Yesterday we had an early start and drove to Chico for our show at the Sierra Nevada brewery.
For breakfast I had the hotel classic, toast with jam and peanut butter.
It gets so hot in Chico that we had to get all of the soundchecks out of the way before the heat safety break at 2pm, which meant us leaving at 8am and arriving in a fairly grumpy state.
We couldn’t stay grumpy for long after we met Mahina and the rest of the great team at Sierra Nevada who gave us the royal treatment for the entire day.
Our green room had coffee and cold drinks, actual fresh pastries, and a proper fruit selection. I immediately regretted my meagre hotel fare.
After soundcheck we had a very nice lunch at the brewery restaurant and then were taken on an informative and generously-thorough tour of the brewing facilities.
Freeze-dried hops are baled and stored in this freezer.
We found some New Zealand hops!
The un-baled hops are stored ready to be added to a brew.
Malt is being crushed and fed into this Mash Tun where it is mixed with water to create a sugar-rich liquid called wort, which is then strained through the bottom of the vessel.
The wort is fed into these kettles where it is boiled and flavoured with hops.
It is then cooled and fed into fermentation tanks where yeast is added and the sugars can be converted various components such as alcohol and CO2.
This sheet filter removes the last unwanted particles.
After the brewery tour we went for a swim at the Sycamore Pool.
The stage was set right in front of the on-site hop field where they grow hops for the Chico Estate Annual Harvest Ale.
Luckily all of the gear got to wear silver cloaks to keep out the blistering afternoon sun.
It was a unique and beautiful location to experience a show. Ariel View had the prime time-slot, playing a great set as the sun went down.
Beth of the day goes to Mahina for going way and beyond the call of duty in taking care of us yesterday.
The food and beverage selection in the green room was first class and included properly salted tortilla chips – a rare find.
She gave us two green rooms – one indoors and air conditioned and the other outdoors but with a water mister.
She let us use the staff showers and gave us a great swim recommendation, and organised the excellent brewery tour.
Thanks Mahina for being so nice and such an absolute pro – we are so happy to have met you and made a wonderful new friend.