Look Who’s Brewing in 2018

SacramentoCans

Our Look Who’s Brewing series continues, following Look Who’s Brewing Too, Look Who’s Brewing Now, we run out of 80s movie references and simply content ourselves with adding a helpful date to the title.

Some argue that “crafty beer is dying,” which even when you break his argument to its most basic premise is preposterous. The author points to Sierra Nevada (and others) reinventing beer — but in doing so they also created the blueprint that virtually all craft breweries followed for the next couple of decades. Lagunitas, Stone and others then pulled craft brewing away from pale to its hopped up cousin with the success of their IPA offerings and soon that became the defining style of craft brewing. While there are many jokes about IPAs dominating tap lists, the truth is this one style alone offers a wider range of flavors (traditional west coast, east coast, north east hazys, hybrids among them, English, session, double, triple, black, red, white, wet-hopped,dry-hopped, milkshake, fruited, fooded, even cheesed for some inexplicable reason, as well as countless other varieties and more being invented everyday) than did the brewpubs of yesteryear. This combined with perhaps an even wider range of stouts and sours (each of which double up the basic range of concepts IPAs tread with the limitless possibilities of barrel aging) leads to more variety than most craft fans could enjoy in a lifetime.

Little by little, brewers are even seeing their long frustrated dream become a reality and being able to brew (and sell) lagers with flavor. The good folks at Boston Brewing getting in on it proves that this idea is very much hitting the mainstream:

I can taste my beer

Yes, tasting your beer is a very good thing!

And the data proves that, in California at least, beer drinkers are developing better and better taste. Statewide, output from independent breweries increased by 6 percent, with the Sacramento region’s breweries production surging forward by 22 percent. Sacramento’s increase was led by New Glory and Device, who each approximately doubled their output from 2017. Urban Roots and Moksa made impressive debuts, each topping 30 thousand gallons in their first year. Meanwhile, Knee Deep’s percentage growth may not compare, but the region’s biggest brewer continues to grow and widened its lead on every brewery except New Glory. 

Looks Who's Brewing 2018

Click on the image to explore the interactive.

While craft brewing continues to grow, America’s macro breweries remain in slow decline. I suppose it’s clear Whazzuuuup with Budweiser’s Attack on Sacramento Brewing. Though that doesn’t seem to be going so well … I guess we’ll just have to content ourselves with drinking beer with flavor in the meantime.

Or, better yet, let’s say, congratulations, Sacramento, we have good taste in beer.

Making Work Work with Affordable Childcare

Parenting is hard. It is the most amazing, rewarding experience I have ever had. But it’s also really hard. My little dudes need their parents to feed them, clean them and take care of every other need in their lives. They also need us to entertain them, read them, play with them. And the messes.  Let’s not forget about cleaning up their messes. 

Not only do they need us to cook, clean, entertain and generally keep them from doing something catastrophic for the 12-14 hours a day they are awake, they also need us to pay all of their expenses. Food, diapers, wipes, books, toys, clothes (which they will either ruin the first time they wear or  outgrow within three months), housing, healthcare, entertainment. It adds up. For most of us, the need to pay those expenses means we need to work and, for most families, both parents need to work to get by. That, of course, adds another major expense. 

Childcare is hard to come by, with 60% of Californians living in childcare deserts. After our oldest son was born, we struggled to find a high quality, even remotely affordable option that did not require a six month or even year long waitlist. We’re not alone, half of American parents report having difficulty or being unable to find childcare and, not surprisingly, it is particularly difficult for parents with financial challenges.

But most of all, childcare is expensive. For most families, it is simply unaffordable. In 2017, Childcare Aware found that the average cost of childcare in California was $16,542 annually, well beyond HHS guidelines for affordability for nearly all families. EPI estimates that just 28.5% of California families can afford childcare. Moreover, childcare cost is the top reason parents have fewer children than they would ideally like and the top financial reason others choose not to have children at all. As a result, 2018 saw a record low birthrate

As a result, for many families, most of the earnings of a second working parent will go to taxes and childcare, bringing home only an extra few thousand dollars a year. To help illustrate this reality, I developed an interactive calculator (click on the image to pull up the interactive). By adjusting the variables (household income, price of childcare, number of children) you can compare earnings to childcare expenses to see how much a family would have to earn to break even after paying for childcare: 

MakingWorkWork

In the example provided as a default, the second working parent needs to earn nearly $40,000 to just break-even after paying for childcare and taxes. At a $40,000 income, that parent brings home a net of just $1.52 per hour. Now do not get me wrong — that $250 a month is critical for many families who are struggling to get by – but it also amounts to just 1/8 of California’s minimum wage.

