Get Your Kink On Sacramento!

Coming down from last weekend’s “Folsom Street Fair?” Tonight and tomorrow night are two opportunities to to keep the Kink going, at the Gender Health Center’s 3rd annual Gender Bender Ball With the popularity of the last two Balls the event has expanded into two nights. Tonight: New this year is an added event, “Player’s Night: A Flapper & Dapper Soiree,” which will be a formal 1920s themed dinner including beer by Hoppy Brewing, a program produced by Spoken Word Artist/Poet Jovi Radtke, a silent art action featuring art by local artists , a live auction, and a museum full of classic cars! Go to the Gender Bender Ball website to check out the numerous artists featured in the auction along with nearly two dozen nation and local sponsors. (I wonder what jetBlue Airways donated?) The big event Saturday night: “Gender Bender Ball – The Main Stage is the Sideshow” described as “Fun annual dance-party, carnival sideshow theme,” this year Gender Bender Ball adds a 1920’s twist for fun! While costumes are not required by any means and you can come just to check out the creativity. But really! I hear that there isn’t really any Kink in Sacramento all the time, that you have to go to San Francisco for anything Kink related. (see Folsom Street Fair above.) Here is an incredible opportunity to […]

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Rated R Let’s Drink to Rocky Horror!

Councilmember Steve Cohn may have surprised some with his announcement yesterday in SacPress of his next  Screen on the Green event.  As his disclaimer states: "The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a comedic cult classic with heavy sexual innuendo. It has a MPAA rating of R because the movie contains adult language, brief nudity, and mild violence. The movie is based upon complex adult themes of sexuality and personal freedoms/lifestyles." Screen On The Green working with Movies On A Big Screen have put together a whole program starting about 9 Saturday night leading up to an unprecedented midnight showing of the cult classic in an outdoor Sacramento venue.  And all of this is free.  Free! Naturally, even if the show is free there will be other ways to spend money.  One is with a great company that is benefiting a wonderful organization.  The great folks from Hoppy Brewing Company down on Folsom Blvd. will have a beer garden with the proceeds benefiting the Gender Health Center. The Gender Health Center describes itself as  "a non-profit organization meeting the counseling needs of the WHOLE community in Sacramento and the surrounding areas by making our services accessible to the most underserved communities, including the LGBTQQI community and focusing on the "T" or transgender." Saturday night head to the wrong side of the tracks (Sutter Landing Park) for […]

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Sacramento Zoo’s 10th annual King of Feasts

If you’re a fan of Hula-Hoops and a variety of local food, wine and beer, then the Sacramento Zoo’s 10th annual King of Feasts Wine and Food Luau – which will be held Saturday at the zoo – is for you. “The luau is held all over the zoo,” Tonja Swank, public relations coordinator for the Sacramento Zoo, said of the 21-and-over event. “We line the different restaurants, wineries and breweries along different areas of the zoo. Some will be lined along Big Cat Row where the hyenas, snow leopard and where the larger cats are.” Participating restaurants include local favorites such as Zocalo, Taylor’s Kitchen, Kru and Chops Steakhouse. Swank said attendees can expect to find sample-serving sizes of food since the luau is a tasting event. John Ruffaine, co-owner of Giovanni’s Old World Pizzeria, said this is the fourth year his restaurant has participated in King of Feasts. He said his business will be providing three pizza options. Their meat-lover’s option is the Don Giovanni, a pizza topped with homemade Italian sausage and red roasted pepper. Their vegetarian option will be pesto pizza, topped with fresh tomatoes and pine nuts. They will also be serving a traditional cheese pizza. He added that all their pizzas will be topped with extra virgin olive oil. “We always have a lot left over, and we give […]

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Brewfest 2011: A very hoppy night at Raley Field

Raley Field transformed into a beer connoisseur’s paradise Friday night at the fifth annual Raley Field Brewfest. Breweries from around the region partnered with the Northern California Brewers’ Guild to introduce their summer seasonals and rekindle the love for their year-round fan favorites. “I was pleased with both old favorites and new options. It was a great time,” said Sacramento resident Heather Deas. For $30 in advance and $35 at the door, beer enthusiasts were handed a mini-pint glass upon entry and given ten tickets good for one 5 oz. tasting. For $50, “VIP” guests were allowed to enter an hour early and given eight additional tasting tickets. For those left wanting more, additional tickets could be purchased. “We’re excited that we [had] so many breweries participating,” said Raley Field Communications Manager Rebecca Brutlag. “We [had] over 40 this year, last year was over 30.” Each brewery or restaurant, spread out along the concourse, gave ticket holders two options (and a very tough decision to make) on which brew or cider they wanted to sample. Live music by bands 50 Stories and Private Criminals, along with the Sacramento skyline backdrop, was just the icing on the cake to a pretty much perfect evening in Sacramento. As the night wore on, attendees’ smiles grew steadily larger along with their enthusiasm for the festival. “I was already […]

