Beer helps

Microbrew Fest a success

Julie Mansfield, Rick Neves and their microbrews.

Julie Mansfield, Rick Neves and their microbrews.

Photo By Tom Angel

Review: Soroptimist Microbrew Fest
Sat., June 5

Upon entering the Soroptimist’s ninth annual Chico Microbrew Fest, one is handed a pint glass and a map of the different booths configured in the large main room of the Elks Lodge. You’re given about a quarter to a third of a pint at each stop (Hey pal, it’s a polite tasting, not Oktoberfest—a beer garden not the Bear Garden). Of course, there are plenty of great little snacks and endless microbrews, so yes, it was a party.

The crowding and yakking were pretty intense as I worked through the crowd to the outside back area where the bands were with my little splash of Sudwerk Pilsner (Davis) and a Chipotle burrito (yum!).

The Eel River Amber is worth a mention. Love that Butte Creek Organic and Sierra Nevada Summerfest, of course, and those little olive and cream cheese sammies.

Matt Hogan and the Incredible Diamonds were playing outside in a beautiful setting that was more like an Impressionist painting than a rock show. Hogan feigned confusion, saying, “Where’s the swinging doors? Where’s the juke box?”, like he’d never been outside before. Songs like Junior Brown’s “Highway Patrol,” Merle’s “Workin’ Man Blues” and The Fendermen’s “Mule Skinner Blues” rang out with complete Highway 99 authenticity.

After the Jeff Pershing Band took over—starting into some polished party favorites: “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Tequila"—people were warmed up and in a dancing mood.

Soroptimist president Linda Herman told me that the organization is “women helping women” and that they have raised mucho dinero through this event for groups such as Catalyst and the new Salvation Army Rehab Center. Kudos to them for their work for the community and running such a together event year after year.