Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Brew It Up!

Your Rating: None
Brew It Up!Brew It Up!

0 Ratings
Brew It Up!Brew It Up!

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Homebrew, Beer-to-go

801 14th St
Sacramento, California, 95814-2909
United States

(916) 441-3000

// CLOSED //

No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate

BA Score:
View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 20 |  Reviews: 20
Reviews by climax:
Photo of climax
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Located in Sacramento's midtown, this is probably the best brewery in the city. The dining area is long with lot's of booths and high tables. The bar is cozy and in the rear. We went after lunch rush on a Saturday. Our waiter was good and seemed beer savvy enough to answer any questions.

The selection of beers on tap was very good. They had just about every main style, with a half a dozen big beer styles for a little extra. You could order them in three different sizes 10/20/60 oz. Most basic beers were $3-4 dollars for the 10 oz, so you could get quite a bit of tasting done fore a reasonable price. They also had a set of four tasters (5 oz) for $7.

All the beers I tried had copious flavor and character. None of them seemed watered down or missing the style they were aimed at. The food was everything from onion rings and french fries to roasted duck marsala (which I enjoyed). So it had typical brewery food and a dozen or so gourmet selections. Prices were a bit spendy, but appropriate.

This is your best bet for beer in Sac, most selections, most flavorful beers, and a good food menu. They even offer homebrewing within the establishment. I probably won't venture that far though.

 1,202 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of armock
3.23/5  rDev -18.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

Atmosphere - The brewpub is on the corner of an office building with the front door on the corner. As you walk in theres a large waiting area with some merchandise you can buy. The dining area is to the left with small brew kettles by the windows and the bar is in the back. Overall it looks like a decent semi casual restaurant.

Quality/Selection - During my visit they had about twenty different beers on tap that hit everything from a pale lager to barleywine. However the quality is lacking as their brewing process and ingredients are that of a beginner home brewer with mini brew pots and barrels of extract that are out in the open.

Service - The waiter I had was friendly and got the orders right so I don't have anything bad to say about him. I ordered a sampler and they were out of one beer I ordered so he replaced it without asking me for a different beer which was a little annoying but was willing to bring me one of my choice so that made up for it.

Food - Wasn't really anything special. I ordered a BBQ pulled pork sandwich and wasn't impressed those frozen BBQ bowls taste better than my dinner. The wife ordered a hamburger she finished it but said it was just ok. Their menu is pretty large so pretty much nothing is fresh.

Overall this really isn't a place that I really want to go to again as the food and beer are below average for a brewpub.

 1,371 characters

Photo of tjensen3618
3.31/5  rDev -16.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

Stayed in Sacramento for a night on our way up to Oregon, I knew this place was in the area somewhere between our hotel and the capitol building which we were walking to. My GF smelled it first as we approached, it smelled exactly like I was homebrewing in my kitchen.

Inside there were about 12 small kettle's lined up along the wall and the bottling/capping station was in the back near the bar area. We made our way to the bar, it was fairly busy and we received ok service.

From the large selection of maybe 20+ house brewed beers, we ordered the Stout and the IPA, both were drinkable but nothing great. Over the beers we discussed where we wanted to go for dinner in a few hours and decided that it probably wasn't going to be this place despite the food looking pretty tasty.

It wasn't bad, but, we had gone there, had a couple beers, and were fine with checking something else out.

 892 characters

Photo of marksweiner
2.85/5  rDev -28%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 2

OK, I have probably been to this place a total of ten times: have brewed about three times and have eaten on several occasions.
Pros: large selection of house-brewed drafts (coupled with full bar, and recently a few guest taps).
Cons: Beers are expensive, all beers are made using a partial-mash brewing process which results in an amatuer malt-extract taste, food is marginal at best (menu is tooo big) - almost overreaching in its attempt to be "gourmet", vibe is pretty weak as bulk of customer base appear to be conventioneers (have that lost "I do not know this area so I will just pick whatever is close by" look) of geriatrics getting the early-bird discount before the Music Circus.