Perhaps this example seems exaggerated to some. $1,200 per child per month does sound expensive. Yet nationwide, the average childcare provider costs more than $1,200 per month and this is just a fraction of what families pay in California. Does $40,000 income and $50,000 for the spouse seem high? That is 25% more than California’s median household. The reality is these default setting are relatively conservative. While data on childcare is notoriously bad, it is very likely most families with young children experience a more challenging financial reality than this.

Worse yet, the alternative often keeps women out of the workforce, limiting their families’ economic potential. It also expands the gender pay gap as those women lose important years developing skills and earning experience in their careers. By losing their productivity, it slows economic growth. Childcare also improves parents’ perceptions of their children’s wellbeing, their own wellbeing and relationships with their children, improves brain development and school readiness and could help end poverty.

As important as childcare is it is also expensive. It is expensive because it is labor intensive. There is no way to get around it. For example:

California’s requires childcare centers to maintain a certain ratio of kids to staff, as low as 1 to 4, depending on the child’s age. To employ one minimum-wage earning provider for 10 hours a day costs $850 per child per month, assuming a 1 to 4 provider-to-child ratio. That does not account for any other provider expenses like the cost of the facility, utilities, insurance, food, supplies, cleaning, overhead expenses, etc, all of which drive tuition fees much higher.

Understanding the real costs involved, it is clear our options are limited. I do not think anyone is arguing for lowering the minimum standards for caring for our children. Similarly, few think that the minimum wage is too high (and many would argue childcare providers are paid too little).

I’m proud that some of the people working hardest to help families pay these bills are friends and fellow Hornets and I’m hopeful leadership here in Sacramento can start to improve the situation. Councilmember Eric Guerra has been advocating forcefully, with his young son Javi in tow. Last night, thanks to his leadership, the council voted to hire a childcare czar to work towards solutions locally. Assemblymember Kevin McCarty’s AB123 recently passed the Assembly and would expand pre-K to cover more 3 and 4 year olds. (And, of course, nationally, nearly every serious presidential candidate has a major childcare proposal … here’s hoping!)

Today funding childcare is largely left to young parents, adding another major expense for young parents, doing their best to make ends meet in an economy that has been unkind to their generation. I don’t think that approach really squares with any of our values — whether we profess to care most about the well-being of children, opportunity for the working class or strengthening the nuclear family — subsidized or free childcare is at the heart of strengthening families, supporting children and making work work for families in every strata of society.

Look Who’s Brewing Now!

20190211_170619

So we at Sacramentality have had a lot going on in the last year or so. Professional successes, new and growing children and oh so many park cleanups. We offer our sincerest apologies to our readers and this brief post highlighting the ongoing growth in Sacramento’s brewing scene. You will surely recall prior articles Look Who’s Brewing and Look Who’s Brewing Too. Here now is the (now not so) latest update featuring 2017 BOE data that published 7 months ago. Whoops.

Without further ado, let’s get to the data and let it speak for itself, except to point out that trend line for nearly all of our top local breweries practically points straight up. It’s a good time to be a craft beer connoisseur in Sacramento. (Click on the image to use the interactive)
Regional Interactive

Who’s paying income taxes in Sacramento?

The Los Angeles Times recently published an article pointing out the disproportionate share of state income taxes paid by our millionaire and billionaire friends that can still afford to live in Silicon Valley.  This got me wondering how the map looks here in Sacramento. While our region does pay quite a bit less than the Silicon Valley, the four counties considered do add up to nearly $3 billion dollars. (Caveat: this data is based on zip codes, which do not perfectly align to geopolitical boundaries, so modest variation may exist)

Sacramentality-CAIncomeTaxbyZip2017DMLThe top taxpayers in our region are concentrated in El Dorado Hills ($170 million), Folsom ($163 million) and Granite Bay ($120 million). Granite Bay tops the region in effective tax rate, paying 7.4% of Adjusted Gross Income in state income tax. El Dorado Hills pays 6.1% and Folsom, a “relatively paltry” 5.0%.

Among zip codes with a significant population, Arden’s 95864 pays the second highest effective tax rate at 7.3%. It is nestled in just behind Granite Bay in total tax payments at $110 million. Neighboring Carmichael (95608) and Fair Oaks (95628) rank sixth and seventh in total tax payments — and we see a clear concentration of wealth emerging in these river and lake adjacent suburbs.

