With Elk Grove's first brewfest right around the corner, we thought it was a perfect time to pay tribute to Elk Grove Brewery.
1. The Building
It was located in Elk Grove's oldest building built in 1885 located at 9085 Elk Grove Blvd is now home to Lola's Lounge.
2. The Ownership
Elk Grove Brewery opened in 1995, founded by Dave and Kathy Ogden, then sold to Chris and Tammy Correa in 2003. Fun fact: Tammy waitressed under the founding ownership. The brewery closed in 2008.
3. The Brewer
The brewmaster, Bill Wood, won a slew of prestigious awards for his brews. In 1999 the brewery won Small Brewpub of the year.
Check out the complete list of awards. The list is five pages long.
After the brewery closed Bill Wood brewed at Auburn Alehouse and now is brewing at Lodi Beer Company, check out the video below.
"My brewing career started with home brewing in my brothers garage in the late '80s. We brewed many styles of beer, but our favorites were our Alt Bier ("Alt! Who goes there!"), Porter ("Goat Scrotum Porter") and Vienna Lager (it was too good to name). At the time I was working as a field technician for a local Geo-technical Engineering firm (Raney Geo-technical). Having had a great success home brewing and after completely digesting Charlie Papazian's "Joy of Home brewing" (a book I still use today), I realized that brewing professionally was something I really wanted to do. My goal was to attend the Brew Master program through U.C.Davis Extension program. In order to apply I had to fulfill some prerequisites at community college (Sacramento City College). During this time my brother, who was living in Elk Grove, heard that a brewery was going in at the General Store Building. I went in, filled out an application and met Dave and Kathy Ogden, the original owners. Dave was also interested in brewing and hired me as a bartender/ server with the idea that I would help with the brewing as needed. Soon Dave realized that running the restaurant was a big enough job and that I seemed to actually know what I was doing. In the beginning we did not brew that often so I caught hours bartending, serving and cooking. Within a year I was getting most of my hours brewing and had stopped going to school. Working as a brewer was education enough! In the Summer of 1996 we won our first award, a 3rd place for the Big, But Blond at the CA state fair. And the rest , as they say is history!"
-Bill Wood, Brewer
4. The Beers
Digging through the internet archives I found a description of their staples.
Big, But Blond: Big in flavor, but light and blond in color, this is one of our most popular ales. An easy-drinking brew that is clean, crisp, and light. 3.8%Alc./Vol.
Diamondback Wheat: Not to be confused with a Hefe Weizen; our filtered wheat ale is very refreshing and smooth. Brewed with 60% wheat malt, this brew has a malty-sweet finish. 4.8% Alc./Vol.
Otis Alt: A German style amber ale, this beer is brewed with imported German hops that lend a distinct hop character not found in many beers. The amber color comes from the use of German-style malts which have a lightly roasted malt flavor. 5.3% Alc./Vol.
Sloughhouse Pale Ale: Brewed as a tribute to the hop fields once found throughout the Sloughhouse area, this copper-colored ale is well hopped. With a floral hop aroma, moderate hop bitterness, and a balanced malt body, this is a beer made with the craft beer drinker in mind. 5.5% Alc./Vol.
Grainbarrel Stout: A dark ale brewed with nine types of malt, including: roasted barley, chocolate, and black malt, which impart coffee-like flavors and a dark, rich color. Ample body bestows a sweetness that mellows the harsh tones of the roasted grains. 4.6% Alc./Vol. (out of stock)
5. The Haunting
The brewery is said to be haunted and made a mention in a book titled HPI Chronicles. Here is a quote from the book: One of the employees said she was grabbed at the waist by a ghost with a strong grip, she suspected it was a male entity. In the ladies' room strange creaking noises have been heard. One of the weirdest experiences is when a female patron went into the lady's room, she saw eyes staring at her, when she frantically left the lady's room, the eyes followed her out to the bar. Some employees feel like they are being watched. Some employees say that they have seen moving darting shadowy figures.
6. The Brewfest
Elk Grove Brewfest is returning for another year, and with an ever growing craft beer scene in Elk Grove, it's high time that the city had an annual Brewfest. EGBF sold out last year, so don't wait to get your tickets!
Elk Grove Brewfest will take place in Old Town Elk Grove at Old Town Plaza on Friday, May 26th, 2017 from 6-10PM.
Elk Grove Brewfest will feature 50+ breweries, cideries, meaderies, and a few wineries, with local gourmet food trucks, vendors, a cigar lounge, and live music and entertainment. Come and take in the sights at Historic Elk Grove and join us for a night to remember at this community focused and inspired event. Must be 21+ years old to enter.
For more info, visit: http://www.elkgrovebrewfest.com/