“He is a wise man who invented beer.” – Plato
While beer wasn’t invented here, Chico’s claim to fame as the birthplace of America’s craft beer revolution in the 80s is indisputable. Industry giant Sierra Nevada Brewing Company was born within our city limits and went from a local legend to an international icon. Since then, our fair city has become a fertile beer garden, sprouting other amazing breweries with the nurturing support of enthusiastic locals and visiting beer drinkers. In fact, beer is such a thing, there’s even a Craft Beverage District, making the city an ideal spot for new breweries to take root.
The next generation of beer is here
Ever wanted to have a beer in an old train station? At Mulberry Station Brewing Company, you can. Opened during the pandemic, Mulberry Station Brewing Company is a relative newcomer to Chico’s craft beer scene. The brewery’s name is an homage to the old Chico Electric Railway which used to run down Mulberry Street. While the trolleys are long gone, the space has been reinvented as a brewery and pizzeria. A wood oven turns out beautifully charred and flavorful pies as the perfect pairing for Mulberry’s brews, which range from light lagers to dark stouts.
A homebrewer steps out of retirement and into the spotlight
Ever since it opened over five years ago, Secret Trail Brewing Co. has been getting a lot of positive attention. First, it was because a dynamic mom n pop duo named the Barretts decided to take their homebrewing operation public with Secret Trail Brewing Co. and establishing themselves as a brewery with novel offerings on tap. Purists will find classics like IPAs, ales, and lagers, while adventurous types will rejoice at uncommon brews like the Peanut Butter Baltic Porter. Then in 2022, the operation expanded into the building next door. Now Secret Trail offers a pup and kid-friendly patio, live music, food trucks, and more to its dedicated clientele.
A home brew hobby that became a passion
Planting new seeds in the pursuit of hoppy-ness
Established industry veteran Farmers Brewing Company is now sowing further afield than their original Princeton, CA location. Their latest offshoot is the Farmers Brewing Restaurant and Taproom in Meriam Park. As an extension of their “Farm to Glass” vision, this new venue offers a “Farm to Table” experience with locally sourced ingredients on the food menu. And with 46 taps in-house, anyone thirsting for something different will find options to satisfy them.
And looking towards the future of new experiences
Chico is anticipating the arrival of a brand-spanking new brewery soon on 8th Street called Ramble West Brewing. But until then, fans of small batch craft breweries can still get their fill. Nor Cal Brewing Company & Taproom provides a rotating menu of brews in one of Chico’s original breweries, circa 1870. For those in search of gluten-free beer, try a rice ale and lager from Eckert Malting and Brewing. Finally, for something different, Lassen Cidery makes traditional cider from regional orchards right here in Butte County.
Life is brew-tiful in Chico
With so many breweries in town, Chicoans benefit from a wealth of choices when they want to quaff a cold one. Perhaps great minds drink alike, but our city seems to be united in supporting new operations to add to the already rich beer scene. This offers an incredible opportunity for new and emerging businesses in the industry, and compliments a robust area of economic opportunity in other sectors. It’s one of the many reasons breweries have decided to Choose Chico as their home!