So I was in Chico last week and overall life was good (despite the 3 hour time difference).
I took the Sierra Nevada tour. It was really cool to see the grinders, kettles, and fermenters, but I was kind of bummed that we didn't get to see the bottling line. They had to move the lines into a newly-built area to get more room, and they are in the process of building a new observation area.
Also, the tour guide was an old cheerleader, who knew nothing about brewing, other than the exact content of her "script". One guy (retired Army vet) who had been in Germany asked the bink about Rheinheitsgebot, and she had no clue. I explained the "law" and she just smiled.
Despite the obvious signs, I went ahead and asked the obvious about mash time and temps. Her reply was something along the lines of "I surely don't know, but I'll get you an answer." RIGHT!!!
Oh well, I had dinner later in the restaurant and tried their sampler, and it was all good.
Also, they have two new beers, that are joint brews with Sam Calagione of Dogfish. It's called Life and Limb
and I give it 3 thumbs up
Both the small beer - Limb and Life - and the big beer - Life and Limb - are great. If you are in the area, i highly recommend it.
Also, they have a spent grain soft pretzel appetizer that is good by itself, but is even better with their Porter spicy mustard.
All in all, a good week.