Comstock's magazine 1117 - November 2017 - Page 39

ble,” so why are breweries and beer bars embracing the grid again? And how will they carve out a niche in an increasingly crowded marketplace? TAKE TWO “This is the big show,” says Kenny Hotch- kiss, co-owner of the newly opened Cap- ital Hop Shop on the corner of 15th and I streets, a grid-based extension of the highly-respected Capitol Beer and Tap- room. “There’s a high energy here.” Hotchkiss and his life and business partner, Patti Aguirre, opened Capitol Beer and Taproom on Fair Oaks Boulevard in 2011, but they originally planned to set up shop on the grid. “We just couldn’t find a space, and nobody understood what we were trying to do back then,” he says. Eventually, they found their current space in University Village, and grew into one of Sacramento’s premiere beer destinations. “I don’t know if we would have done as well here the first time,” Hotchkiss says. “It gave us the experience to come downtown with better quality.” Capitol Beer and Taproom is known more for the uncompromisingly- curated tap lists than for the décor, but Capital Hop Shop raises the game in ev- ery way. Renovated from an old auto shop, the new location has twice as many taps, a more spacious outlay and a full food menu. Even the hand-drawn chalkboard tap lists are gone, replaced by sleek and modern digital displays. “I think competition just raises the quality of beer, and I think there’s always room for quality,” says Hotchkiss, when asked about market oversaturation con- cerns. “We came to raise the level of beer down here.” Rob Archie is another craft beer suc- cess expanding onto the grid. Inspired by his time visiting Belgian beer bars while playing international basketball, Archie essentially started the Sacramento craft beer craze when he opened Pangaea Two Brews Café (now Pangaea Bier Café) in the Curtis Park neighborhood in 2008. Now Ar- chie and best buddy/brewing legend Peter Hoey are preparing to open Urban Roots Brewery & Smokehouse, an ambitious project that could transform the under- nourished Southside Park neighborhood. Archie and Hoey are renovating a 15,600-square-foot warehouse on the corner of 14th and V streets, with the aim of opening in early 2018. Along with a ro- bust mixed-fermentation program and “the ultimate German beer garden,” their vision for Urban Roots includes a restau- rant, so business parks were never part of the plan. “We have a very retail-focused model, so we want the foot traffic, we want the nightlife,” Hoey says. “I couldn’t see a full restaurant going in the middle of a big industrial park.” Given the reputations of the people involved, expectations are high for Urban Roots, but Archie welcomes the challenge. “I don’t really look at it as pressure, I look at it as a responsibility,” he says. “I want to be the biggest neighbor on the block.” NEW NEIGHBORHOOD BREWERIES “You can’t put a bad beer in the market right now,” says Ryan Campagna, brew- master at Touchstone, a proposed brewery hoping to open on North 16th Street some- time in 2018. Two years ago, Campagna was recruited away from Strike Brewing in San Jose by the owners of the rock- climbing facility Pipeworks, who wanted Kenny Hotchkiss co-owns the newly opened Capital Hop Shop on I Street. New Breweries and Beer Bars Coming to the Grid Capital Hop Shop: 1431 I St. Now Open Urban Roots Brewery & Smokehouse: 1322 V St. Opening late 2017 Touchstone: 116 North 16 St. Opening sometime in 2018 Sacrament Brewing: 1616 J St. Opening late 2017 November 2017 | comstocksmag.com 39