Went there the other day with a friend who bought a Groupon. All the beers tasted the same - again, that caramel flavor from the extract. The food wa marginal at best, but the kicker was when I ordered there Mai Bock: a 12 oz glass cost me $6.50???

 941 characters

Photo of beerjudge1
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Another local brewhouse located in downtown Sacramento. They offer a "brew your own" service that is Ridiculously overpriced, but non-homebrewers probably never realize that. because of this however, BIU always smells of sweet sweet wort the moment you open the front door. I know this is a turn off for some, but I look forward to it. they have around 20 beers on tap at any given time, but BIU's main problem is their inconsistency. even their year round brews can change in taste/quality from batch to batch. One thing i can say very possitively however, is their staff actually knows a thing or two about the beers they serve! I know I am not the only one out there who has gone to a brew pub, and asked a simple question such as "any seasonals not on the menu tonight," only to be greeted in return with the deer in the headlights look. thats usually followed by a "um, let me check with the manager." i just have to shake my head in disbelief at how frequently this occurs. Lastly, the food is average to good, but prices run quite high for what you get.

 1,060 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I entered on the corner of "H" and 14th Streets, although another entry existed further down on "H" Street. My entry meant checking in with the m.d.s. on a right oblique, transiting the restaurant area of mainly standard tables and chairs, but also some booth seating. The kitchen was along the right wall and across from it, center, was a weights and measures room in support of the BOP operation. The bottling part of the BOP was all of the way aft, right. Also aft, but left, was the elongated "U"-shaped, marble topped bar. Lots and lots of taps, but sadly, they were out of pilsner. The atmosphere was redolent with the scent of boiling wort. Man, I love that small.

Beers: Orange Blossom Blonde; Engine #2; IPA; Churchill's ESB; Beracude EPA; Big Valley Red; Northern Mild Mutty Brown; Irish Amber; Scotch Ale; N2 Porter; Oatmeal Stout; Golden Weizen; Nordendorf Lager; Czech Pilsner; Ladder # Lager; Marzen; Hallertauer Lager; Vanilla Cream Stout; Czar's Irish; Sky Diver Barley Wine; Belgian Dubbel; CAPT Ron's IIPA; Dunkel Bock; and Curbit the Grog Pumpkin Ale.

 1,071 characters

Photo of Inflames
4.08/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Sacramento is thin on breweries, but the few they have are pretty well spread out. This brewery is located in the N.W. downtown section.
Parking is conveinient for those of us who are passing through.
The brewery is set up in a good size building right on the corner.
Enter and be greeted by host or hostess, then a dining room to the left. To enter the bar you need to pass by the dining area.
Bar is expansive, enough for twenty seats. Two screens, one on each side of the bar allows for everyone in the bar area the ability to catch the current program. Full bar and competent servers make for a good vibe. Selections of microbrews numbered 22. Mostly American popular styles.
Did not try the food.
Service was really good but the place was mostly empty on a week day afternoon.
The brews on tap that I tried were very good but the price was ridiculous.
Overall this place deserves respect for their quality beverages, but they really need to bring their charge per pint down.

 995 characters

Photo of ndolover
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

This BOP/brewpub is located in the dowtown area. It has the brass and wood brewpub feel. The clientle seems to be the convetion center / play crowd.

Upon entering you are immediately struck with the aroma of brewed beer.

The food is good if over priced.

The service is prompt and freindly. They seem to be mostly perky women...I don't know if that was intentional.

The beer selection may be the largest I have ever seen. While the quality was suspect on a couple of beers, I can't complain about fresh beer.

What really intrigued me was the liquor and beer combos. I have never seen a Radler available. They are big in Germany (Grapefruit juice and a pilsner), but not normally found in a brewpub. They also offer shots of chocolate liqour in a cream stout, which I found to be a great alternate to sweets.

Overall I would have to reccomend this place. There are just too many oddities for a brewpub to ignore. If you are purely interested in GREAT beer, go to Rubicon. If you have been there and done that at all the rest, check this place out...you will not be dissapointed.

