Chico beer on TV and Chico Performances in the wings
By Jason Cassidy
Shooting beers One of Arts DEVO’s happy surprises last year was the seven-episode debut season of Brew Dogs, a craft-beer documentary show on the Esquire network hosted by the founders of Scotland’s BrewDog brewery. In the show, the two rebellious Scots charm their way across the U.S., stopping in various craft-beer hotbeds, visiting breweries and bars and teaming up with locals to create one-off beers that tap into the personality of the region and its beer history. In Philadelphia, they brewed the “most American beer ever” on top of a float during a Fourth of July parade; in San Francisco, they paid homage to Anchor Steam, the birthplace of steam beer, by making a “fog beer” (using water collected on tarps from the bay fog) on the roof of the brewery. The scenarios are usually convoluted, but it’s always fun.
Of course, one of the first things to cross my mind at the conclusion of the season was, “They have come to Chico!” As you can see in this image from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s Twitter feed, they read my mind. Depicted are the show’s hosts, James Watt and Martin Dickie (both in shades), with Sierra Nevada brewer Terence Sullivan (far left) and Bear Republic Brewing Co.’s Roger Herpst, when they visited Chico in May for the filming of a “NorCal” episode that will air during the new season, which debuts June 25 (and airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m.). The episode will highlight Sierra Nevada as well as Bear Republic (based in Healdsburg and home of the wonderful Racer 5 IPA). From the synopsis: “In an RV in Northern California, James and Martin make impromptu craft pairings with campfire food and create the ultimate collaboration beer with Sierra Nevada and Bear Republic, and brew it with the help of a local professor, the ‘Pope of Foam.’” (The Pope of Foam would be UC Davis professor of brewing science Charlie Bamforth.)
And, it turns out that the production company is coming back to Chico to film at least one more time. Both The Handle Bar and Winchester Goose have announced via Facebook that the Brew Dogs crew will be visiting their respective establishments on Friday (around 5 p.m. at Handle Bar, 8:30 p.m. at the Goose, and maybe some other places in between). Go join the fun, raise a pint … and don’t make too much of an ass of yourself on camera.
Mark your calendars I had the trippiest dream last night. Some of the greatest artists from the history of American music—Mavis Staples, Buddy Guy, Allen Toussaint—were all on the stage of Laxson Auditorium, staring out at the audience in the grand theater that Chico Performances fills each year with a ridiculous variety of world-class music and performing arts (the 2014-15 schedule of which will be officially announced June 16). And with the house lights down, all that the performers could see staring back at them was a sea of contorted bodies and faces poking out of the darkness—Mr. Potato Head-like eyes and mouths, blobby forms folding in on themselves, and white toilet-paper-roll eyes staring back. I wonder what it means?