Ask local beer legend Rob Archie if he’s concerned about managing expectations for his latest project and you get an incredulous look.
“I look at it as a responsibility to continue to build up and contribute to the culture of beer in this region, in the state, in the country, around the world,” says Archie, proprietor of the essential Sacramento brew bar Pangaea Bier Cafe. “We want to bring value to the beer industry.”
In a cavernous space in the Southside Park neighborhood formerly occupied by Brownie’s Blueprint Company, Archie and brewer Peter Hoey (former brewmaster at Sacramento Brewing Company) are teaming up to open Urban Roots Brewing & Smokehouse. While some in the local scene worry about brewery oversaturation, the immense Urban Roots project feels like the start of something special.
When Urban Roots opens in early 2018, expect exposed steel beams, an open kitchen, natural light from the ceiling windows and a spacious front porch, and an enormous production space that will accommodate a bottling line and several giant oak foeders for fermentation.
The collaboration between best buddies Archie and Hoey was a no-brainer. “I feel like we complement each other because Peter makes beer and I’m essentially a fan and a purveyor of beer,” says Archie. “We both have totally different skill sets, and it works perfectly.”
Archie expects Urban Roots to concentrate on Belgian styles and saisons, but he also acknowledges that they are in the IPA business. He believes there will be roughly 20 different beers on tap once Urban Roots gets up to speed, along with a “purpose-driven” guest list. “If we’re doing a collaboration with another brewery, we’ll have their beers on tap,” he says. Urban Roots has already brewed several collaboration beers with industry friends like Cellarmaker, Alvarado Street and Three Weavers.
As for the food, Urban Roots will serve the usual hearty barbecue fare like ribs and brisket, but it will also offer vegan and vegetarian options, as well as comparatively lighter stuff like smoked fish and oysters. “It’s not going to be a stereotypical barbecue joint,” says Archie. “There will be some flavor to it.”