Within the City of Sacramento, my own 95831, primarily encompassing the Pocket-Greenhaven neighborhood, is the top tax-contributing zip code, topping $72 million in 2017. Several core zip codes do pay higher effective tax rates, but have fewer taxpayers.

Enjoy playing with the data visualization — hover over zip codes in the map to get the full details — and let me know any takeaways you notice in the comments!

Sacramentality-CAIncomeTaxbyZip2017DML

 

Happy 4th of July!

We hope you are having a wonderful time surrounded by family and friends.

We know many of our friends around Sacramento may not be feeling especially patriotic these days, but we choose to celebrate anyway, because as our 18th President (That’s a West Wing reference, you’re welcome.) reminded us:

TRSacramento“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”
― Theodore Roosevelt (Did you know he gave a speech in Sacramento? The Mayor he refers to in the speech was George H. Clark.)

Or as Mark Twain put it:

“Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”

Most important, enjoy your celebrations safely:

385158b2-5c45-4e5a-b3f0-04bf701f7851.jpg

 

Sacramentality’s Summer Book Club

Alas, summer is upon us, the mercury is headed north and many of us are headed east to the mountains or west to the beach to escape Sacramento’s sometimes squelching heat. Since we will all need a book or two to read as we fly or drive to our destinations (or if we are instead staying home, to kill time while the networks are all on reruns), your friends at Sacramentality thought you might appreciate a recommendation or two, so we enlisted some of our friends, civic leaders from around Sacramento, to provide them. Feel free to share your thoughts and your own recommendations in the comment section and be sure to log your books at the Sacramento Public Library’s Summer Reading Challenge.

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suziki

Robert Nelsen
President, Sacramento State

A closed mind, an expert’s mind, is not open to innovation and experimentation—a closed mind does what it has always does.  Today’s world’s problems cannot be solved doing what we have always done. We must be open to possibilities and to change.”

The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu & Douglas Abrams

MulvaneyJoyPatrick Mulvaney
Chef and Owner, Mulvaney’s B&L

“Two old friends talking about love and happiness. And needling each other at the same time, a great read.”

Channeling Patrick’s recommendation both Councilmembers Angelique Ashby and Eric Guerra say The Book of Joy is at the top of their summer reading lists.

The Wisdom of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey

Angelique Ashby
Councilmember, City of Sacramento

“The Wisdom of Sundays is my all time favorite inspirational book. I have read it many times, loaned it out, given it as a gift and recommended it to anyone who will listen. Each time I read it I imagine myself having coffee with Oprah and asking her tons of questions about what she has learned in all her interviews and experiences over the years. This book feels like advice from a friend. It’s inspiring and hopeful and honest. Easily my favorite reread.”

IMG_7112

Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis

Rivkah Sass
Executive Director, Sacramento Public Library

“The gods are at it again. Hermes and Apollo wonder if animals imbued with human intelligence and communication skills will be happier at life’s end or if that intelligence will simply lead to misery. Fifteen dogs in a veterinary clinic and readers everywhere are given the opportunity to find out.”

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Rhonda Staley-Brooks
Executive Director, Nehemiah Foundation & President Sacramento State Alumni Association

“My favorite book is authored by Jim Collins, Good to Great.  What is even better, there is a smaller version for us Do Gooders, Good to Great for Social Sectors!  Collins states ‘The difference between successful organizations is not between the business and the social sector, the difference is between good organizations and great ones.’”

Rhonda Books

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber

IMG-6287Isaac Gonzalez
Tahoe Park & YMCA Advocate/Gadfly

“I read this book once a year, because even though I work mostly in the non-profit space, there are many good practices and processes that successful businesses use to create efficiencies and scale up. High recommend it to anyone who feels like they’re working hard but not moving in a positive direction or encountering too many setbacks.”

Big Plans By Bob Shea

Joe Wagoner
Vice President, Sacramento Republic

“I have a five year-old daughter and seven year-old son. Most of my recreational reading revolves around ‘Big Plans’ By Bob Shea. In fact, that book was a contributing factor to the creation of Republic FC. That read is much more interesting than my numerous recommendations about sports business analytics!”

Although perhaps we are usually short on opinions, the Sacramentality team offered some recommendations of our own as well:

Fifty Inventions that Shaped the Modern Economy by Tim Harford

Devin Lavelle
Parks Commissioner, City of Sacramento & Senior Researcher, California Research Bureau

“Light enough to consume at the beach before swimming, split into bites that can be enjoyed despite interruptions, Tim Harford tells the tale of how inventions as diverse as barbed wire, infant formula, double-entry bookkeeping, leaded gasoline and index funds have fundamentally transformed the world we live in in ways most could not imagine. Whenever I pick up this book, ideas begin simmering about the way different ingredients transformed the recipe that is modern life.”

