Did you know that before prohibition Sacramento was the top West Coast destination for beer making? And the largest producer of hops in the Americas? These facts had long been forgotten in the region and throughout the country, but that has started to change. Sacramento is once again becoming a brewery destination with over 25 breweries in the region.
If you’re spending time in Northern California and a beer lover, the region has become a spot you can’t miss. Out of the 25 or so breweries in the region, a handful are located right in Central Sacramento. Even if you don’t come to Sacramento specifically for the beer, it is worth wandering over to a few of the taprooms.
While the region might be best known for a hoppy style, most all of these breweries also brew some great options for those of us who enjoy our beer less bitter. Take a look below for some of the best Sacramento Breweries you can find without wandering too far from downtown.
Note: You’ll find affiliate links in this post which allow me to continue to improve Traveling Nine to Fiver. I hope this article is useful for you.
When it comes to the beers this is my favorite spot in the area I’ve explored yet. From their Saison to the Order of the Rabit. They have a variety of tasty brews with both high and low IBUs. On top of that their space includes a nice outdoor patio where you can enjoy tasting a flight or sipping on a glass.
Quickly becoming one of the most popular spots in town it has a good casual feel, not too dressed up, but has a perfect spot that is inside with a wide open wall. In Sacramento, we love to enjoy the outside all years long but in the summer you need the shade. Their Saison and American Wheat are two of my favorites. Plus for those who enjoy their hops this is the perfect spot for you.
Hidden right in the middle of downtown, you actually have to buzz yourself into this taproom. The venue makes you feel as if you’ve walked back in time with the history of Rushtaller and brewing in the Sacramento region. On top of that you can hang out in the “Captain’s Quarters” and play some pool while enjoying their brews. While they focus on hops many of the beers I tried avoided the bitterness that often accompanies it. The Hops Sac was my favorite.
Many of the breweries in the area have open in the last handful of years, but Rubicon has been here since the 80s. They have a strong presence in the region and their Monkey Knife Fight is a classic. Their beers run a little more on the bitter side, but I particularly enjoy their Amber. Their restaurant is also a good spot to grab a bite in the heart of midtown.
South of Broadway
The beers are good, plus it is the best food you can find at any of the nearby breweries. We split a variety of plates, all of which were perfect for finishing up our brewery crawl. Probably my favorite beer names out of the bunch with things like Steampunk Farmhouse Saison and Ropeswing Cream Ale, also my two favorites there. They cover a wide variety of tastes and do it all well.
Down in Curtis Park, and very recently in Natomas, Track 7 is a regional brewery that is quickly gaining prestige. Their Panic IPA is a favorite of many IPA lovers. They have everything from an Amber to a Stout. They pull strongly from Sacramento’s hoppy traditions.
Only Scratching the Surface
These breweries are a perfect way to start exploring the breweries throughout the region, but they are only a sample. Whether you head out towards Loomis or the outskirts of Davis, you will find many more unique breweries, both in environment and beers. I’ll be out there “researching” these spots for you, but if you’re heading out here before the next post Hops to Table has a great Craft Beer Map to get you started.
If you’re visiting Sacramento don’t forget take a look at Traveling Nine to Fiver’s Things to Do List.
For more information about Sacramento check out these great books on Amazon including Fodor’s Northern California, Lonely Planet Northern California, and Lost Restaurants of Sacramento and Their Recipes.