Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Chico USA

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Saturday morning, Izzy, her aunts & I drove up to the city of Chico about three hours north of San Francisco. This small college town is the home of Sierra Nevada Brewing since 1980. For those who don’t know, Sierra Nevada is HUGE in the craft beer industry and is currently the 3rd largest craft brewery & 7th largest brewery overall in the United States with about 1.2 million barrels produced annually now. They even opened a new brewery in Mills River, North Carolina last year to help out (future visit?). Chico is home to their main brewery that makes about 80-85% of their current production though… and it’s a VERY impressive facility.
After trying a few beers, we took part in their Sustainability Tour where they took us on a people mover around the facility and showed off their 10k+ solar panels, recycling plant, bottling plant, then gave us a can of beer to enjoy in their garden complete with hops, tomatoes, herbs, flowers and other things. The whole place is very well run (at least according to the figures provided on the tour, which I’ll take since I’m not auditing) and quite admirable in trying to eliminate their carbon footprint as much as possible. Now, the water footprint may be another story but they’re working on that as well. Well done, Sierra Nevada!


After a few more drinks during lunch, we then took their actual Brewery Tour where they gave us the backstory of the owner starting in a small garage in the early 80’s and basically growing exponentially since then, took us to the mash tun & fermenters, and then to their taproom where they had us sample… of course… all of their brews. That’s right… we were pretty well paced with our beverages throughout the day… but yeah, lots of fun… more pictures…
Sunday morning, we woke up and went to see Bidwell Park… but unfortunately California has been drought ridden… but there’s still some pretty beautiful scenery with golden fields…
We then headed over to Bidwell Mansion to see this palatial estate of former California senator/congressman/farming tycoon John Bidwell and his midget wife Annie (look it up!). Though made in the late 19th century, the house is pretty damn sweet… and even had indoor plumbing back then… but you know, when one basically own half of the Central Valley aka America’s Breadbasket… one does not sh*t outside… and yes, one also has people in his employ to handle pans that may or may not be located near their beds. Anyway, it’s pretty fantastic… here are some pictures…


On the way home, we stopped by Heretic Brewing in Fairfield again and introduced Izzy’s aunts to their wonderful brews… and I bought a pint glass bearing their logo at a fairly great deal. We also tried some sliders from the food truck Sip ‘n’ Slide which specialize in Southern fried sliders… and it’s pretty fantastic.
Anyway, that was our weekend… hope that you all enjoyed it… and there are plenty more adventures to come in the following weeks… so stay tuned! In the meantime, have a great day everybody!!!

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