The Federalist: A Midtown Favorite Built For Beer

Inside the Federalist Public House. Photo by Stephanie Beachley.

Down an alley in Midtown Sacramento, there is a blue metal door. Behind this door is an open-air room filled with picnic tables begging visitors to grab a beer and enjoy a conversation. Next the sitting area is a long piece of astroturf awaiting a friendly game of bocce. And in the corner is a wood-fire stove that emits the smell of homemade pizza crust, mozzarella cheese and organic vegetables roasting to perfection. This is the Federalist Public House.

The establishment, which opened in 2014, is made from seven 40-foot-long shipping containers. Streetside of the beer garden is a historic house in which owner Marvin Maldonado resides in with his family. As an architect, Maldonado knew he always wanted to design a bar. So what better way to do so then using what was already in his backyard?

“It’s an all-outdoor, all-weather patio that we’ve created with these things,” Maldonado said. “I was originally going to build a shipping container house, but this was the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to build a bar and restaurant in my backyard, so why not?”

Lead server David Rafter describes the beer garden as not just a workplace, but a community.

“We don’t want a sit down where everyone is to themselves,” Rafter said. “You can’t just sit here and talk to another person just the two of you. You have to engage.”
Classic Margherita pizza, a green salad and homemade Peach Bellini. Perfect for brunch at the Federalist Public House.

Among the hundreds that frequent the establishment on weekends, The Federalist is also a favorite of Sacramento State students.

Not only does the atmosphere draw in the college crowd, but the menu offerings are delicious and affordable. Fourteen different pizzas are available, including Classic Margherita and a bruncher’s favorite the “Southside” topped with roasted pork chorizo and cilantro chili oil. All the craft beer on tap is specific to Northern California so that local breweries such as Rubicon, Track Seven and Firestone are supported.

“Anyone can stalk Sierra Nevada,” Maldonado said. “ So why not support the locals that keep this establishment going?”

The Federalist Public House is located at 2009 Matsui Alley in Midtown Sacramento.