Sunday, February 1, 2009

More Than Extreme Pizza

-written by Mike Sober (AKA The HopHunter)

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of sharing a pizza and a couple of beers with Extreme Pizza owner Fred Munday. As soon as I walked in the place I could immediately see the thing that makes his location (1140 Exposition Blvd in Sacramento) differ from other Extreme Pizza locations I've been to ...... namely the tap handles and 22oz bottles for take home.

There was eight taps in all with no AB, Miller or Coors products in sight. Fred and his wife Margot opened up the place in October of 2007 with the idea of serving top notch pizza along with fresh local craft brews.

The offerings, which Fred explained usually lasted about a week on average before they rotated out, were Rubicon Pilsner, Beermann's Oatmeal Stout, Sudwerks Marzen, Rubicon IPA, Speakeasy Big Daddy IPA, Maylan's Kiltlifter, Stone Arrogant Bastard and Fox Apple Cider.

According to Fred's beer rotation spreadsheet the next round of beers would include Lagunitas Pils, Sudwerks Hefeweisen, Rubicon Irish Red (a PBN favorite) and Lake Tahoe Brewing's Nut Brown.

Although the selection of beers is impressive and worth every effort one could make to visit the this particular Extreme Pizza site; it is Fred himself that impressed me the most about my visit. Born in England and brought up in the old family ways of life that revolved around the local neighborhood pub he possesses an appreciation and knowledge of beer that is most refreshing to behold.

He is meticulous about the beer line and pint glass cleanliness (no sanitizer or soap residue) and the constant rotation of fresh brews with an eye towards setting his customers up with just the right beer for them.

As I sipped on my Big Daddy IPA and enjoyed a slice of the excellent "Kickin Chicken" pizza Fred excused himself and attended to two lady's that had tentatively approached the ordering counter. They inquired about a pitcher of Marzen but seemed unsure if it was the same beer they had enjoyed a few days prior. After asking them about their usual beer preference he offered them several samples including the Marzen, the Rubicon Pilsner and IPA to help insure that they invested in exactly the pitcher of beer that they came in for. It was indeed the Marzen.

I kinda cheated and looked ahead on the beer rotation sheet and found a number of gems that I plan to be back for ... including Stone Smoked Porter, Eel River Triple Exultrations and Anchor Porter. I also see Rubicon's ever popular Monkey Knife Fight, Beermann's Rip Roaring Red and Weed Brewings Lemurian Lager listing in the coming months.

So ya, if you are in Sacramento hungry for a great pizza (they make their own fresh dough and toppings daily) and a fresh local craft brew to go with it I recommend checking out whatever Fred has on that week.

It really does my heart good to see people breaking away from the old tired and stale approach to commerce and truly invest themselves with passion into providing excellent local products at reasonable prices.

Extreme Pizza
1140 Exposition Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95815