20180614_090456

1984 by George Orwell

Caity Maple
Ann Land & Bertha Henschel Memorial Funds Commission Commissioner, City of Sacramento & Lobbyist, The Quintana Cruz Company

“Be eerily reminded of elements of the current political system, and keenly aware of our tendencies to follow rather than lead. A great read and reminder of the power of opening our eyes and taking a look around!”

The Great Thirst: Californians and Water: A History by Norris Hundley, Jr.

Kevin Greene
Ethics, Transparency & Good Governance, City of Sacramento

“The History of Water in California is the history of California. This is a fascinating, and surprisingly quick read at almost 800 pages, that thoroughly and clearly describes the water wars, (politically, legal and violent) and how water has shaped California and its population growth.”

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

Devin Lavelle
Father of Boys

As the author I’ll choose to exercise a point of personal privilege here and recommend a second book as well. Every night my oldest son Henry picks two books to read before bed. One he chooses frequently is The Lorax and I love that among the last words he hears before drifting to sleep many nights is, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

With that, I leave you with a short poem and my sincerest apologies to Dr. Seuss:

So catch! Cried Sacramentality, as we let something fall.
It’s a list of books.
The best books of them all!
Choose a new book. Read it with care.
Read it near water. Or in a room with conditioned air.
Read it online. Protect it from hackers that hack.
Then the autumn and all our wonderful weather
may come back.

 

Summer Book Club Supplement

In addition to her recommendation, Councilmember Ashby shared with us her entire summer reading list from last year, which we thought our readers might enjoy:

“My favorite summer read last year was First Women. I read this one over our family vacation along the California coast. It was fantastic. If you are at all curious about the type of relationships First Wives of our Presidents have with each other and with their staff and their husband’s staff, this book will be a delight.

The stack of books (plus First Women) is my summer reading list from last year. All are great. I recommend any of them – it just depends on what you’re looking for.

I like Nicholas Sparks when I want to read a love story or cry or disappear into fiction (I like Jennifer Weiner too for that purpose – but I didn’t read any of her books last year, probably because I have read most of her work already).

Calm is another great book to read and reread – it will help you feel relaxed (there is a companion meditation app to this book, also called Calm, that is a fantastic tool for slowing down and taking note of all that is happening in our lives).

Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up is great (better than you might think). I am already a bit of a minimalist so this book speaks to me – but it’s worth a read if motivation to organize and reduce clutter are on your to do list.

Little Book of Lykke is a study into happiness across countries and communities with analysis of what makes neighborhoods happy. It’s interesting and full of creative concepts from across the globe. I enjoy these type of reads because they feed my desire to think beyond our current measures.

All of these books are good reads for different reasons. Each one fed my spirit in one way or another. Should you choose to take one in, I hope it does the same for you.”

IMG_7111

Love a Library!

Here at Sacramentality we love libraries. Not just because this author happens to work for the California State Library or because the Sacramento Public Library was integral to Nicolas’ Luella series, but because, quite frankly, libraries are great!

That is a statement that the large majority of American adults agree with … even if most of us haven’t set foot in one in the last year. The truth is, I probably went about six or eight years between public library visits, when I last needed to get some information from a journal for research I was doing for a prior employer, to a few years ago, when I rediscovered all of the amazing things libraries are doing, both here in Sacramento and around the state, and started to realize they are so much more than just books (cue argument with myself about whether the phrase “just books” is appropriate). But the transition did recently lead California State Librarian Greg Lucas to ask, “What the hell is a 21st century library?

Since this is National Library Week, we at Sacramentality thought we might take the opportunity to remind you, our loyal readers, of the many, many ways that libraries contribute to our community, a few fun examples brought to you by the letter H:

  • Hacker Lab
  • Hangout on rainy days
  • Home to amazing celebrations of Dr. Seuss
  • Homework helper
  • Hub for data literacy
  • Huddle-space for community non-profits
    (Geez, he’s really stretching the “H” theme with this one …)
  • Heart of their community:

If you want the most rocking community center ever, it’s already there. It’s the library. ~ State Librarian Greg Lucas

The truth is that libraries provide the infrastructure to help overcome the educational gaps that drive so much inequality in our country. Whether helping adults achieve high school diplomas, English proficiency & literacy or completely opening a child’s world:

MeasureBCalifornia’s libraries collectively hold 82.2 million items, including about 6.7 million at the City of Los Angeles, an additional 5.7 million at the County, 5.3 million in San Diego, 3.1 million in San Francisco and, several notches down the list, 1.2 million, here in Sacramento. What our library lacks in sheer size, though, it makes up for in quality, with the average item checked out 6 times per year, sixth most in the state and second among relatively large libraries! (It’s a good thing we passed Measure B, that’s money well spent!)

