(Last UPDATED 2/23/2022) Description and review of Alaro Craft Brewery, a craft brewery-restaurant located on Capitol Avenue in Midtown Sacramento. NEW: See “Alaro Craft Brewery Revisited” below.
Five friends and I dined at Alaro Craft Brewery in Midtown Sacramento prior to attending the B Street Theatre at the Sophia. Alaro Craft Brewery opened in June in the space long-occupied by Rubicon Brewing Company. Alaro Craft Brewery head brewer Chris Keeton formerly crafted beer at Rubicon.
I had made reservations ahead of time, and we were seated at one end of the high-top community table. While Alaro is a brewery it also has a very well-rounded wine list – a fact much appreciated by members of our party.
It was a Saturday night, and Alaro Craft Brewery was hopping, but the service did not suffer as a result. Our server was both attentive and efficient.
Our group of six ordered a variety of menu items, both large plates and small plates. The Spanish-influenced menu is small, but it has great variety – something for everyone. Also noteworthy – The menu helpfully identifies items that are: Vegetarian (V), Vegan (VGN), Gluten-Free (GF) and Spicy (S).
I noticed that the menu under “Small Plates (meant for sharing)” listed THE FEAST – chef’s selection of small plates served with flat bread for a set price. That sounds like a fun way to try out the small plate menu with several friends.
Small plates ordered included the:
- Beets (feta, pistachio-caper relish, arugula);
- Seared Tombo Tuna (tapenade, chicory, almonds);
- Trio of Dips & Yogurt Flatbread (romesco, zucchini-humus, tapenade) ($10);
- Miso-Glazed Brussel Sprouts (apple, calabrian chile, shallot, miso butter); and,
- Lamb Meatballs (lamb, orange, mint, romesco, pine nuts)
My order included the Trio of Dips & Yogurt Flatbread ($10) and the Lamb Meatballs ($12), as well as a 10 oz. glass of the Potrero Cali Common, an Amber Lager ($5.00). I had asked our server for a beer recommendation and the Potrero Cali Common went well with my meal.
Large plates ordered were:
- Pub Burger (1/2 lb Niman Ranch Beef, lettuce, caramelized onions, aioli, quarto-queso fondue, caramelized onions, sesame seed bun);
- Fish & Chips (Pale Ale battered California rock fish, Kennebec fries, caper aioli, slaw);
- Chopped Kale Salad (quinoa, radicchio, chickpea, Soppressata, feta, pistachio, pomegranate); and,
- Paella (Bomba rice, saffron, sofrito, aioli, daily offering of meat and seafood)
All the small plates were well-liked and enjoyed, as was the Pub Burger, Fish & Chips, and Chopped Kale Salad. The Pub Burger cheesy quarto-queso fondue was specifically mentioned as being especially delish.
The Paella had been ordered without the meat and seafood, and our dining companion had been under the impression that the dish would include vegetables. When the lack of vegetables was brought to the attention of our server the cost of the dish was immediately deleted from her bill.
Our server had cheerfully split our bills – something that is always appreciated. I noted that a 2% BOH (back of house) surcharge had been added to the bill – but I was only too glad to pay the 54 cents for a job well done.
Afterwards, as we left for the theater, several in our party indicated that they intended to re-visit Alaro Craft Brewery again in the future. I certainly look forward to doing so!
Alaro Craft Brewery Revisited (added 2/23/2022)
Earlier this week a group of around 30 members of the Renaissance Society met at Alaro Craft Brewery to socialize and become reacquainted with and/or meet new members of the A Cook’s Tour class. It was mid-afternoon on a sunny, but still a bit chilly, day.
We were also celebrating the start of the new semester. After being limited to “virtual” classes since the pandemic took hold, this semester the classes offered are a mixture of both virtual and on campus at Sac State.
In order to survive during the pandemic, the owners of Alaro invested in adding outdoor patio space in the back of the building. Two patios were added, and both are covered and heated. It is a very attractive space. Our group filled the largest of the two patios.
A variety of beers and other beverages were ordered and enjoyed, as were the dishes ordered to accompany the beverages. Ray Ballestero, who owns Alaro with his wife Annette, helped his staff take our orders. He admitted to me while taking mine that he was not as proficient as his staff – but was doing his best.
Asked to say a few words about Alaro, Ray shared that both he and his wife had loved the Rubicon, Sacramento’s first craft brewery. As a result, both felt it was important to step in to keep the (renamed) brewery operating. Of Spanish ancestry, Ray mentioned that the quality of Alaro’s Spanish-inspired menu was equally important to both he and his wife.
After two hours I decided it was time to head home. I knew that my dog, Mickey, would be hungry for his dinner and likely wanting to go out as well. It had been a most enjoyable way to spend a few hours, and I look forward to getting together with members of the class again soon.
If you have not been to Alaro’s recently you may want to pay them a visit. The pandemic has made it difficult for restaurants of all stripes to stay afloat – and I know that Ray would appreciate your business!
(3/9/2020) Alaro Craft Brewery is now offering Sunday Brunch from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Breakfast – 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Drink Specials – 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(9/1/19) Alaro Craft Brewery has a new head chef – David Santana. Before starting at Alaro Craft Brewery, Santana has spent most of his career working at OneSpeed and The Waterboy – both excellent, well-known Sacramento restaurants! I am making a mental note to visit the restaurant again soon.
(4/23/19) Alaro Craft Brewery won a gold metal at the Great American Beer Festival last September for its Castillo in the English-style IPA category – less than three months after the brewery and restaurant opened!
Comments on Alaro Craft Brewery?
Have you sampled the beer and/or the menu at Alaro Craft Brewery? What has been your experience?
Alaro Craft Brewery Snapshot (updated 2/23/2022):
- 2004 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, CA
- (916) 436-7711
- Hours: Sunday (10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.) Monday – Thursday (11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.); Friday – Saturday (11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.)
- Three outdoor patio’s, all heated, two covered
- Street parking
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