into happy hour and more into weekend relaxation, Saturday and Sunday are packed with events of all sorts. For the more adventurous beer enthusiasts, the Hash House Harriers and HopHeads of Sacramento will be hosting an all-day event on Saturday. The Hash O’Goodness event includes a special 10 a.m. stop at Rubicon Brewing Company.

Still off the wall but not quite so active is the Sunday Ping Pong Tourney at Nolan’s Hilltop Tavern. For those oriented toward the bizarre, on Saturday, Spin Burger will provide visitors the opportunity to try a beer brewed with 45 million-year-old yeast. Fossil Fuels Brewing truly is one of a kind.

On Sunday, the brunches speak for themselves. Visit the Sacramento Beer Week website to view the possibilities and decide what sounds best to you. Whether it is a Hoppy Beer & Bloody Mary Brunch, A Cheese Fondue Happy Hour at The Melting Pot, A Trappist Brunch at The Shack or a Stout Breakfast at Dad’s Kitchen, Sunday morning will be worth setting the alarm clock.

So much to do and so little time: That will be the motto for this year’s Beer Week. Food, live music, homebrewing discussion, and even bicycle tune-ups and tours — the list of events happening in the next week are endless. For women into beer and brewing, don’t think that you have been left out. The Sacto Women’s Brewers’ Association has events planned as well. Pull together a group of friends and head out. Things are brewing that you just don’t want to miss.
 

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