Quick plug for Tim and Brew Ferment Distill--best brewing supply shop in Sacramento (as well as winemaking, cheesemaking, distilling, etc.) In the summer he's got fresh hops from Kingbird Farms in Galt. Friendly & convenient.
I'm a brewer out in Roseville. Just checked out Gold Country Brew Club which meets in Sacramento the second tuseday of every month. Check out goldcountrybrewers.org. Pretty cool group of people, worth checking out. Brewmeister in folosm is a good supply shop, though I have to admit I buy 90% of my supplies online.
Week days are pretty much impossible for me to meet up due to my schedule. I am free every weekend however.
There is the argument about supporting your local resources because without your support they wouldn't be local. When that happens you are forced to get stuff through the mail. Can't really do spur of the moment things then.
I went and visited Tim at Brew, Ferment, Distill. He seemed like a great guy just trying to make a career out of his passion. He had his two kids in the shop and had a little area setup where they could watch TV, play video games, etc. It was kind of charming and took me back to the old days of a family run store.
It is getting harder and harder to justify the higher local prices with gas prices being so high. It costs me the same amount of $ in gas as it does to ship to my door. Tim's prices aren't much different than other LHBS, but they're still 20% higher than I can find online because he has overhead. I paid $58 for a 24lb grain bill. Granted, it was all specialty malts with Maris Otter being the base malt, but still fairly high.
I've been Home brewing for about 3 years now and started up a local group of brewers, beer judges and hop growers who try to get to get together once a month for some kind of brewing related activity or outing. almost half of our group are beer judges. So if this sounds like a fit for you feel free to check us out. There are other great brew clubs depending on where you are located or what you are looking for in the Sacramento vicinity. GCBA, Haze, Greenbelt, Modesto Mashers, Brew Angles and Elk Grove Brewers are the ones that come to mind. Find the one that best fits your needs and get involved. The more involvement the better the club and the outcome you will get. We meet a couple different locations, Pangaea's for club competitions and at other member's homes for brew nights. In fact we have a brew night tonight.
Tim @ BFD will get you anything you need if it's not in stock. He will go out of his way to make it happen. Since he isn't established quite yet in the homebrew market like some of his competitors in the area he has some growing pains but is getting through them very dilligently and trying to be the homebrew shop in Sacramento. Cheers.
I am in Green Belt and we have about 50 members now and some very knowledgable people. I also heard BFD got the ability to fill CO2 bottles now. That guy is really stepping up and trying to make a quailty shop.