What We Bring To The Table
Food and beverage at break even beermakers centers on fresh, seasonal, regional, and sustainable ingredients prepared simply but dynamically. We believe that food and beverage can nurture and heal the land while providing sustenance and livelihood to a community. We farm a portion of our own hops, orchard fruits and vegetables at our nearby Banded Family Ranch. We also partner with other small-scale producers, soil-minded farmers, and responsible foragers who care for what they do and how they do it. After all, isn’t that what you want at your table?
In addition to our small-batch beer program, we also offer selected wines and ciders, as well as non-alcoholic beverages including house sparkling water and sodas.
Our beers are built on quality regional ingredients, brewed on a unique copper brewhouse, and executed with deliberateness using both traditional and contemporary techniques. Our unique brewery and cellar at Break Even was designed with an eye towards small-batch flexibility and innovation. We are advocates for open-fermentation, gentle transfers, long cold conditioning rests, and natural carbonation. Over 95% of our malt comes from California, and our hops are sourced from California and Oregon growers, including our own hopyard at Banded Family Ranch in Sutter Creek, California.
Beer design at Break Even tends towards quaffability and balance. A bulk of the beers that we make fall at or below 5% abv as we find this is a sweet spot for allowing our ingredients and techniques to shine through the liquid. We make stronger and smaller stuff too, but it is occasional. Although we are influenced by beer trends and tradition, each beer is designed from the ingredients up, and we play between styles a lot and try to describe our beers accordingly.
Drawing on tenets of California cuisine, our kitchen blends the use of fresh, seasonal and local ingredients with cross-cultural approaches to present healthful and hearty dishes. Our open concept kitchen has three defining touchstones: a smoker to prepare proteins and veggies; a daily-tended focaccia bread program; and a preservation larder program. We encourage ordering multiple dishes around the menu, sharing plates, and visiting often as things are frequently changing with availability of new produce and forage. Some sample offerings from the kitchen include smoked cauliflower bites, breaded and deep fried risotto balls (suppli), and focaccia topped with spring king boletes and pig’s head porchetta.
There is no reason to miss out on the good stuff if you can’t stick around, of course. We offer a rotating selection of super tasty grab-and-go options, including focaccia sandwiches, salads, and beer (ours and others!), wine and cider. These are perfect for workday lunches, bike adventures, or Shenandoah valley picnics. We love to party, and offer catering and beer packages for your private events too.
Banded Family Ranch
We are involved in growing an increasing amount of our own ingredients at Banded Family Ranch, a regenerative farm, orchard, and hopyard. Located on a ridgeline about 5 miles from Amador city, the banded family ranch is our opportunity to take a holistic approach to our food and beers, and to make our business as circularly integrated as possible. The ranch project includes a one-acre hopyard, a permaculture-inspired fruit tree and vegetable orchard, an olive grove, an organic compost program, and a multi-species livestock herd of goats, cows, and a very sweet donkey named sally. Land stewardship is crucially important to human and environmental health, and the well being of our community. Our farming principles are rooted in permaculture, soil regeneration, and finding balance in our ever-changing ecosystem. Our goal at banded ranch is to provide a unique harvest for our menus while reducing fire risk and regenerating the land through animal impact, native grass restoration, and compost spreading.
As food and beverage makers, we are motivated in knowing that our creations will hold space on someone’s table and be consumed in good company. Come on out and see what we love to do - we think you'll like it!