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Best Craft Beer Spots

By Juliet Farmer

As craft beers grow in popularity, so too do the number of places you can find one (or two or three). There are plenty of local breweries in the area, but there are also some great cafes and restaurants that serve a wide selection of craft beers, and, if that's not enough for you, there are even a couple of grocery stores with impressive craft beer selections, so you can take them home to try. Here are the picks for best craft beer spots in the Sacramento area.
8/17 Food & Drink - Pangaea
(credit: Carri Stokes)

Hours: Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (closed Sunday)

Pangaea Two Brews Cafe (named for the two brews they serve—beer and coffee) is a craft beer paradise. The relaxed vibe, communal tables, shady patios and beer-loving owner, employees and patrons all make for the perfect family-friendly spot to hanging out and drink craft beer. Taps change frequently and have featured the likes of Thornbridge Raven Black IPA, Sutter Buttes Belgian Golden Ale, Ommegang Belgian Pale Ale, Pliny the Elder, Chimay, Houblon Chouffe Belgian IPA, Duchesse De Bourgogne (Flanders Red Ale), and Allagash Victor Belgian Strong Pale Ale. An equally impressive list of bottles might make for a difficult drinking decision. If you're hard-pressed to choose, ask for a recommendation from one of the staff, or try a beer flight, where you can choose four 4-ounce pours for $9. If you fall in love with a particular bottle of beer, you can even buy one to take home.

8/17 Food & Drink - Morgan's Bar & Grill
(credit: Juliet Farmer)

Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Directory listing

Morgan's Bar & Grill, located in East Sacramento, offers a rotating selection of craft beers on tap. Any given day/night, you might find Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Sumpin', Affligem Blonde (a Belgian Strong Pale Ale), Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat, ESB (Extra Strong Bitter), and Sierra Nevada's Torpdeo Extra IPA on tap. Bottle options include Hitachino Nest Extra High XH (a Belgian Strong Dark Ale), Duchesse de Bourgogne (a Flanders red ale), Lagunitas IPA, Racer 5, Chimay, and Deschutes Brewery's Obsidian Stout (American Stout).

8/17 Food & Drink - Whole Foods
(credit: Juliet Farmer)

Hours: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily
Directory listing

If you're looking for a wide selection of craft beer, look no further than Whole Foods, where a bevy of 22-ounce bottles line the shelf, along with a multitude of six-packs. Want to get a little Hop Stoopid? They have it. Looking for a Chimay? They have that, too. From Belgians and pilsners to porters and stouts, and from ambers and hefeweizens to IPAs, check out their craft beer selection when you're looking to try something new, need to impress a beer snob, or just want a really good brew in your fridge.

8/17 Food & Drink - Burgers & Brew
(credit: Burgers & Brew)

Hours: Monday – Wednesday 11 a.m. – 12 a.m., Thursday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 3 a.m., Sunday
11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Directory listing

With 12 tap handles, Burgers & Brew is always pouring a bevy of craft beers, including Anchor Steam, Arrogant Bastard, Chimay, Sierra Nevada, Boont Amber, and Racer 5 IPA. They also reserve two "wild card" taps, where they regularly rotate Pliny the Elder, Dogfish Head 90-minute IPA, and more (warning: these wild card craft beers go fast!). Burgers & Brew also has several craft beers in 330 ml bottles, including Snake Dog IPA, Brother Thelonious Belgian Ale, Green Flash Hop Head Red, and even more types in 750 ml bottles. Oh, and the burgers are good, too!

8/17 Food & Drink - Yard House
(credit: Yard House)

Hours: Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 12 a.m., Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.

Yard House in Roseville features 140 (that's right—140!) taps serving up craft beers from A to (almost) Z, including Alaskan Amber, Anderson Valley Hop Ottin, Big Sky Moose Drool, Deschutes Black Butte Porter, Firestone Union Jack, Grand Teton Bitch Creek, Green Flash West Coast IPA, Humbolt Hemp, Kona Longboard Lager, Left Coast Voo Doo American Stout, Lost Coast Great White, Maredsous 10, Marin Mt. Tam Pale Ale, Moylan's Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale, New Belgium Fat Tire, Pyramid Hefeweizen, Rogue Dead Guy, Speakeasy White Lightning, Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale, Trumer Pils, and Widmer Nelson Imperial. Can't decide? Get a six-pack sampler for $8.95, and try six 5-ounce pours of beer (chosen by the bar manager, changes weekly), or the Belgian six-pack, priced at $10.25 and featuring six 3-ounce pours of Belgian beers, including Ommegang Hennepin, Goose Island Matilda, Chimay Triple, House Belgian Amber Tripel, Gulden Draak, and North Coast Brother Thelonious (this six-pack is preselected and changes twice yearly).

The Best of the Rest: Sacramento's Nugget Market and Taylor's Market both sell a variety of craft beers.

Juliet Farmer was born and raised in Sacramento, where she resides with her husband, two cats, and rescued greyhound. She is a freelance writer who regularly writes about food, pets, health and wellness, entertainment, and more.
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