A few hundred aficionados of craft beer, wine, cider, and the medieval-era elixir, mead, descended upon the Old Town Plaza on April 19 for the fourth annual Elk Grove Brewfest.
Sunny, 80-degree weather arrived just in time after the city endured several weeks of rain.
More than 60 breweries, wineries, and cideries set up booths and offered samples to the crowd during the fundraiser party. Proceeds will go to Young Life, a Christian youth organization.
Brews ranged from the simple pale ales and lagers to stiff, whiskey-barrel aged stouts and milkshake-inspired India pale ales.
Four local breweries treated visitors to favorites and experimental brews that night.
Elk Grove’s Flatland Brewing Company waited until 7:40 p.m. to tap a small keg of International House of Pastry, an imperial stout that was brewed raspberries, maple, and vanilla. Flatland’s co-owner Andrew Mohsenzadegan said that beer was inspired by pancake syrup.
“It drinks like a pancake,” he said.
Flatland also tapped a dragonfruit and passionfruit ale called Sour Jessica Parker, and they featured Pink is the New Black, a lager brewed with a blend of hops chosen by female brewers in the Pink Boots Society.
The 3-year-old brewery soon won the “Best in Show” honor at the California State Fair, a year after they opened.
Mohsenzadegan said that his staff wants to increase their beer production by installing a 10-barrel brewing system this year. He said this new system could cut down brewing hours from 14 to six.
Flatland’s neighbors at Tilted Mash Brewing also featured unusual ales, such as a Manhattan cocktail-inspired cherry stout and a potent ale called, Zero to Tuk. Co-owner Derek Prasad said that his brewery plans to release Wookie Sledgehammer, a 2-year-old barleywine aged in Wild Turkey whiskey barrels, this fall.
Cans of Tilted Mash’s brews are now sold in several supermarkets and bottle shops. Prasad said they are now focusing on serving the local community instead of expanding their distribution.
The Waterman Brewing Company, which opened two years ago at Elk Grove’s Dino Drive, is hoping to distribute their beer beyond their taproom.
“We’re trying to get into stores, we got a big system so we get to sell a lot of beer,” co-owner Jeff Stilz said.
He noted that his brewery’s taproom is becoming a popular destination for live music every weekend. Stilz mentioned there’s already high interest for a rib cook-off coming to Waterman on June 15.
“I’m scared, we’re going to have to order extra porta-potties for that one,” he said.