More Than Just Hot Dogs

OK, next up on the Big Eight is Capitol Dawg on Capitol and 20th Streets. That’s right, I’m listing what is basically a hot dog stand in my top eight favorite bars in Sacramento.

Why would I do that? Well besides offering a smorgasbord of ‘specialty’ dogs and like fodder, Capitol Dawg also offers you perhaps the most elusive drinkable I’ve sought throughout Sacramento’s sprawling barosphere: the sublime Olympia lager.

Olympia beer might be the greatest beer conceived by man. Especially on a hot day. After all, this is the Summer Edition of the Big Eight, and C Dawg is a summer bar. You don’t want to sit inside, it feels like a Dairy Queen. But once you’re outside, you can enjoy the sunshine, the light touch of Capitol Dawg misters overhead, and, more than anything, the cold sting of the perfect Olympia beer.

In all my travels, I’ve discovered only a few other locales in Sacramento that offer the perfect Oly. And none of those include a menu of over 30 delectable dogs, as well as their beloved adjuncts – the onion rings, cheezy fries, chili fries, chili cheezy fries, and … coleslaw (?).

I celebrated my 29th birthday at Capitol Dawg and I’ll probably celebrate my 30th birthday there too.

So I’ll probably take some heat for listing a hot dog place as one of my favorite summer bars. But if it gets one new person to Capitol Dawg, and if it opens that person’s eyes to the beauty of cold Olympia beer with hot dogs on a warm summer day, then I think it’s worth it.

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17 thoughts on “More Than Just Hot Dogs”

  1. I don’t know, I don’t think I’ve ever tried going there Sunday. Could be their Oly supplies can’t keep up with demand 7 days a week.

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  2. Drinking a multinational corporate Miller beer wrapped in a Pabst or Oly label is another one of those inexplicable hipster fads.

    I could sell horse piss for a $2 a can in front of the Old Tavern if just bothered to wrap it in a retro labelled Stroh’s can. We are blessed with some great regional breweries around here. Buy local and stop lining the pockets of MillerCoors LLC chemical distillation facilities… errr breweries.

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  3. Have you noticed the subtle, nay GARISH, change in the Oly packaging? They now have bright orange markings on the can, as well as touting “95% Malt”. Is this Oly’s (Miller) new craft beer? Nope. It’s the new Oly recipe. The taste is pretty different, but still a highly enjoyable American lager if served at the correct temperature (barely above freezing) . I like to imagine it still springing magically into vats tended by bleary-eyed elves in a moss covered brewery on the banks of the swift Tumwater. But it really comes out of the Miller Brewing Company’s corporate stills in Irwindale, California. Discerning area shoppers can locate it in most Fijian-owned corner marktets and liquor stores from 6.99 a 12 pack to the verifiable price of “8.50 out-the-door” at that little store next to the Pine Cove.

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  4. cogmeyer: That’s why I only watch home movies and public access TV. I’m tired of my hard earned dollars going to these multinational companies.

    Did you guys see that one movie where the two kids are playing catch in the backyard and then their dad comes out and they wave to him? Classic!

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  5. okay maybe I was a little too self-righteous on that one.

    But the retro regional beer thing does remind of that feeling you get when you hear a great indie band and then find out later the band was assembled by the creator of the Spice Girls. Or when you marry your chilled out, Birkenstock wearing college sweetheart and suddenly she wants a BMW 5 series and a house in Granite Bay.

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  6. To tell you the truth I really wasn’t aware of an Oly fad .. or any connection to the “hipster” thing.

    I really make my beer choices based on a single criterion, and it has nothing to do with where it was brewed or what corporate structure the brewer has. I really just care if the beer tastes good to me.

    And, as you might have guessed, I’m more of an enthusiast than a connoisseur.

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  7. Oly is the new PBR, baby.

    Next, go get yourself a porkpie hat, some 45’s (even though your don’t have a record player) a tattoo of a scantily clad woman riding a lucky horseshoe!

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  8. Here’s something I’ve always wondered, did PBR get its hipster cachet from Dennis Hopper and “Blue Velvet”?

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  9. Cool DMZ, I’d almost bet you that the PBR thing can be traced back to Blue Velvet. My love of the American lager also extends to the highly frowned upon Coors tall-boy. Part economic necessity borne out of poverty, part life-long love of ice cold, frosty western US beers. That means Oly and Coors, and if available, The Green Death (aka Ranier ale)

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  10. For added background, in Palo Alto about 1983, before Blue Velvet, I worked with an older couple from the southern part of Indiana (Lawrenceburg) where they had long owned a tavern. They reported the religiously standard beer there was always PBR. They didn’t report any hipsters, so the line must go: Small Midwestern towns>Blue Velvet>Hipsters>SacRag discussion.

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  11. I am from rural northern Wisconsin. A state where liquor licenses used to be handed out like candy and many rural bars look like someone’s house except for the Pabst or Hamms sign out front.

    “Foreign” beers like Budweiser or Coors weren’t really able to break through the distribution roadblocks put up by the local brewers until the later 70’s as I recall (except we always had Oly and Strohs around for some reason).

    I recall the later PBR hipster thing just as a early 90’s grunge by-product, right along with wearing trucker hats & Union 76 gas station shirts etc.

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