Arts Devo

Sing goodbye to summer and raise a glass to fall

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Summer fades away Let this sink in: In roughly six weeks, on the first day of returning to standard time (Nov. 1), the sun will set in the North State at 5:06 p.m. This is of course extremely depressing for Arts DEVO to think about. I'm already bummed that we're creeping toward 7 p.m. sunsets, which means my favorite season is about to come to a close.

I'll deal with staving off post-summer depression later. For now, we can take comfort in the efforts of some of the best musicians in the area, who will be gathering by the orchards at the end of Normal Street (2500 Estes Road) on the final Sunday of the season (Sept. 20, 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m.) for A Pickin' Picnic. Subtitled “A Farewell to Summer,” the mostly acoustic music festival features an impressive and eclectic roster that includes local guitar legend Charlie Robinson (playing flamenco and jazz); the Rock Ridge bluegrass band; singer/songwriter Hannah Jane Kile (with band); the all-star Thick and Thin Band (Americana/Latin/swing) and Chico's favorite country-skiffle purveyors, the Michelin Embers. The afternoon show is a benefit for KZFR radio.

Fall into beer week If I have to say goodbye to the long days of summer, at least I have Chico Beer Week (Oct. 8-17)—and the chance to share many different good beers, hopefully with many different beer geeks—to look forward to. The beer-week events have started to pour into the online calendar; keep an eye on and find Chico Beer Week on Facebook for the latest updates. And, if you're a local beer purveyor, make sure to send in your events (to to be included in the calendar, both online and in the CN&R's Beer Issue coming out Oct. 8.

More beer? It probably shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is raising the bar once again for beer adventurousness. The brewery just announced that Beer Camp Across America—the beer-collaboration project (with attendant cross-country beer-festival tour)—is back and bolder. In 2014, to commemorate the opening of its new East Coast facility, Sierra Nevada collaborated with a dozen American breweries on 12 different beers for the Beer Camp pack. And for 2016, they've teamed up with 30 different breweries (already gathering at the North Carolina facility to write recipes) for a new mixed 12-pack. Some of the impressive breweries in on the project include Faction (Alameda), Societe (San Diego), Magnolia (San Francisco), Bear Republic (Healdsburg), Dogfish Head (Delaware) and Odell (Colorado).

And, once again, the Beer Camp bus will hit the road for a series of six regional beer festivals (dates and locations to be determined, although I suspect the “Nor Cal” edition will take place very close to home). It's a good time to be alive, my friends.