It is no wonder then, that the Sacramento Public Library was nominated for the Oscar of the library world, the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. While our wonderful Director Rivkah Sass may say, “being nominated again is an honor.”  And while we agree, “the nomination is validation of what the Library does for Sacramento, and that we continue to demonstrate excellence by opening new doors for the people in our community,” here at Sacramentality we cannot help but think that the Sacramento Public Library has not just earned the honor of nomination, but of bringing that medal home next month. Check out some of the great stories shared by dozens of folks from around Sacramento in the comments:

FacebookIMLS.png

My kids and I have fun, learn, read, and make new friends every time we visit our library! What a gift to those of us with young families, always looking for affordable, accessible, high-quality activities to do with our kids. Sacramento Public Library plays such a unique and irreplaceable role in our community. ❤️ #shareyourstory

So, dear reader, if like all of us at Sacramentality (along with most Americans), you love our libraries, I hope you will consider joining me in becoming a Friend of the Sacramento Public Library. For just $20 you can help support the great work the Friends do, expanding the collection, providing books to young readers and developing fun and educational programming for community members of all ages.

AddFriend

Look Who’s Brewing Too

SacMixedCans dml.jpgSacramento makes a lot of fantastic beer! Just check out the lineup offered at my local Nugget (and thank them for offering a particularly good selection of local craft beers). While Sacramentality’s loyal readers will recall, our region is far from the biggest brewing region in the state, it has been the fastest growing over the last five years, taking a 5x multiplier to its 2011 size.

Sacramento’s brewing scene has gone through some difficult times over the 15 years we have data from the Board of Equalization (Thanks again, BOE!). Production was flat through the onset of the recession, when the closure of two of the region’s largest breweries saw production decline dramatically, even as craft beer continued to grow across the state and nationally. Production increased slowly through the recession but has caught fire since 2013.

Sacramentality-SacBreweryProduction-2016-dml.png

The Old Faithful
Sacramentality-SacOldFaithfulProduction-2016-dml.png
In 2016, seven breweries remained from the first few years of the 21st century. Sudwerk has grown slowly, but unevenly over the last decade. It became the largest brewery in the region in 2007, when Sacramento Brewing Co. began its decline, despite seeing no growth over the previous year. It fell from the top spot in 2014 after Knee Deep opened their Auburn facility. In 2016 they fell to third behind Track 7 and Berryessa may soon be nipping at their heels.

Rubicon saw several years of steady, but limited growth in the years of Sacramento Brewing’s collapse and closure, doubling from 34 thousand to 68 thousand gallons between 2006 and 2012. Production would double again over the next three years with the new brewery in place, but with little growth in 2016, it was falling well short of the planned 10x pace, leaving it destined for a duplicate appearance in our next section.

Jack Russell and Hoppy are about the same mid-size breweries they were in 2002 while the other five began and remain tiny as well.

The Dearly Departed
Sacramentality-SacDearlyDepProduction-2016-dml
Prior to the recession, production in our region was dominated by Sudwerk, Sacramento Brewing Company, Beermann’s Brewerks and Brew It Up. At their peak, these four collectively produced about three quarters of Sacramento’s local beer between 2003 and 2005. Of those four, only Sudwerk still exists. While Rubicon was smaller at the time, they grew significantly in the vacuum the larger breweries left behind, but called it quits in 2017. Similarly, American River grew relatively quickly in the New Wave, but also shut their doors last year. Brew It Up has been revived across the river in YOLO County, so perhaps we have not all enjoyed our last Monkey Knife Fight?

The New Wave

Sacramentality-SacNewWaveProduction-2016-dml

Auburn Alehouse was the first of the New Wave, opening in 2007. As something of a tweener, they opened their doors just before the string of major closures in 2009. They grew slowly for the first several years, before significantly increasing distribution in more recent years, growing to 87 thousand gallons in 2015, before declining slightly in 2016, leaving them well behind the biggest producers, but still the sixth largest brewery in the region.

