episode 40 :: capital gains


A long weekend trip to Sacramento early in June opened my eyes to all things culinary in our state’s capital. Led by Rick Sellers of Pacific Brew News, and his wife Tracy, we spent one of the most action-packed beer & beverage days that I can remember having in a very long time. We were joined by Peter Hoey of Sacramento Brewing, as well as Sean Paxton (the homebrew chef) and his wife. The day starts off in high gear and never slows down.

Listen to episode 40 here.

There’s Corti Brothers, the grocery store that has now become the measuring stick for all others. The Shack – the most unassuming place you’d ever expect to be drinking some of the finest Belgian beers in the world. There’s King’s Restaurant, home to some of the greatest Dim Sum I’ve ever had (including . . . . get ready . . . . CHICKEN FEET!).

We spend a couple of hours at Sacramento Brewing, where Peter has put his genius to work crafting some incredible brew, as well as some of the most loveable cask-aged Sour Belgian ales you could ask for. Our evening ends at Auburn Alehouse, where Brian and Lisa Ford have turned a sleepy little town into a craft brew destination for anyone on their way to or from Reno or Lake Tahoe.

We gained some new friends, new memories, but most of all – an education. Sometimes, the culinary gems are where you might least expect them to be.

In this episode:
• Sacramento, and the capital’s hidden food mecca
• Things I learned from Food, Inc., and why everyone should see it
• 911 is for emergencies, not fast food mishaps
The Bruery’s new homebrew supply shop
Beer Wars now available on DVD
• An preview of an in-depth look at Myrecipes.com, coming soon
• New FDA regulations on at-risk food production facilities
• Kobe Beef – it’s not what’s for dinner, even if you think it is
• Detroit’s auto industry crisis hits the city’s food supply

Listen to episode 40 here.

Music in this episode by Marilyn Manson. Buy the song in the iTunes Store. 99 cents. Don’t be cheap – support the arts.

PS: Paula Deen is the anti-christ.


  1. Dude – loved the recap of the time in Sacramento.

    Cheese that we ate in the parking lot at Corti Bros. was Humboldt Fog – one of the better cheeses I’ve ever had – made by Cypress Grove, who just took Best of Show honors at the Cali Sate Fair for their lavender chevre called Purple Haze.

    The sausage / smokehouse is called Morant’s Sausage and they’ve been here for decades making authentic German sausages. Their Weisswurt is to die for.

    Peter at SacBrew just won six medals for the California State Fair, if I can plug that a bit.

    Sad we missed out on the Tortilla Factory and a few other spots, but next time…

    Thanks Phil!

    • Rick, thanks for your comments and most importantly for opening my eyes to California’s culinary hidden treasure. For as high as you’d touted it, it was more than I expected. If nothing else, Corti Brothers changed my entire perspective.

      Thank you for clarifying that the goat cheese that we enjoyed on the back of Peter’s truck was Humbodlt Fog from Cypress Grove. That entire scenario seemed so surreal. Katrina would make a special setting on our table to enjoy a cheese as rich as that, and here we were crumbling it on pieces of hand-ripped baguette in the parking lot of a grocery store. It was one of those food-crazed moments that will stay with me forever. It deserved wine, but it was much too early for that.

      So Peter just medaled too? Why is that not a shocker? He’s literally transformed Sacramento Brewing’s lineup of beers into works of art.

      Thanks again for being so accommodating to us. That weekend would have been half-assed at best had it not been for your hospitality. I certainly do look forward to “next time”, whenever that might be.

  2. Great show, just found you through BFH. Two movies I think you would like, King Corn and Our Daily Bread. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks for your comments Mitch!!! Great to hear from a fellow fan of BFH. They’re one of my favorite beercasts, if not my favorite overall.

      Appreciate the movie recommendations. I have not seen Our Daily Bread, but will certainly look for it now. It’s been interesting to see how many movies about food culture and the state of food in our nation have been made.

      We focused on King Corn quite a bit when it was released, and when the filmmakers decided to give broadcasting rights to PBS when the movie made it’s way into the home market. http://mylifeasafoodie.com/2008/04/15/watch-king-korn-for-free-on-pbs/

      It’s funny that you mention the movie now, because so much of what was said in Food, Inc. brought back what King Corn focused on. Thanks for bringing this up, Mitch. I’m going to revisit the movie in our next episode and make sure any new arrivals have a chance to see this movie in DVD while the issues are still fresh in everyone’s minds.