 1,086 characters

Photo of Stephen63
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Last night in Sacramento and I managed to get down here. Friday night and got in around 7.00 just in time before the place got really busy. We were sat near the recpetion so di not see the rest of the bar. Also a long flight the next day so just tried a few beer with some food. Did not catch all the names but had the double IPA, Russian stout and barley wine. Pretty much relied on the helpful server for advice and I was not disappointed, very tasty beer and good selection. Food was OK but would not really recommend it for that. Bit pricey also.

There were at least two groups in who were brewing, would have liked to have tried that if a could have got a bunch of people interested. Good concept though can't comment on the quality of that beer.

Definitely worth a trip, impressed with the beers that I tried.

 817 characters

Photo of aforbes10
2.68/5  rDev -32.3%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2.5

We walked here today after we found out that Rubicon nearby doesn't serve food from 11:15 to noon (??). So after our walk, we went in the main entrance and were seated over near the bar area. This gave us a view of the busy corner where customers were bottling their "homebrew," and of the bar, which had several taps, all of in house stuff. We ordered the wit and navigator pale ale, which were delivered promptly. We took our first sips as were cracked the food menus and both grimaced. The beers were really, really, sub-par, particularly the wit my wife was drinking. Mine was slightly better, but overly bitter for the style and the flavor of the columbus hops were nowhere to be found. We ordered food, it came in a normal amount of time, and it was ok. Fries were nice. All the food was overpriced for what it was....i think they're trying to be a bit more of an upper-class place than they have the right to. I went for a Marzen after the meal, and it was better than the other two i had, more to style and a better flavor, but still, it tasted a bit ... cardboardy .... Yeah. Anyway, obviously we weren't too impressed with the place and im fairly sure we won't go back. It might be a good place to brew if you can't get set up at home, but the beers and atmosphere really didn't do it for us.

 1,302 characters

Photo of beerbrewerdan
4.58/5  rDev +15.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

The decor is brass and copper and at first blush I think "typical brewpub." Arrived for a late lunch prior to a flight and the downtown working folks (suits) were out in force. The bartender was very friendly and offered suggestions/alternatives based on what I was trying. The food prices are slight high, but the beer prices are very good. The menu choices are definitely a bit up-scale. The clam chowder (white) was good, but a bit flour-y. This is a BOP and, man, does it smell good! Someone doughed in shortly after I got there and was adding hops a bit before I left. Nice.

The really do have about 20 of their own beers on tap. Even so I don't think they spread themselves too thin.

I intended to start out with a sampler of the lighter beers and then move to 10oz or larger versions of an IPA or two. But the samplers are four 5oz glasses for $6. The cheapest 10oz glass was $3.25 for the lighter beers and $4+ for the pales and darkers. Additional 5oz are $2. Hmmm, one 5oz of barleywine is $2, but a 10oz is $5.25. I'm not sure if they cut you off if you try to take advantage of this price situation, but the math told me to stick to samplers. Thus the review of 10 beers:

Kolsch - Slightly cloudy pale yellow with very little carbonation. Thin head that manages to stick to the glass. Nose is a hint of malt and flower. Flavor is a bit sweet and sharp for what I think of a Kolsch. Aftertaste brings more malt.

Hallertauer Lager - Good color, thin head. Nose is light flowers with a spice backer. Flavor is a nice blend of light malt and flowery hops. Bitterness is strong for the style, but not over the top. Overall this beer balances well.

Czech Pils - Gold color with no head. Nose is spice, herbs and malt. Flavor comes on strong with malt and finishes bitter and spicy. Saaz plays nicely with the malt. Between this and the Nordendorf it's hard to choose a favorite of the lights.

Norderdorf Lager - Not crystal clear, light gold with thin to no head. Delicate German hop nose that rocks. Flavor is crisp and hopps (well, for a pils). Super tasty. Dries in the finish quite well. Love it!

