Friday, November 25, 2005

Day Trip To The Brewery

Sierra Nevada Bewery
Originally uploaded by /k.
It being the first day of winter (it's 60 degrees and rainy here) and having the day off, Shelley and I decided to take a day trip to Chico, California to visit the Sierra Nevada Brewery. Chico is about two hours north of here and famous for two things: Chico State University (twice named top party school in the USA by Playboy) and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. This is probably not a coincidence.

Sierra Nevada Brewery is one of the nation's oldest microbreweries, started soon after Jimmy Carter re-legalized small scale brewing. Besides their trademark Pale Ale, the brewery bottles seven other beers and serves seven more at its on premises restaurant, The Tap Room.

Originally uploaded by /k.
We took the obligatory tour, which although mercifully short, still was peppered with inane audience questions like "How many pounds carbon dioxide does the plant release each year ?" and "What is the bottling efficiency of the main line ?" (The answers were "I don't know" and "6 people run a line for quarter million bottles per day"). I did get some good pictures though.

They have a pretty cool setup and showed us most of the operation including the worting, kettles, fermenting and bottling. They even grow their own hops for some of the beers in a field across the street from the brewery.

While the tour may have been less than ideal, the brewery did make up for it with their onsite restaurant. It was pretty close to my collegetown brewery, The Free State, except they brewed more beers. We got one of their beer samplers -- it had 15 beers that they claimed only added up to two pints. I think I liked the Stout or Brown beers best.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

came across your post via "next blog" on blogger. i'd love to visit Sierra Nevada's place. i've read some of the history on their site as well as in MJ's big book of beers. great stuff. pretty ironic, i was drinking their Pale Ale last night and almost did a review but it got too late... and i got too tired.
drop on by if you get a chance: