Yesterday we went to the Sierra Nevada brewery in Chico because, despite being students at the university here, we never actually took a tour there. We had no idea what to expect, but we knew we had to do it, and we were so glad we did.
I learned way more about the brewery than I had known before (surprising because I’ve gone to a few talks on the brewery and it’s kind of legendary in Chico). They included some information about their sustainable practices, but as always, they are super modest about how much they’ve done.
We got to see the whole beer making process and pictures of the machinery through the years. I liked being about to smell the hops and get an idea about how they really determine flavor for beer. If you are ever in Chico go on this tour!
At the end we got to go to the tasting room and were given lots of free beer. We tried so many amazing brews that I had never tried before and I can’t wait to invest my money in some amazing craft beers. The Ovila partnership may be my favorite once-in-a-lifetime brews, but the Kellerweis and new Imperial Stout (Narwhal) are fantastic too.
I ended up buying a bunch of keychain bottle openers for family and I FINALLY bought a Sierra Nevada sweatshirt (Ruthless because it tastes amazing, but the label is perfection). I must be the only Chico State student without a sweatshirt from that place and I will wear it with pride.
After the tour we went to the restaurant and pigged out in all the best ways. I was so hard to pick a meal, but I eventually settled in the Portobello burger. In my experience only really good steak/burger joints know how to properly cook a Portobello burger, and Sierra Nevada confirmed my observations. It was juicy, but smothered with some signature Pale Ale sauce of heaven that you could pour on anything and make delicious. We all got a beer sample to continue tasting brews we’ve never tried before.
Overall we left stuffed and sleepy because we had been treated to a fabulous day.
Afterwards I got to stop in to my old department’s yearly holiday party. I was so glad I went because it was a major ego boost. My favorite profs wanted to know all about grad school and they seemed so proud of me! It was nice to hear them bragging about me when I’ve viewed these people as my idols for most of my anthropological career.
Anyway, I leave the fields today and must pack/ ready myself for a quick trip to the farmers market to stock up on local goodies.

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