Saison - Somewhat cloudy burnt orange color. Wispy white head. Nose is caramel and yeast. Flor is a bit sweet with a punch of Belgian yeast. If there are spices/herbs (a la Saison Du Pont) they are totally hidden by a slightly soapy flavor and the alcohol and yeast. I love Belgian yeast flavor, but this beer is not there. Blech.

IPA - Orange red with small but creamy head. Nose is all hops with citrus and pine. Malt is strong in the flavor, but the hops dominate. Bitterness stays balanced with flavor hops and malt. This is good stuff.

Navigator IPA - Deeper orange red with strong head. There is some aroma of grass, light citrus, and caramel, but the nose doesn't reveal the Columbus hop madness tjay comes with each sip. Bitter and flavorful this beer celebrates a difficult to find (well, for a homebrewer) and easily overdone hop. Kills the "normal" IPA as far as I'm concerned. The Columbus is amazing.

Captain Ron's Imperial IPA - Huge creamy head over cloudy light orange. Maltier than the others it doesn't scream "Hops!" in the taste. The armoma buils it up, but the taste doesn't follow through. Bitterness lingers in a very nice way. This is a big beer that is very drinkable. Reminds me of Smutty Nose Big Ass IPA from a few years back.

Oatmeal Stout - Deep black with just a hint of amber. Head is tan and gone. Aroma is roast and light hop. Rich roast and cream flavor. A wee bit thin in the finish. I always hope for Anderson Valley when I order an oatmeal stout. This is good but not stellar.

Skydiver Barleywine - Strong white+ head over a light amber color. Aroma is malty and not too hoppy. Alcohol is the first flavor impression, bitterness settles in and chunky hop flavor finishes. I could use a lot more malt. This is not thrilling.

 3,881 characters

Photo of hoegaardenhero
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

the space separates nicely into a dining area and a classic sports bar; the dining area is lined with what look like small mash tuns or fermenters for the bop. they have an amazing 22 house beer son tap and the service is great. i got there a little after closing but they still let my mom and i come in and have time to enjoy a few beers as they cleaned up. they offer a lot of the beers for take home in bottles and the atmosphere seemed quiet but but not dead. i'll stop here again next time i am in sacramento.

 514 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Went to Sacramento with my brother to visit a friend. Turns out theres a ton of breweries and brewpubs in Sacramento. 4 of us stopped in here as we walked around downtown hitting up Pyramid and Rubicon as well. The bartender was real nice and so was the hostess. Just like a lot of people I asked a bunch of questions about the various beers. The bartender knew a little but it was obvious that he was just serving the drinks. But he did put up with us as we tried all 22 of the beers on tap.

After 22 samples the tab was only around $25. I also grabbed a bottle of the 2006 vanilla oaked beer that they were advertising which brought the tab to around $45. Didnt try the food but that atmosphere was enjoyable. Pretty crowded and a bit loud but there was room to manuver around the bar and order drinks.

Overall the beers were alright and like the last guy said, some of them were made to style. The RIS, the DIPA, and the fruit beer were my favorites of the day. Havent opened that bottle I took home yet.

 1,011 characters

Photo of rayjay
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Stopped here for the first time the other day. This place is a cool concept; they have millions of fermenters set up all over the restaurant for people to brew their own, plus they have their own house beers on tap (and lots of 'em). I'd tend to echo what other reviewers have said: their beers are all well made and very true to style, with the exception of their IPA and 2xIPA. Pilsner, pumpkin ale, and oatmeal stout were very good. Saison was a bit below par. Food is a bit pricey, and good but not great. They serve delicious fresh-baked pretzels. We ordered a spinich salad, fried brussel sprouts, and a cheese pizza- with 2 rounds of beers, our total came to just under $50, just to give you an idea. The staff was nice, but most didn't know enough about the beer. They seemed a bit annoyed by my questions. Story of my life.

[edit] I've been back a few more times; the brew crew is awesome and loves to answer questions, my review was at night when they weren't on shift. I thought our origional waitress could have been a bit more beer-savy.

I recommend this bar to those in the area.

