Three years ago, Dan and Melody Thebeau turned what had been a junky automotive garage into SacYard Community Taphouse, and the magic they created is still drawing enthusiastic crowds, albeit with social distancing measures in place. “I call it controlled chaos,” says Dan.
With 6,200 feet of outdoor patio space (covered not with concrete but cooler, softer—and dusty—decomposed granite), SacYard lures a wonderfully diverse group of people of all ages, some with children and many with their canines in tow.
Melody Thebeau says the couple’s investments in SacYard’s family- and dog-friendly atmosphere, combined with the “drink of the people”—beer—are the keys to its popularity. “It brings people together,” she says. “It makes for this recipe that leads to people finding comfort in a community tap house.”
Patrons can try one of 24 beers, hard seltzers, ciders, sours and kombucha, all of which rotate regularly. Unlike a lot of taprooms and breweries, SacYard also always has a terrific selection of wine and even champagne. Food trucks, including Nash and Proper, Mumpy’s and Pollo Inferno make the rounds at SacYard, capably feeding the throngs of fans.
While the pandemic forced SacYard to rein in some of the most endearing elements of the usually communal outdoor space such as table tennis, kids’ toys, boccie and cornhole, it has grown its regular live music events with bands ranging from the rockabilly of The Twilight Drifters to classic rock from Dream and the Dreamer and the Grateful Dead-cover-heavy Nipper Brothers. The taphouse also hosts a pop-up makers market once a week.
“No one feels intimated about coming in by themselves because they know they will run into somebody,” says Melody Thebeau.
“It’s like a Cheers bar,” adds her husband. “You’re welcomed by all.”
SacYard Community Taphouse
Location: 1725 33rd St.
Hours: Sunday noon–9 p.m., Tuesday 5–9 p.m., Wednesday–Thursday 3 p.m.–10 p.m., Friday 3–11 p.m., Saturday noon–11 p.m.
Calendar of events: sacyard.beer
Other Great Spots for Drinks
Owners Dave Abrahamsen and Jason Poole make their own vodka and gin from Sacramento-grown rice and have created a great destination for craft cocktails, bar bites like shrimp po’boys, salads, fries and hot dogs in their gleaming 19th Street distillery—the first in Sacramento since Prohibition. Right next door, the two had opened Preservation & co. with house-made cocktail mixes, which they now combine with their own spirits. On tap are more than a dozen cocktails, including the refreshing blackberry margarita sour, slushies and more than two dozen infusions such as fig and dill pickle. Open Wednesday–Thursday 3–9 p.m., Saturday 9:30 a.m.–10 p.m., Sunday 9:30 a.m.–9 p.m. 1717 19th St.
Two Rivers Cider
Just off 24th Street in Hollywood Park, is a singular Sacramento experience. Its cavernous taproom is filled with antique bicycles, and its long patio regularly transforms into a lively music venue. On tap are five limited-release or rotating hard ciders and 13 core ciders, including blood orange and huckleberry, which can be enjoyed alone or blended for another singular experience. All the cider is made in-house. Tasting hours are Tuesday–Friday 4–8 p.m., Saturday 1–8 p.m., Sunday, 1–7 p.m. 4311 Attawa Ave.