With an economy in shambles and the region’s brewing scene crashing, it was no surprise that no new breweries of significance opened over the next three years. 2011, however, would prove to be the beginning of something very big. That spring Knee Deep began brewing in the old Beermann’s location. Starting with a respectable 26 thousand gallons, they would double in 2012 and, after reaching capacity at their original location and after beginning to level off in 2013, moved to their new brewery in Auburn. The new facility allowed a tripling of production in 2014, doubling that in 2015 and increasing again by nearly one-third in 2016.

Track 7 got off to a slower start. They did not begin production until the very end of 2011 (leading to their annual New Year’s Eve anniversary parties) and grew more slowly within the confines of their Curtis Park location. Since opening their larger Natomas production facility in 2015, however, Track 7 has been catching up quickly.
2011 also saw Loomis Basin and Berryessa open their doors. Loomis Basin started larger and tripled in size by 2016, becoming the seventh largest brewery in the region.

Berryessa started smaller, in the tiny Winters market, but took off starting in 2013, passing Loomis Basin in 2015 and Auburn Alehouse in 2016, reaching the fifth spot. An early look at 2017 data suggests they have continued to grow quickly.

The next few years were not only been categorized by the growth of its biggest players, but also an explosion in the number of breweries producing craft beer, nearly tripling over the last five years. Perhaps most notable is the growth in that juicy middle of the local market. In 2016, the nineteen breweries producing between 10 and 40 thousand gallons collectively account for one quarter of the market (with New Glory, Bike Dog and New Helvetia at the high end and Monks Cellar, Jack Rabbit and Mraz at the low end), providing a substantial, highly localized cornerstone of the market – and the kind of competition that can drive delicious innovation across the region. Nearly all of these breweries opened their doors in 2012 or later, offering the real possibility that many of them could follow the paths of the older, bigger brewers in the new wave.

KneeDeepTrack7Auburn.png

NewGloryAdI’ve seen our local mid-sized breweries employ two primary strategies to significantly push past their tap room-generated demand.

While nearly all breweries have limited release specialty and one-off beers they produce, some take this to a much more extreme, social media-fueled level. Visitors to New Glory in Sacramento or Moonraker in Auburn will rarely see the same beer again. While they both have a number of excellent, highly regarded beers, they only brew any given variety occasionally. When their most popular beers roll off the canning line, the most enthusiastic beer fans show up sometimes hours before the breweries open to ensure they get their share. Flatland in Elk Grove takes it further, literally never serving the same beer twice.

By creating the perception of scarcity and making each release feel like a “can’t miss” event, they help to create a buzz around their best beers and ensure that newer experiments will sell, even if they don’t live up to the reputation of their cousins.
The second approach worked very well for Track 7, but disastrously for Rubicon. If a main component of your business is operating a dedicated retail establishment to sell the product in a local market, adding more locations in more markets gives breweries the opportunity to sell more beer at much higher margins than when a distributor gets involved. Track 7 grew up as the local brewery in the relatively small Curtis Park market, but by adding their second location, they became the go-to brewery for the much larger Natomas community. Rubicon’s new West Sacramento location was likewise opening an untapped market (although the tap room opened later than the attached production facility, perhaps letting their new West Sacramento competition get too strong of a toehold in the community). While new markets offer the promise of long term stability, beyond the whims of offering the hot product on social media, it also means substantial capital investment; disappointing returns, as Rubicon experienced, could be disastrous.

Both of these earlier examples sought to double down on their investment, not just opening a second retail location, but also substantially expanded production capacity in the new location, increasing the potential for growth, the cost and the risk. The investment saw Track 7 take off, growing from a local tap room to a major regional player in just two years, while Rubicon was left with a bill it lacked the consistent revenue stream to pay down. Today, others are taking a more limited approach. Bike Dog added a new tap room just two miles from their West Sacramento brewery. The river and its unfortunate lack of bridges (a future article?), however, makes the few hundred feet between West Sacramento and West Broadway a veritable chasm. Going even further, Device is tripling down, adding Midtown and Pocket locations to their business. Their experience will be interesting to watch, as they are both going head-to-head with numerous breweries and bars in Midtown’s busy market, while also becoming the only brewery on the I-5 corridor between Broadway and Elk Grove with over two miles to the nearest bar in the Pocket. Here in the Pocket, we are excited to have them and rooting for their success!