 1,100 characters

Photo of SethB2
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This is probably the best beer bar in downtown Sacramento. It also doubles as a brew on premises establishment and restaurant/brewery, and believe it not, they all mesh together very well.

Brew it Up is on the corner of 14th and H, anchored at the corner of a gigantic parking structure. Despite all that, it manages to blend in a modern way with the neighborhood. The place itself is set up a little oddly. Dinner tables are on the right, BOP on the left, and the bar is all the way in the back. That is the only knock I have on the atmosphere. It has a nice vibe to it and I instantly felt comfortable.

Service with dinner was pretty good, but there were a few times when I waited a bit long for a pint. It was a very busy evening, so that is forgivable.

Selection, as far as beer goes, is top notch. They have 26 beers on tap. Everything from Blonds, to Pales, to IPAs, to Barleywines, to Impy Stouts. Great stuff. The food we had was very good. A typical California menu, and done right. This place would be nice to frequent if they didn't have so much beer.

If you're in the area, I'd stop by. Good place.

 1,122 characters

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Visited this place repeatedly over several days while at a Conference at the nearby Sacramento Convention Center (2 blocks away) in May 2006. Now get this- I have been travelling to downtown Sacramento for business meetings for over a decade, at two different jobs, visiting a variety of state, federal, and commercial entities in addition to conferences, and lo and behold, finally in 2006 I find this place is 2 blocks from the hotel I usually call my home-away-from-home in Sacramento. Sheesh!

OK, enough about my story. This place brews its own and has an established local clientele that comes in and brews for themselves. I spent a couple hours talking to one of the locals after he spent an hour capping his beer- we tried several of the brewery's choices.

This place has a medium-sized restaurant, a smallish bar area, and small "personal brewery" equipment scattered around. I understand that the main equipment is in a room "out back". Cozy feel, a little loud, nice. I noticed that the personal brewery equipment wasn't as sanitary as one might hope, but this is a minor quibble from someone who doesn't brew (but IS a clean freak).

24, count-em, 24 taps of in-house brew (including root beer and ciders) of many styles. My favorites were the Vanilla Stout and their signature Pale Ale. Not thrilled by the DIPA, but good stuff otherwise. But lots of styles represented. I was told the brewer rotates among over 100 different recipies. Beer is served in 5-6 diferent glasswares, to get it right by style (good), but the glassware is all chilled (not good)!!!

Just for fun, here's the list (mix of beer names and styles- not always easy to figure them out): Mac Dry Stout, Vanilla Stout, Scotch Ale, Marzen, Smokin' Porter, Cerveza de Miguel, Old Dussel, Sky Diver Barleywine, 2 Rivers Apple Cider, Nordendorf Lager, Capt. Ron's Double IPA, Oatmeal Stout, Root Beer, Engine No. 2 (Pale Ale), IPA, Mai Bock, Czar's Tar (Russian Imperial Stout), Northern Mild Nutty Brown, Golden Weizen, Orange Blossom Blonde, Irish Amber, Munoz Negra, Big Valley Red, Aric the Red. I didn't count to verify 24 beers listed here, but close enough. Whew, what a list!

Also a small bottle selection for take out. All priced the same- lower ABV beers in 22 oz. bombers, higher ABV beers in 12 oz. bottles. I like that.

Like most of downtown, this place closes at 10 during the week (and the doors may lock earlier than this if it's slow), so plan accordingly. But having said this, RECOMMENDED. I wish I knew about this place earlier.

 2,541 characters

Photo of Tupperwolf
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 5

A modern brewpub; There are a whole line of small brew kegs right out in the open, mingling with the patronage. I went on a Saturday night and there was a DJ spinning music in a real booth. The restaurant section was large, spacious, and divided well to give occupants of booths simultaneous good views of TVs and a personal sort of space. Kind of chain-pub ish in appearance, with dark woods and curvy glass panes everywhere.

I didn't eat, but I sampled a couple of beers and was very happy with the quality of the products I chose. The staff serves all beers in appropriate glasses (yay!)

