Always eager to support our local government when we saw The California Craft Beer Summit and Beer Festival was open on the Capitol Mall in Sacramento Saturday from 1-4PM, we decided we should go as a show of solidarity with Gov. Jerry Brown. By the time we actually decided to go, the online ticket sales were over. Luckily, I know someone (Daniel) who knows someone (named Mike R.) who had some extra tickets. That isn’t totally accurate. Mike actually went out of his way to procure 3 VIP tickets for the event and we were, and are, very grateful.
The Beer Festival showcased over 160 vendors, each pouring 2-4 different brews in three or four ounce samples included in the price of the tickets, should you have paid for them. (Did I say thank you Mike?) The Expo Hall was organized around the 4 main ingredients of beer. I am going to editorialize here: there are only, or should only be 4 ingredients in beer. If you want flavors you cannot obtain by adjusting the yeast, grains or hops, make something else, not beer. There is no place for grapefruit or apricots in beer. Sorry. Fran will likely confirm that I am flexible and eager to try new things, but somethings are sacrosanct and beer ingredients is one of them. Luckily the Expo Hall wasn’t open on Saturday so I didn’t make a scene.
Anyway, Neil and I couldn’t sample all the approximate 600 individual beers, no matter how hard we tried. I did manage a dozen or so, but asked the vendor to limit my tasting glass to only an ounce or so. If they poured more, I dumped the extra. I didn’t watch Neil closely, but he wasn’t driving anyway. Also, it was hot. Very hot. I like darker beers but lighter ones are more appropriate on a day like today. In all honesty, I tried 2 or 3 light colored beers, but mostly stayed with my stouts, porters and ambers. Yumm!
As luck would have it the first tasting I did was my favorite of the day, a Marshmallow Chocolate Milk Stout from Garage Brewing. Now you may say, “Dave. You said there should only be 4 ingredients in beer, hops, grains, yeast and water. What gives with Marshmallow Chocolate Milk Stout?” I would respond, “Shut up and mind you own business.” It was good. There were many other very tasty selections as well.
We saw a map of 62 breweries in the Sacramento area. Wow.
We went for lunch at Coconuts Fish Cafe to review the event with Daniel and thank him again for knowing Mike. If you go, try the blackened mani sandwich on a sesame bun. Wow! Actually, try any of their entrees. You will NOT be disappointed.