Another road trip!
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. beers are so ubiquitous and the brewery is so prolific and its proximity is so close that it’s easy to take for granted. However, an 80-mile pilgrimage to the brewery/tap room/restaurant/farm in Chico is a treat for even the most jaded beer snob. Tours are free, 90 minutes long, highly interactive (dig into those fragrant piles in the hop freezer) and end with a tasting flight. It pays to make reservations, as we were forced to catch on with a group of landscapers, whose tour included a lengthy trip to the composting facility. The real score was the chance to sample new and rare Sierra Nevada beers, like the Narwhal Imperial Stout and the brutalizing Audition Double IPA, bottled for sale only at the gift shop. 1075 E. 20th Street in Chico, www.sierranevada.com.
Beer: Snow Day
Brewer: New Belgium Brewing Company
Where: Raley’s, 4850 Freeport Boulevard; (916) 452-6861; www.raleys.com
Beer: Tilquin Gueuze (draught)
Brewer: Gueuzerie Tilquin
Where: The Davis Beer Shoppe, 211 G Street in Davis; (530) 756-5212
Beer: Double ESB (bourbon-barrel aged)
Brewer: Shipyard Brewing Company
Where: Pangaea Two Brews Cafe, 2743 Franklin Boulevard; (916) 454-4942; www.pangaeatwobrews.com