Most Viewed Stories
Sacramento loves Yuba City beer
Mark Martin did not expect demand to exceed supply quite so fast.
The owner and founder of Sutter Buttes Brewing began producing beer at his Yuba City brewery and restaurant last fall.
His beers made an appearance at four popular eateries during Sacramento Beer Week in late February, and Martin has been filling orders of Kölsch-style and IPA to the city ever since.
"I didn't think I'd be selling kegs for resale this soon," he said Wednesday. "They're buying it up as soon as we're brewing it."
Martin's first local client was City Cafe on Plumas Street, just around the corner from his Center Street pub.
But most of the brewmaster's audience is in the Sacramento area.
He recently purchased a delivery truck and had to put it to work before he could get it properly outfitted for the job.
In between brewing the beer and delivering kegs last week, he stopped off to see his graphics man and his truck man. He still needs to have a logo emblazoned on the side of the vehicle and install safety gear inside to prevent being bludgeoned by empty kegs.
"We're working on a tap handle too," he said of the rush to properly advertise his products. "We're very particular about the artwork."
His company's logo features the Yuba City water tower framed by his company name, scripted in a 19th century Germanic-type font. The logo was designed by Martin's sister-in-law, who, Martin said, typically handles accounts with a far greater profile than his own small-town start-up.
Maybe some day, Sutter Buttes Brewing will grow to fit the rest of her client list.
In the meantime, though, Martin tries to stay ahead of local drinkers' palates.
He kicked off a special series of traditional English beers this spring in honor of Beale Air Force Base. Flight crews that rotate frequently through England cultivate an appreciation for brews there, Martin said.
The first of the series, a low alcohol bitter that he called Beale's Best, premiered in advance of the Beale Air Show in April. Beale's Best has since been featured on the beer list at Samuel Horne's Tavern in downtown Folsom.
There's always something new.
A fourth in the Beale series is in the works, and Martin said he is designing a triple IPA exclusively for a Sacramento restaurant's third anniversary party.
Eventually, the Yuba City businessman would like to see his logo on a label, and to see that label on thousands of beer bottles.
Martin and three investment partners have already done the research. Machinery for bottling on a relatively small scale costs $70,000.
Contracting a bottling company requires a 200-case minimum, "which is a lot of beer," he said.
Maintaining quality control on a product with a relatively short shelf life, Martin said, requires a strong and consistent market.
His operation is still a few steps away.
But in the meantime, he's delivering four to six half-barrel kegs per week, keeping him plenty busy, he said.
"That's pretty good for a small, fairly new brewery out of Yuba City," Martin said. "It's something we're very proud of."