Bubbly and brew

Chico coffee house starts serving alcohol; plus, a tour of Sierra Nevada Brewery

There are few things in life that I love more than brunch. It's the one meal that combines my favorite things—late mornings, champagne, strong coffee and bagels. I have my favorite brunch go-to spots, and there's one place that may be added to that list soon: Bidwell Perk.

The coffee joint has long offered pastries and a variety of breakfast bagel sandwiches, but it's always been more of a breakfast-on-the-go stop for me. Now, through a new venture called One Mile Wines, mimosas are on the menu, and may call for some leisurely bubbly sipping on a Saturday morning.

One Mile Wines is a collaborative effort with Bidwell Perk, both owned by Michelle and Gentry Power, who have run the café for nearly 10 years. The business will hit its 20-year anniversary in 2016, and Michelle said One Mile Wines is a way to evolve and bring more of a European-café atmosphere to the Perk.

Aside from mimosas, wine and beer are now available throughout the day and the café has expanded its hours to offer a post-work happy hour. The full coffee menu will be available at all times, too, making it convenient to grab a quiche and a glass of wine at lunch or a cappuccino and a pastry in the evening.

“We just really want people to have another reason to come into the Perk,” Michelle said. “Our coffee is still our coffee. It's the foundation of who we are. But who doesn't love a glass of wine at the end of the day?”

The Perk's new hours are Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., and 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the weekends. Check out the business' Facebook page for happy hour times.

Brew tour. Talking to Michelle reminded me of the fantastic Sierra Nevada Brewery tour that my husband, Nick, and I took last month with friends. Although Gentry Power still works behind the scenes at Bidwell Perk, a few years back he took a position at Sierra Nevada and one of his first efforts was to create the tour that showcases the brewery business.

I typically prefer mimosas over beer, but by the end of the tour I was ready to have a few pints just from sheer appreciation of all that goes into making those brews. I also was introduced to a new favorite beer: the Ovila Abbey Golden, featuring pomegranates grown and harvested by the monks at New Clairvaux in Vina. It's on tap now, so be sure to grab a pint soon.