Service was down; Standard practice is the frosted glass (gasp!). They were quick to get me a non-frosted glass, but both of the bartenders that served me could have used a lesson in pouring beer. Both wasted at least a pint of beer in the process. My Nitro Porter was poured straight down into the center of the glass for the entire pour, resulting in two half-glass drains while waiting for the head to subside and about a 5-minute wait. Surely bartenders have better stuff to do than wait for a beer to fizz up so much they have to pour it down the drain and repeat.

Cool selection, I didn't count but there were at least 20 distinct beers on tap plus a few neat selections like a homemade hard apple cider and a root beer - each one distinct in style.

I was charged $3 for my Nitro Porter, which seemed awesome, but was dissapointed to be charged $6 for my Double IPA. Oh well, they were both great beers. :)

 1,515 characters

Photo of Brewhead
4.9/5  rDev +23.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

My wife and I recently discovered Brew It Up! in a pub crawl trip of our own. We read a recent review in a beer magazine that said "the Rubicon" was Sacramento's oldest and best brew pub. We decided to go to 3 BP's and included Brew It Up! as our first and last stop!
The atmosphere was very clean and well done for a brew pub. The sight of all those brewing kettles was enough to make me salivate at the prospects! We ordered a sample of our favorite beers and then some as the menu had currently 22 beers on tap. The beers I typically like (IPA's) weren't the best but the rest of the menu was absolutely perfect! I tried a sample of a summer brew they called "New Horizons" and it was the best beer to me. Very Hoppy with lots of mouth feel and I just couldn't get enough of it. my wife liked the "3 amigo's" Belgium style beer. That kind of surprised me as she typically goes for the fruity beers. We ordered a specialty pizza that went along perfect with the beers. The only thing that was a little annouying was the smell of the grains brewing in the kettles. The waitress was very nice and informative. All in all, I would say that for us, this is the best brew pub we have been to, and that says a lot since we have been all over the bay area.

 1,253 characters

Photo of warmstorage
4.58/5  rDev +15.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I have to agree with the previous reviewer: it's a bit of a shock that Brew It Up! hadn't previously been reviewed. IMO, it's the single best beer destination in Sacramento, considering selection, quality, attention to styles and beer detail. (I have to wonder if previous reviews got lost?)

Selection is key: there are usually about 18 different beers on tap, all brewed in house, in 1 or 2 barrel batches. They basically do almost every style. For a brewpub, they have the consistently best selection I've ever seen of in-house beers. (That is, this doesn't count places that do five of their own, and then have 30 guest taps like, e.g., San Diego Brewing.)

The atmosphere is very nuevo-downtown Sacramento: lots of brass, dark wood, and polish. This area of Sacramento (just north of downtown and the Convention Center) is newly developing, and on-street parking is still possible for free, and easy at meters. Be careful to not go too far north into the one hour residential parking: you'll want more time than this to drink. If parking is tight due to convention center events, local theatre, or something at the Memorial Auditorium, a couple blocks away, keep looking WEST for parking, not east. They also validate *some* parking in the garage next door: check their web page. It's also an easy walk from the light rail, see sacrt.com, use the 12th and I station.

The crowd varies with the time of day: there is usualy a fairly vigorous crowd of downtown employees for the EXCELLENT 4p-6p happy hour: $3 for any pint (except the occasional super speciality, like the current Double IPA), plus FREE FOOD. Okay, it's bar snacks, currently fried cheese sticks, and jalapeno poppers, but it's FREE, and all you can eat, with a two-pint purchase. (Though bartenders give out plates on request with the first purchase.)

After happy hour, an overdressed threate goers will crowd the dining room, but the extensive bar area will pleasantly clear out. After the 7:30pm or so showtime, the place empties out, and becomes much more enjoyable again. There is also a late-night happy hour Thurs-Sat, from 10p-close, which is an excellent time to come in for a few.

