There are a ton of reasons to support local businesses: It helps promote their ability to continue to make their products, it supports families who live in Butte County, and it helps keep money in the area. But the main reason to try these locally made goods is simple: They’re just plain great!
From well-known classics to small-batch surprises, here are five Butte County-made products you have to try.
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
If you’re visiting Butte County and have never tried the brew that started it all for Sierra Nevada, you owe yourself a pint of Pale Ale. The famously green-labeled beer wasn’t the Chico icon’s first—that was actually a stout—but it certainly is the flagship beverage that sparked Sierra Nevada’s rise to craft brewing prominence across the country.
You can get a Pale Ale all over North America, but snagging a draught in the Chico taproom is an iconically Chico experience and not to be missed by any beer enthusiast.
Beer Brittle from Joy Lyn’s Candies
An outstanding candy maker in Paradise, Joy Lyn’s Candies is still rebuilding after its facility in the 2018 Camp Fire, but plans to reopen in October 2020. Its reputation as a national award-winning confectioner makes it worth waiting for—and worth supporting.
One of the candy makers first items to return to shelves is its popular Beer Brittle, a peanut brittle made with the aforementioned Pale Ale. Made in small batches since Joy Lyn’s introduced it 10 years ago, the same hints of hops and malt found in Pale Ale show up among the buttery, salty and sweet combination you’d expect to find in a classic peanut brittle.
Shubert’s Ice Cream
It doesn’t matter what your favorite flavor is; it’s hard to go wrong at Shubert’s Ice Cream. Once finishing second among Good Morning, America national polling for “best tasting ice cream,” Shubert’s has been a mainstay of downtown Chico culture for 80 years, using many local ingredients and much of the shop’s original equipment, too. In Chico’s hot summers, it’s a common sight to see families packed around Shubert’s front doors, enjoying malts, cones, sundaes and banana splits. We can’t tell you which flavor is best, but we can tell you that Chico Mint is the one that made the splash among national media. The beauty of ice cream shops is, and always will be, tiny tasting spoons. See for yourself what the hype is about.
Lodestar Olive Oil
Oroville producer Lodestar Olive Oil has been racking up awards and local renown for nearly 30 years, including recognition from fairs and olive festivals across the state. An outstanding range of flavored olive oils, including lemon, garlic, and balsamic dipping oils, creates a must-try selection for any local pantry.
Maisie Jane’s Nut Products
Durham-based Maisie Jane’s California Sunshine Products offer a wide range of tasty goodies, from dried fruits, pies, honey and chocolate, but there’s no mistaking the Bertagna Orchards’ top seller: almonds.
An ever-growing lineup of flavored, smoked, natural and confectionery nuts is on offer at Maisie Jane’s, and there is a massive selection of gift options as well. If you were making a “tastes of Butte County” basket for someone out of the loop, Maisie Jane’s would be a great place to start.