By NICHOLAS MURRAY – email@example.com
Friday, March 4, 2016
There are few things better than a game of soccer and a pint of beer, and thanks to the rapid expansion of local breweries across the United States and Canada, there’s never been a better time to experience the local flavors that can be found in USL cities across the country.
One place where this is undoubtedly true is in Sacramento, where Republic FC has not only been at the forefront of partnerships with local breweries in the USL, but has also become the presenting partner of Sacramento Beer Week, which wraps up this Sunday.
“There’s a connection between the pub, the pint and the pitch,” said VP of Marketing and Communications Erika Bjork. “For soccer, or football as most of our fans call it, there’s a social aspect to it. You go to the pub and meet up with your friend and family, and you have a pint, and then you go to the pitch. As a club, we’ve offered opportunities to bring this tradition into the experience in Sacramento.”
Sacramento Beer Week is one of numerous festivals that occur each year, but given the city’s location in Northern California, it might also be one of the best. With more than 40 local breweries, and the type of climate and countryside that provides an ideal location for growing everything you need to make top quality beer.
“This is the beer mecca of California,” said Rubicon Brewing Company Owner Glynn Phillips. “There are a lot of places making good beer throughout California. But Sacramento, we’re right in the middle. We’re right in the middle of everything.”
Further west of the city, breweries like Russian River (Santa Rosa, Calif.) and Lagunitas (Petaluma, Calif.) have become nationally renowned. In a similar way, so has Republic FC, with the club boasting record-setting crowds in its first two seasons, and a quality product on the field.
The club’s rise, along with that of the city’s beer scene, has been a welcome addition to the city’s cultural growth.
“Football and pints are about as Irish as St. Patrick’s Day and shepherd’s pie,” said de Vere’s Irish Pub Founder Henry de Vere. “It’s been overwhelming to see Sacramento embrace what we love most – beer and football.”
As the week concludes on Sunday with the Capitol Beer Fest – and more than 125 breweries and 300 varieties of beer on hand – the relationship between beer and soccer in Sacramento will continue to grow.“The experience and the camaraderie and the celebratory nature of beer and soccer is huge,” said Farm to Fork Director Nicole Rogers. “Our beer scene and our athletic scene as a whole is moving in a really good direction.”