The quality of the beer, overall, is outstanding: I don't much care for their interpretations of IPAs or Double IPAs (my favorite styles), but most everything else is between great and excellent for style, with six to eight beers at any given time that I'm happy to drink(!). My favorite are the strong ales, and this is another strong point: they regularly have three to five high gravity ales pouring, not the zero to one one most other brewpubs do. In particular, the Csar's Tar imperial stout is outstanding, and I like the Skydiver Barleywine enough that my brothers bought a keg for my wedding. A recent Belgian pale ale was excellent. The Vanilla Stout is a strong, rich, sweet beer that makes an unusual gateway beer for people not used to craft/strong beer. Oh, and they have a full, top shelf (though pricey) bar, and a good wine selection, but... why would you bother?

Beer prices are excellent considering quality and size: all beers are served in roughly appropriate glassware (!), and standard beers are served in 20 ounce mugs for lagers and light styles, 19 ounce tall steins for medium and stronger styles, 14 ounce footed glasses for strong ales (none of this eight or ten ounce nonsense that so many places pass over on us.) All of these are $4.25 regular, and $3 happy hour. Only VERY rare exceptions exist, like the current double IPA.

The service has been outstanding 98% of the times I've been in (probably fifty or sixty times?). A couple of times, the bartender has been a little surly or tired (usually late at night), but even then, they warm up when it's clear you're interested in great beer, and aren't going to be a jerk.

The food is excellent: it's slightly upscale for brewpub prices, ranging from $9-$15 for most things, though sandwiches and burgers can be had for $7 and $8. I have enjoyed excellent salads, paninis, sandwiches, and pastas here. And if you do spend heavily, get this: for checks over $40, fill out a form on their website within three days, and they'll send you a $10 gift card!

Brew It Up! also does reasonably priced brew-on-premises, and their brewers will walk you through with as much as relatively little assistance as you want/need. 12 gallons batches are approx. $140 for standard beers, and $180 for strong ales. They'll also let you monkey with their recipes to the Nth degree, or create your own, so it's a great way to experiment with exotic hops, grains, or fruit adjuncts, given their 100% satisfaction guarantee.

BIU! is within easy walking distance of Pyramid, about ten blocks from Rubicon, and a little less to the (weak, sad) River City Brewing Company, so it's easy to string together a solid pubcrawl. That said, I go to some local brewpub an average of twice to four times a week, and 75% of the time or more, it's Brew It Up!

 4,998 characters

Photo of Crotor
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I'm surprised that this place has yet to be reviewed. I guess after only 9 months of residence, I need to step up and become Sacramento's BA ambassador. So now I tell all you BAs, when you travel through Sacramento, definately hit this place.

Located downtown, parking can be a bit of a hassle, especially when there's an event going on, but worse comes to worst, you can pay $7 for a space in a city garage. Once you come inside, you'll see the typical, "hip downtown restaurant" type decor - polished concrete floors, dark colors. Overall, not unpleasant but not that original.

Now, this place gets a lot of attention as a "personal brewery" - you can pay to use their equipment or give them a recipe and have 'em brew it for you. They also do some contract brewing for area restaurants (Giovanni's Pizza being one of 'em). This aspect of their business helps explain the cheesy-ass name. But once you get past that, you start to realize that the strange business plan results in a lot of cross polination and makes for one of the more explorative brewpubs in the area.

When I opened the beer menu, I saw about 20 beers listed. There were the same five English-style ales that any brewpub would have, but then there were two varieties of pilsner, a Munich Helles, a Marzen, a vanilla stout, a barelywine, a DIPA, a BSGA, and many others. Best damn selection I've ever seen in a brewpub. 20 or so beers? A fresh mild *and* a Belgian SGA? And both of 'em good? I'll take that.

The beers I ordered were served with expert pours and at completely appropriate temperatures. Our server seemed beer-knowledgable and accomidating. The food was excellent. Standard pub fare (burgers, sandwiches, pizzas) was an option, but they also had a good number of very well done entrees. Prices were a bit higher than normal for a brewpub, but still managable.

 1,855 characters

Brew It Up! in Sacramento, CA
Brewery rating: 0 out of 5 with 0 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.