I'm not going to pull any punches, so I'll let you know that in addition to food - I gather if you read my reviews you'll realize that I'm a hard-core "foodie" - I love beer. I love all beer, but I especially love good, locally-brewed beer. When you combine delicious food, friendly staff, quality beer, and a free tour of the brewery, complete with samples at the end of the tour... what could be better? If I have your interest, think of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Taproom, located in Chico, California.
As with all of reviews that I publish, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.
Photo: The main building at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., located in Chico, California. It's just after 12 in the afternoon on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, and I've arrived to enjoy the 12:30 tour, complimentary beer tasting, and a great meal in the "Taproom Restaurant," after the tour.
To enjoy the tour, you enter the door labeled "The Big Room" and you'll arrive at the tour desk, and you'll be greeted by the friendly tour guide.
Photo: After checking in at the tour desk - it's advisable to make reservations online - there is a comfortable waiting room, where you can get a peek at some of the huge vats full of beer in the making.
Photo: I checked in at the tour desk about 15 minutes early, so I had a few minutes to browse the gift shop, located next door. Nothing really caught my eye...
Photo: The tour was around a half hour, and at the end of the tour, we enjoyed samples of some of the fine products that Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has to offer. As I took her photo, I asked friendly bartender, Kelly, to give me a "bartender smile," and she obliged.
Photo: Cheers!!! ... as our friendly tour guide presents another round of samples at the end of the tour. The samples happen to be one of the varieties of porter beer that Sierra Nevada offers.
Photo: Touring a brewery builds up an appetite, so after the tour, I headed to the nearby restaurant, called the "Taproom," to enjoy lunch. It's about 1:30 in the afternoon on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, and I'm in the mood for lunch. I already had looked online at Sierra Nevada's menu, so I had a very good idea what I was going to order.
Photo: As you enter the restaurant, you're greeted by a "meeter/seater," if you want to sit at a table. The dining room features "open seating" for the bar, and many of the smaller tables. The dining room is HUGE!
I sat at the bar, which is where I prefer to sit when I'm by myself, as there's always somebody to talk to, and you can really watch the friendly staff in action.
Today was the first day the restaurant was open, after undergoing a 2-week renovation. The open area in the center of the photo used to have tables, and the renovation opened up the center space, and really made the restaurant seem spacious. Several small "stand-up" tables were included, most for a spot to set down your beer, as you relax with friends. The open kitchen is in the rear of the photo.
Photo: Two pages of the menu, the "Pizza" and "Entree" pages. Other pages are dedicated to soup, sandwiches, burgers, appetizers, and, naturally, a section for the children.
Photo: The beer menu is posted on the wall, above the bar.
Photo: Meet Lisa, my friendly bartender who took my lunch order, and placed a "Pale Ale" in front of me. You can order beer by the pint or even a growler, and if you're in the mood to sample, flights are available.
Photo: View of the bar, and the spacious dining room. I sat at the bar in the middle chair, located between the lady in white, and the gentleman in blue.
Photo: If you choose to dine outdoors, the restaurant features a beautiful, spacious patio. Even though today was bright and sunny, the temperature was in the upper 40's, so not many diners chose to enjoy the beautiful patio.
Photo: I'm a "sucker" for open kitchens, and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Taproom restaurant features a section of the kitchen that's open for all to view.
Photo: The recent renovation "opened up" the center portion of the dining room, and each support now features small, stand-up tables where you can gather and enjoy a beer or two with friends.
Photo: Lisa tends bar, takes orders, and chats with customers. When I arrived around 1:30, the restaurant was nearly full, and when this photo was taken, about a half hour later, the dining was still very full, but it was beginning to thin out a bit. I was fortunate to find a seat at the bar!
Photo: The gentleman sitting next to me at the bar was enjoying a lunch of "Soup of the Day," bread and a "Skiesta Lager" beer. He was also very interested in the book he was reading, but later, he put down his book, and he and I chatted about beer, as I sipped my "Pale Ale" and waited for my order to arrive. I should have asked him what the "Soup of the Day" was...
Photo: Meet Andi, my super-friendly server, who brought my amazing lunch to me with a smile. Despite the fact the restaurant was very busy, she managed to find the time to chat, and keep me happy. Great service is enjoyed at Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Taproom!
Photo: Thanks, Andi, for snapping my photo, as I prepare to enjoy a lunch of "Fish and Chips," as I sip a in-house-brewed "Pale Ale."
Photo: My order of "Fish and Chips," which included a plate of coleslaw; a nice touch. I love the square plate and the attractive presentation. The food looks delicious, but it tastes better than it looks!
The menu describes "Fish and Chips," as, "Wild caught Pale Ale battered Alaskan cod, Kennebec fries, coleslaw, and house made tartar sauce." Sounds good... without hesitation, I dug in.
The star of the meal is the ale-battered cod which was amazing. The fish was tender, moist and perfectly cooked, and there were no bones! The batter was golden brown, crunchy and delicious. It complimented the fish, yet it didn't overpower it. The combination of batter and fish was absolutely perfect. You get a LOT of fish in this meal, and each piece was simply delicious. I loved dipping small morsels into the tasty tartar sauce.
The coleslaw was fresh, tangy, and made just the way I like it. I'd never enjoyed Kennebec fries before, and they're great fries no matter what name you call them. They're lightly seasoned, fried crispy and pale golden on the outside, and tender on the inside. They're not salty or greasy, and these fries are the kind of fries I LOVE!
My lunch was so delicious that I asked my friendly server, Andi, to pass my compliments along to the chef. This was truly a great lunch!
Of course I enjoyed the complimentary tour of the spotlessly-clean brewery, and the samples of the fine beer at the end of the tour, but the main attraction was the "Taproom" restaurant, the pint of Sierra Nevada "Pale Ale," the friendly service, and the amazing lunch of "Fish and Chips." For quality beer and delicious food, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Taproom is a "must visit" destination when you're visiting the northern California city of Chico.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Taproom Restaurant
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