Why we're here...

Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Bike Dog Brewing Company

 Bike Dog Brewing Company is located in West Sacramento across from the port.  Follow them on Facebook or Twitter @BikeDogBeer.

They have their soft opening in early October 2013 and plan a grand opening Saturday, November 2, 2013.  They currently have two beers on tap their IPA and American Wheat. By the grand opening they will be adding a Milk Stout, a Saison, and a Double IPA. The stout may also be on nitro.

It's a "drink in" brewery, the brew kettles and bar are all in one space. These set-ups make you feel more connected to the beer your drinking - and you know its not being contracted out!

There's about a dozen seats at the bar and another dozen or so stools and short tables - they're actually more comfortable and sturdy than they look. There's ample standing room and space for them to add more seating, tables, etc. There's even a bar with several stools that looks into the brewing area.

At the back end of the bar area is a roll up door that opens onto an alley, where food trucks will park.

On top of their walk in fridge and above the front windows are old bikes that add a vintage touch to the decor.

 On my visit I tasted their IPA and American Wheat and a sample of their soon to be released DIPA. The beers are sold in pint and half pints, no flights yet. I prefer tastings in half-pints, I feel that you don't get the best aromas and flavors out of the 2-3 ounce pours.

Overall the beers are well-made with good flavors with Bike Dog twists. Breweries often have fits and starts in terms of beer quality and flavor when they first open. There are some new breweries I've yet to write about, hoping they will improve. Not so with Bike Dog - good craftsmanship and flavor in their first week. I first had their Summer pale ale at the Pangaea anniversary party this summer - it packed a big hop flavor for being a light ale.

The Brews

The American Wheat as the familiar toasted wheat flavor, but Bike Dog adds Citra hops to bring out a surprisingly well balanced citrus and bitter hop flavor. Spot on mouthfeel and body for a wheat. It comes in at 6% ABV.

The IPA is on the lighter side in terms of body and flavor. Not aiming to smack you with hops, the IPA showcases its Cascade and Summit hops well. A sessionable IPA - local alcohol (for an IPA) and not overpowering hops. It comes in at 6.7%.

The Double IPA is also on the lighter side of DIPAs at 8.4%. It's nice to have a DIPA that doesn't fill you up after the first pint. It has a flavorful mix of fruit and citrus with an under current of pleasant bitterness throughout. Simcoe hops are at the heart of the hop flavor.

Double IPA
American Wheat

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