East Sac’s SacYard Community Tap House to open by the end of the year

Dan and Melody Thebeau along with dog Hurley outside the soon-to-open SacYard Community Tap House, located at 1725 33rd St. / Photo by Monica Stark

By Monica Stark

Sixteen years ago, East Sacramentans Melody and Dan Thebeau had their first date at a brewpub and before the end of this year the duo will celebrate a major milestone – the opening of their own long-awaited business: SacYard Community Tap House at 1725 33rd St.
As the old adage goes – What you drink says a lot about you – the Dan and Melody story surrounded a love for beer. At that first date, Melody arrived before Dan and ordered her beer, and when he arrived she was very curious as to what beer he would order. At a time when there were very few craft breweries and a limited variety of “different” to select from, Melody says they both ordered a Sierra Pale Ale. “It was love then and over many years and many beers our love of beer has expanded to a world of amazing craft brew. There’s nothing like a deeply rooted chocolate stout on a cold winter night or the crisp taste of a top/fermented Kolsch on a warm summer day. Our go-to will always be an IPA, which is better today than they have ever been.”
Both transplants to the area, Melody from Oakland and Dan from Hartford, Connecticut, East Sacramento is home, and truth is, Melody says, “We’ve never been happier.” Living just a few blocks from the tap house in a 100-year-old  quaint craftsman with their two dogs Hurley and Chase, an English Golden Retriever, “Life is simple and good,” she said.
Built on the site of a former automotive garage, the location of SacYard boasts a unique half dome roof and glass garage doors that allow for an abundance of natural light, as the exterior storefront of consists of white oak wood cladding complemented by corrugated, galvanized steel panels in weathered gray, reflecting the building’s industrial characteristics.
When you walk into the 2,400-square-foot taproom, you’ll feel the warmth of the natural wood truss ceiling embrace you. Look up and you’ll see the space retains original automotive characteristics, such as the painted banding and refurbished concrete flooring.  The communal tables are handcrafted from a local woodcraftsman, Iron Plank Designs, from Auburn. They are made from abandoned water tanks more than 100 years old that retain the natural incongruities of the tank system.  The cooler houses 24 direct draw taps with an outdoor service counter opening the bar to the beer garden.  The interior design was influenced by LJ2 Interiors and Parisa O’Connell. “Our biggest partner, however, is Sutter Builders, the master of making it all happen!” says Melody.
Designed by Jake Moss of Healdsburg, whose work you may have seen on DIY Network’s Yardcore, the heart of the 3,800-square-foot outdoor biergarten will include a communal fire pit where people can gather, while others can choose to sit with friends and family at one of the 8 to 9-foot farm tables that collectively will span 50 square feet.
For those who love the “man cave” element, the owners plan to tuck you in a private corner of the yard with comfortable seating and a dedicated outdoor television set.  An outdoor service counter will make it convenient to grab a beer without having to go back in. A grass area and cornhole toss will invite families and friends. Meanwhile, a full-sized wall chalkboard can occupy the children.
With the experience of a seasoned beer program manager and a good understanding of the variety of what customers enjoy, the Thebeaus’ focus will be on the freshest selection of beers available at every order. While accounts with the major distributors will be necessary, they intend to work directly with independent craft brewers as often as possible.  “Our 24 taps will rotate the best selection of ales, lagers and sours from the West, including Portland, San Diego, and Colorado.  Of course, some of our finest beer carry will be local to the Sacramento region,” Melody says.
Melody says they will heavily promote food truck families and provide dedicated food truck parking on the premise with the hope of bringing a varied selection of the best food truck options in Sacramento from Thursday through Sunday. They have also partnered with East Sacramento’s very own Compton’s Market to provide a small selection of daily gourmet sandwiches, pasta salads and charcuterie to supplement the food truck experience. Folks are welcome to “order-in” food options by phone app and families can also choose to pack and bring their own picnic from home.
As taprooms and breweries continuously pop up around Sacramento, Melody does not fear the competition, in fact, she’s inspired by it and says SacYard will provide a unique atmosphere for the neighborhood. “Taprooms and breweries are enhancing communities and getting people out without a high-cost experience.  In our immediate vicinity, there is nothing like SacYard’s indoor/outdoor setting bordering neighborhoods that are walking and biking distance.  Our 3,800 square-foot beer garden is where people will feel free to gather and enjoy warm fire pits in the winter or the comfort of a heated or air conditioned tap room where people are playing Dominos and card games.” She added that the taproom’s entertainment permit allows for live music, though that’s not to say that they’re going to have a live stage concert. They’re also considering other entertainment such as a comedy night.  “Lastly, for our 33rd Street neighbors, we will have one dedicated ’33rd Street Tap’ for a beer selection of their choice.  We feel very fortunate to be in a neighborhood that has welcomed SacYard and this is a small way of giving them something back.  It’s all about the community.”
Melody, having been in the commercial real estate industry and have been for more than 20 years, runs operations with teams of seasoned commercial property managers in Northern California, Portland, Seattle, New York and Chicago. Dan’s opportunity to join Armstrong Plumbing company to run their underground division is what triggered the Thebeaus’ move from the Bay Area. “Although I travel a good amount of time, I do love my career, but mostly because I get to be here in Sacramento.  We have no intentions of leaving our day jobs, which I think is important for the success of a new business venture.  We’ll leave the day-to-day in the hands of our experienced operators who have learned more than we’ll ever know.  Our managers represent the heart of our team.”  All that said, she assures you will still find her and her husband most evenings and weekends, bar backing, bussing tables and hosting the beer garden with a smile.
Asked if there was anything they’d like to add, Melody said SacYard will be proud to support three local charitable organizations each year to raise awareness of the growing needs of our community and those in the nonprofit sector.  More information will be available as the Thebeaus approach the grand opening.

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