Tapped in

Chico is slowly starting to resemble a craft-beer town

Since 1980, when the tanks at a certain local pioneering brewery started flowing with pale ale, Chicoans have had no shortage of amazing beer. But as great as we’ve had it, when the craft-beer revolution that Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. helped spark took over the country, and “craft-beer towns”—San Diego; Asheville, N.C.; Bend, Ore.; etc.—started taking hold, Chico was slow to catch on.

Thankfully, that’s changed. In recent years, Chico has welcomed four new breweries—Secret Trail Brewing Co., Nor Cal Brewing Co., Eckert Malting & Brewing, and British Bulldog Brewery—as well as a couple of cideries (Lassen Traditional and Cellar Door). There are at least two more breweries with plans to open in the next year, and there are rumors of at least a couple more taprooms coming to Chico to join what’s become an embarrassment of beer-bar riches.

In this seventh annual edition of the Chico News & Review’s Beer Issue, we tap into Chico’s beer scene—from a beer label artist responsible for some of the most iconic craft-beer designs to an influential beer-buyer who’s helped bring great brews to Chico. We’ve also visited the cozy just-opened Allies Pub serving British Bulldog brews in downtown Chico.

And, of course, we are celebrating the arrival of Chico Beer Week 2019. Visit chicobeerweek.net for this year’s calendar of beer fun.