      Thanks again for listening, and for taking the time to comment!

  3. LOVE the great words about Corti Brothers. It makes me proud to shop there. What I love the best about it is that it is 100% content and not much show. It doesn’t have the polish of the new high end grocery stores with all the polished granite, stained concrete floors, and pierced hipsters behind the deli counter.

    Morant’s Sausage is the absolute best for sausages you will find. Dirk, the owner, jokes that I grew up on his sausages because my folks have been going there regularly since before I was born. Sausages made from chicken breast, veal, and high quality pork makes you never want to buy sausage at the grocery store again.

    Thanks for the kind words about my beers, it was great spending the morning with you!


    • Peter – thanks, man. It means a lot that you took the time to comment here. First, let me congratulate you on your recent awards at the California State Fair. Well deserved honors!!

      That day was epic in every way. You are all so lucky to have a store like Corti Brothers. While we have small regional markets that are special in their own way, nothing compares to the scope and variety of ingredients that Corti Brothers brings to your city. I appreciate that you guys took the time to show us around there. If I lived anywhere near there, I’d be proud to say Corti Brothers was my market too. 😉

      Thanks for clarifying Morant’s. My head was flooded with information and I failed to take notes. To even attempt to describe the smell of that place would do it an injustice. You just have to go. So funny that you know the owner by name. I sense that’s just the way it is for anyone who’s grown up there. Maybe Morant’s is in your DNA.

      And Peter, what I said about your beers doesn’t begin to scratch the surface about how blown away I was. As I’ve told many people, when I described that trip – it was liquid artwork. You may very well be on your way to re-inventing the wheel on Belgian Sour Ales. For all of the criticisms it receives from non-fans or those who feel it’s a flawed style, you may well be the brewer to breath new life into it. And I’m not just blowing smoke here. Thanks for sharing your craft with me, and for taking the time out of your day to hang with us.

  4. As you always do, Phil, you turned out another great episode. Much fun hearing about the Sacto food world. It’s been years since I have spent time there. As you already know I’m a big fan of Corti Bros. — such an amazing store! And Food Inc., saw it, was so aghast at what really goes on in the corporate farming world/food industry — jaw was on the floor, and they get away with it. Shameful. It’s no wonder obesity, and diabetes, are at epidemic levels in this country. Unbelievable. And then there’s Paula Deen! Enough said. Love the music choice, again, as always. Thanks for another great show, thanks for the shout out (we have to get that beef tasting organized!) Cheers!

    • Thanks for the kind words as always, Charles! Always good to hear positive feedback, especially about the music. 😉 Your story about Corti Brothers is the best – would be nice if you shared it, either here or on your blog some time. When you emailed me about it earlier last month, I really felt like I wasn’t making a big deal out of nothing.

      I hope people do see Food, Inc. – if not in the theatre, when it’s available on DVD in the home market. I can’t stress enough how important a message it is for everyone.

  5. Great show, man. I laughed so hard when you talked about dreaming of the supermarkets, because i have the SAME DREAMS!
    well, now i’ll have to get to sacramento someday, i have family in the santa rosa area. very cool that you hung out with sean saxton, he just seems like a wealth of knowledge and creative spirit.

    hope food inc. gets out here in northwoods wisconsin.

    cheers, phil.

    • Hey Nik – glad I’m not the only one! Thanks for not making me feel like a freak!

      Paxton is the real deal. He’s a guy with a head full of information, and not shy about sharing what he knows. It’s amazing to sit at a table full of talent like that. Between Rick, and Peter, and Sean — it was a really intense day for me. I did my best to keep my mouth shut and just observe. And you can imagine how hard that is for me not to talk.

      Thanks for your comments dude.

  6. Hey Phil,

    Doin’ an article on beer-fed “Kobe” beef, so thanks for reminding me not to call it the wrong thing! Great show as always.

    On the subject of Waygu and Kobe (not really) ever heard of kurtibuto pork? Pretty sure I’m spelling it wrong … lookin’ for info on it.

    • Hi Jennifer! I think you could be referring to Kurobuta? That’s sometimes referred to as Black Pork, or Berkshire here in the states. I’m sure if you google Berkshire or Kurobuta you will find a lot of information on this.

      This is considered the Kobe of pork, so you’re right there. I’ve never tasted it myself, but I know about it because I’d read about how the chefs at The French Laundry source it for the restaurant. If you do happy to find it and have it, let me know. I’d love to hear about it.

      Thanks for your comments!

  7. PS–Great pictures too!

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