buffalo craft lager

New Helvetia Brewing in Land Park is a Hit

Beer.300x255After a Saturday of hard work selling real estate in our fair city of Sacramento, this Land Park resident and her husband elected to trot on over to the new Land Park beer joint on Broadway and 18th Street, New Helvetia Brewing Co. It’s a craft beer spot, been open for a couple of months, and it even had a BBQ food truck parked on the side of 18th street, encouraging customers to bring in food. It was packed when we first arrived with kids participating in a Geography Bee, so we had dinner at Queen Shebas instead. You can never enjoy too much Ethiopian food.

With all sorts of wats jostling about in our stomachs and jokes about what happens when you drink beer on top of injera, we waddled back to New Helvetia. What do we do? we asked the bartender. I pour; you drink, he says. Sounded like a plan. We chose the sampler of 32 ounces for $12 to share.

New Helvetia Beer-samplesCraft beers have different alcohol contents. Who knew? OK, having been raised in Minneapolis, I am familiar with the 3.2 beer that was sold on Sundays at 7-11s, and there were entire 3.2 joints that served nothing else but 3.2 content beer. You can still pass out from 3.2 beer, ask any teenager. But the average alcohol content of beer is about 6%.

We started with a lager, clean, fresh and 4.5% alcohol, called a Buffalo Craft Lager. I liked it. Two thumbs up. Moved on to a Saison Salon. Lemony and creamy. Another 2 thumbs up. The Red Wheat was delicious as well. Maybe they should serve caviar on crackers in between samples or cheese curds, I dunno, but by the time we got to the two India pale ales, well, they tasted like grapefruit. Which is OK if you’re going for citrusy.

New Helvetia InteriorBut see, this is why it’s a sampler. You don’t have to like every beer you drink. Then, we came to the Homeland Stout. My husband recalled a scene in Parks and Recreation, in which the droll character Ron Swanson went to a Scotch Whiskey distillery in Scotland, where they made his favorite smokey Scotch, Lagavulin, and how we had discussed after the show what a smokey flavor would do to an adult beverage. Now was our chance to find out what it was like in a beer.

Two words: A-1 Sauce.

We didn’t finish that beer. Takes a special taste palate, I presume. Would go well with a steak, though.

However, the best was saved for last. I believe the alcohol content is 9.5%. Less than wine but a lot more than your average Joe beer. It was spectacular. Stupendous. Complex. If I drank a few more glasses of it, I’d be crawling under the table to go to sleep. And when I woke up, I’d want another glass. It was that good. It’s called Indomitable City Double IPA, and it looks like prune juice but believe me, it’s out of this world.

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