DeviceCans dml

Going beyond the local markets and becoming the kind of breweries that add their region to the state’s leaders will take something more, however. When you look down the list of the state’s top craft breweries, you see:

Sierra Nevada, whose generous use of cascade hops came to define the west coast style and their classic pale ale remains California’s go-to craft beer decades later;

Stone, whose arrogant gargoyles were at the forefront of giving packaging real personality and who made big, high alcohol, high flavor beers the driving force of west coast craft brewing through the beginning of the 21st century;

Lagunitas, who took that full flavor, high alcohol form and reproduced it at a more consumer-friendly price point; and

Ballast Point, whose Grapefruit Sculpin caught the big wave of fruity IPA’s and rode it to near perfection.

SierraStoneSculpin dml

If one of our fantastic breweries is going to make that leap, it will probably take a genre-defining effort. Perhaps Moonraker will be able to leverage their reputation for truly fantastic hazy IPAs (and a recently announced brewery expansion) and make Auburn the west coast’s New-New England if the “haze craze” spreads to mainstream markets. Or if the market for subtle but flavorful craft lagers expands (making so many brewers’ dreams comes true), Sactown Union’s focus and talents in that area could pay huge dividends – or perhaps Sudwerk’s established market share and capacity will give them the edge. Maybe our talented and creative brewers may dream up something I could not even imagine that will set the beer world on fire. Or maybe the future of craft brewing will revert back to a more local focus, leaving the larger breweries struggling for market share as consumers seek out their favorite local flavors.

No matter way the market goes, I suspect our very last chart of the article will change substantially over the next several years – and I cannot wait to taste it – or to write about it. You can look forward to the next article in the Look Who’s Brewing series this summer when 2017’s data is released.

Sacramentality-SacBreweryPie-2016-dml

Look Who’s Brewing

FlippinGooddml

Craft beer is booming in Sacramento, California and the nation! According to the Brewer’s Association, craft beer has grown to 4.2 times its 2004 size in the ensuing twelve years. Board of Equalization data acquired by Sacramentality shows that California was ahead of the curve so has grown a little slower to 3.5 times its size, although that drops to 2.7 times if breweries recently purchased by macro conglomerates are omitted.

Sacramento (represented by a Kings flag, both because the current flag needs replacing and because the data represents the metropolitan area, not just the city) was hit hard by the recession, dropping to 2/3 its 2004 size by 2009 and growing slowly through 2013, but has exploded since, more than tripling in the last four years. We will delve deeper into the local brewing numbers in a subsequent piece, but the decline was caused almost entirely by Sacramento Brewing Company’s descent into oblivion.

 

Sacramentality-BreweryGrowth-2016-dml

Craft brewers are not the only ones brewing in California. Driving over the causeway, you’ll see a prominent billboard with the good folks of Anheuser-Busch pointing out that Bud Light, despite its strong association with St. Louis, MO is brewed in California.

BrewedInCAdml

Perusing Board of Equalization data, we see that this is true. Very, very true.

Sacramentality-BreweryMarketShare-2016-dml

Most (56%!) of the beer accounted for in the Board of Equalization Beer Manufacturer Tax Reports (provided graciously by BOE staff, thank you for that) was brewed by the good folks at everyone’s favorite Belgo-Brazilian mega-conglomerate, Anheuser-Busch InBev. Add in South African-Canadian-American mega-brewer, MillerCoors and the macro brewers collectively top 80 percent of California’s locally produced beer. Budweiser tops 400 million gallons, while MillerCoors hovers around 190 million gallons. While the macro brewers continue to dominate the shelves, their numbers have been slipping, leading the big guys to take a ‘if you can’t beat’em, join’em’ approach.

Sacramentality-MacroShare-2016-dml

Coming in third is California’s largest craft brewery (and, coincidentally, the nation’s third largest – behind Yuengling and Boston Brewing), Sierra Nevada. At 34 million gallons, Chico’s finest accounts for nearly five percent of California’s beer, nearly as much as the next three, Lagunitas (14.6 M), Ballast Point (12.2 M) and Stone (11.8 M), combined. Firestone Walker (11.5 M) rounds out the top group. There’s a large jump to the next group of breweries, with fourteen totaling between one and four million gallons (Anchor, Gallo, Bear Republic, Green Flash, Gordon Biersch, Lost Coast, North Coast, Golden Road, 21st Amendment, Anderson Valley, Karl Strauss, Coronado, Pizza Port and Hangar 24).

These seventeen breweries collectively account for 96.5 percent of California’s brewing. The remaining 600 plus breweries total less than Sierra Nevada brews alone.