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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 […]

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Beer, music and a good cause

Thousands converged on Discovery Park Saturday afternoon for the 16th annual California Brewers Festival to taste the ales, lagers, porters and craft brews from over 60 brewers. The festival was organized by Sacramento’s Rotary Club of Point West to benefit the Assistance League of Sacramento. All festival proceeds will be donated to the league’s Operation School Bell — a program providing underprivileged youth with adequate clothing for school. Velvet Tongue and Utz! and the Shuttlecocks provided live music as festival-goers sampled beer with 4-ounce glasses and sought refuge in the shade from the summer sun. The participating brewers were mostly local, though there were some from as far as Vermont, Maine and Hawaii. There were foreign brews being poured by their domestic importers as well. Brew It Up! owner Mike Costello has been bringing his brews to the festival for the past 13 years. He was there with his staff pouring their new honey porter. He said the porter appeals to drinkers who prefer a rich and smooth taste, as well as those who seek the unique dimensions of a microbrew. "It spent about six months in the (whiskey) barrel, so it picks up on some of the aroma and the flavor nodes of the whiskey, the barrel and the honey that we’re using," he said. Costello was excited about attendees’ reactions to the porter […]

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Brewers festival this Saturday at Discovery Park

Brewers from Maine, Vermont, Ireland and, of course, California will fill Discovery Park Saturday for the 16th annual California Brewers Festival. Around 60 brewpub, distributors and home brewers will be pouring ales, lagers and craft beers for what festival organizers anticipate will be more than 3,000 attendees. Although the festival attracts brewers from across the nation and overseas, the Sacramento region is heavily represented. Rubicon Brewing Company, Hoppy Brewing Company and Brew It Up! are a few locals participating. You can view the full list of brewers here. The festival is organized by Sacramento’s Rotary Club of Point West to benefit the Assistance League of Sacramento. All festival proceeds will be donated to the league’s Operation School Bell — a program providing underprivileged youth with adequate clothing for school. "It’s a good cause," Rotary Club board member Toney Sebra said. "We put in a lot of time and hard work, but we always have a lot of fun doing it." Club member Don Levin has been working with the festival’s brewers since 2002. He said in the recent past the club and the brewers have seen themselves as partners for a good cause. "For a number of years it was always a challenge for us to get the brewers," Levin said. "They’ve gone from ‘Do we want to do this?’ to ‘What time and when?’" […]

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Big Brothers Big Sisters raising awareness at Great Chefs 2010

Hundreds of people converged in the Holiday Inn’s convention center at 300 J St. Saturday night for Great Chefs 2010. Restaurants, wineries and breweries came together with area residents to eat, drink and donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Sacramento Area. BBBS is a non-profit organization dedicated to matching adults — “Bigs” — with young people — “Littles” — ages six to 18 to build lasting relationships and help youth achieve their personal and professional goals. They have chapters in communities all over the country. There was a silent auction where attendees bid on a two-night stay at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento with $50 to Bandera Restaurant and $100 to Yellow Cab, an hors d’oeuvres party for 10 at Enotria Restaurant and many other prizes. There were $20 balloons people could purchase, which included a prize inside of at least a $25 value. One woman popped her balloon and found a voucher for a one-hour massage — a $60 value. Rhonda Staley-Brooks, CEO of BBBS in this region, was pleased with the event. Raising awareness was a chief objective for the night, and she said that her organization is in need of more males to volunteer as a Big Brother. They have 75 young males who need volunteers, and a part of the event was to spread awareness of that need. "Attendance […]

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Be Hoppy

Learning How to be Hoppy by Amber K. Stott   Who knew? Beer is educational! As part of Sacramento Beer Week, Hoppy Brewing Company held hourly brew tours Thursday. In 40 minutes, brewing operations manager Ed Kopta imparted the wisdom of the beer gods to interested listeners.   If you’ve never been on a brew tour, you might expect a quick howdy-do peek at machinery followed by gallons of libations. On the contrary, Hoppy’s tour focused solely on the learning. If you’ve ever appreciated the fine complexities of a microbrew, then you won’t be surprised that the brewing process is also multifaceted.   First, Kopta provided hands-on insight into the world of beer grains. From tiny cups, visitors sniffed—and even tasted—roasted and toasted hops, malts, and wheat. Some grains burst with coffee aroma not unlike your morning cup of Joe, while others danced with caramel. Combining various grains will later lend to the taste of that frothy glass of beer poured by their bartenders.   But before any keg is tapped, the grains endure a lengthy chemistry-like process. According to Kopta, these grains are milled on sight. Then they are sent into a “mash tun” (aka: a giant metal tub) with hot water, activating enzymes that will lead to varying levels of sugar for fermentation. These affect the mouth feel and body of your beer. […]

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