Do you really need to know why we end up in Sacramento a couple times a year?
No, you don’t.
Just know that in the summer Sacramento is a very cool place to play golf, drink craft beers, check out local wineries and to generally chill out. Since I click all of those boxes with enthusiasm it’s pretty easy to see why I like Sacramento.
But wait, this trip found us making a quick stop in Bakersfield. How can you say bad things about a place that has streets named after Merle Haggard and Buck Owens?
The answer is, you can’t.
Turns out that Bakersfield is home to a bunch of good craft brewers. We tried to stop by Temblor (second worst name in town) but the place was swamped on a Sunday night. Impressive, but not in a hey, I really want to elbow my way through the teeming, unwashed masses of Bakersfield for a pint of suds kind of way.
So, we rolled over to Ming Avenue to check out the Marketplace location of Lengthwise (winner of worst name in town). The place is hidden at the back of a pretty nondescript mall. The vibe inside and out was very cool. Plenty of the local gentry were there watching the World Cup. First up was their Red Ale which was excellent if a tad bit more hoppy than I think it needs to be. The color is a deep, rich red with just a touch of amber.
Next up was their Razzberry Wheat. I was looking for something approximating my brother’s amazing Watermelon Berliner Weisse. The Razz was close but had a touch too much berry flavor.
Upon making this comment out loud the guy at the end of the bar said, “I was gonna warn you about the Razz; the Strawberry Wheat is much better.”
This friendly and full-bearded fellow was wearing a hat and shirt from Bike Dog Brewery in West Sacramento. I told him we’d be in town the next day and would be sure to check it out. Sadly, the WestSac brewery was closed Monday-Wednesday so we had to go to their Broadway Taproom which was fine and dandy but lacked the slight industrial grit that I feel adds the last little bit of flavor to a good beer, plus it was freezing inside.
Being on a red ale kick I tried their Klunker Red Ale which was nice on a warm evening at 5.5% ABV. It was less hoppy than the red ale at Lengthwise and a touch closer to the ideal red I’m always searching for.
My rating for Lengthwise and Bike Dog and the beers I tried is: