Article released in Sacramento State Hornet newspaper.
Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 12:00 am
Der Biergarten, opening up on the corner of 24th and K streets in Midtown, has promise to be a unique eatery Sacramento has not yet to seen.
Sean Derfield, owner of the River City Saloon,has been developing the idea since 2011 when he decided to build a German-themed beer house in the European open-air fashion.
Derfield said the new beer house will resemble San Francisco’s Proxy, a model of urban planning that demonstrates how a business can be successful by transforming underused areas like empty lots.
“It’s a beer garden that Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom came up with,” Derfield said. “(Proxy) used cargo containers for the architecture, and I thought, ‘What a great idea.’”
Thomas Roth, property manager of the plot agreed to the project because he thought it was such an interesting plan.
“This is a major corner in Sacramento,” Roth said. “The city is not used to shipping containers for buildings. It’s going to be great.”
But the project has been anything but easy to accomplish. Derfield said he has hit his share of speed bumps, mostly because of the use of the open cargo containers.
“Our plans kept getting kicked back with the city and health department, saying we couldn’t do this, couldn’t do that,” Derfield said. “Every time we objected to something, they had a different excuse.”
The plans to open before summer were delayed and Derfield was forced to open the exposed garden right before winter.
“It turns out that if you’re the first one to do something like this, they have to absolutely make sure it’s getting done right,” Derfield said.
One of the most exciting things about Der Biergarten is that it of only two beer gardens in Sacramento. Low Brau, located on 20th Street, opened last November.
Local restaurateurs, like Golden Bear’s executive chef, Matthew Brown, have also shown support and are anxiously waiting for the new beer garden to open.
“Everybody over here is excited and just waiting for it to open so they can check it out,” Brown said.
The garden will include concession style food, an open porch to sit and foosball and ping-pong tables.
“It’s an urban beer garden,” Derfield said. “It’s not traditional, we won’t be walking around in lederhosen.”
Derfield said the most important part of the business is its unique drafts.
“All the beer we are going to have you can’t just get at the bar down the street,” Derfield said. “We’ll have local favorites like Track 7 and New Helvetia, Pliny the Elder is a hot one too.”
Der Biergarten certainly promises to be something Sacramentans have not quite seen, especially for a traditional beer hall with an urban twist.
Although there has not been a specific opening date, those interested can go to www.beergardensacramento.com for more information.
Kaitlin Bruce can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org