Sacramentality-BreweryCategory-2016-dml

With so much of California’s craft brewing consolidated in a handful of its largest breweries, it is not surprising that its brewing is largely consolidated in five regions:

  • Northern California: over 80 percent of which is produced by Sierra Nevada
  • San Diego: two-thirds by Stone and Ballast Point
  • North Bay: nearly 80 percent by Lagunitas
  • Central Coast: nearly 90 percent by Firestone Walker
  • Bay Area: two-thirds by 21st Amendment, Anchor and Gordon Biersch

Sacramentality-BreweryRegion-2016-dml.png

Today, Sacramento remains among the smaller brewing regions, but that may soon change. Our region has been the fastest growing since 2011, increasing production by more than five times over. Check back in a few weeks and we will delve into and celebrate the enormous growth Sacramento’s brewing scene has experienced the last several years. With great breweries like Moonraker, New GloryNew Helvetia & Mraz continuing to push the envelope, an expansion announced by Device, recent newcomers including Flatland and Claimstake beginning to tickle our taste buds, highly anticipated openings in the New Year in Urban Roots and Moksa and larger, established breweries like Track 7 and Knee Deep, I think we can all agree that Sacramento’s brewing scene is Flippin’ Good!

Give Wisely. On Tuesday and Everyday.

Giving Tuesday

The concept of Black Friday emerged in Philadelphia in the 1950s, an unhappy day when the city was overrun by crowds and petty crime, forcing police to work long hours and creating the unhappy name. It remained a local tradition until emerging nationally in the late 1980s with the reimagined (and typically untrue) story that it represented the happy day when retailers finally became profitable, while offering consumers rock bottom prices.

Cyber Monday was the next shopping tradition to emerge. Coined in 2005 by Shop.Org to describe the trend, it seems to have emerged more organically than its cousin shopping days as America’s workforce returned from the Thanksgiving Holiday less than eager to dive head-on into the week’s work, instead preferring to peruse the rapidly expanding world of e-commerce.

CyberMonday

Five years later in 2010, American Express (a very large business) began promoting Small Business Saturday. The credit card company relies on small business owners as a major component of their portfolio and it proved both good marketing and a good cause as President Obama and other elected leaders began to lend their support the following year.

SmallSaturday

Two years later the family was finally complete, when Giving Tuesday emerged from the 91st Street Y in New York City, seeking to encourage giving and not just consumerism in the holiday season (Additionally, a great example of the value of including all Americans holidays in this happy season, since it was the Young Men’s Hebrew Association that brought our country together in the spirit of giving). A number of online vehicles and corporations got on board and it caught on quickly.

GenericGivingTuesday

Which brings us to today.

There are no shortage of incredible local, national and international causes that will do great work with your hard earned dollars. There are also more than a few that won’t. For example, from CharityNavigator.org:

10Worst

Giving money to organizations like these is benefitting only the executives’ yacht funds, not the first responders, veterans or children they are named for.

Of course, ratings like those are not the be-all-and-end-all of the quality of non-profits. At the extreme, they tell us who the worst swindlers are, but they do not necessarily tell us much at the margin, especially with service providing non-profits. For groups that exist primarily to raise money to disperse it to service providers, researchers, etc., these overhead-based efficiency ratings make a lot of sense because the money is all there is.

For groups that provide services directly, the money is not the point, the impact is.

While impact is not always easily quantified, especially in a way that leads to easy comparisons, the information should be readily available on the organization’s website. For example among some of our great local non-profits: My Sister’s House provided over 5,000 nights of shelter to women and children fleeing abuse; Reading Partners successfully taught 89% of their 400 students foundational reading skills; and the Front Street Shelter has taken in nearly 9,500 dogs and cats in 2017 through October, with nearly 2/3 adopted or returned home. A personal favorite of our family, is Fairy Tale Town providing incredible family fun while encouraging reading to over a quarter million visitors in the region in 2016. And, of course, the Sacramento State Alumni Association, whose board I serve on, held more than 475 events, engaged over 2,300 volunteer hours and awarded $37,000 in scholarships. Internationally, the Daraja Academy in Kenya, that a friend raises money for locally, does a particularly good job of sharing their impact:

Daraja

(These are by no means all of the charities having a great impact in our community, just a handful of good ones that came to mind.)

So while we at Sacramentality would very strongly encourage that you give generously to charities in our community, we hope in doing so that you give smart. Know the mission you are supporting and know what how much good you are buying for the world with your hard earned dollars. If a charity you are considering supporting does not make this information readily available, you may wish to consider supporting another instead.