This yeast strain, sold as A-56, is one of our most popular here at BSI! It is a jack of all trades, capable of use in many different styles of ales.
The origin of Chico Ale is a linear tale. We can comfortably start with the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, founded in 1979. The company’s first beer was Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. This beer paved the way for craft brewing in America and continues to be one of the most prevalent selections worldwide (2). Looking back to where Sierra Nevada got the yeast, it was originally provided by the Ballantine Brewery in Newark, New Jersey. Using the yeast from the Ballantine IPA, Sierra Nevada renamed the strain “Chico”, in honor of their hometown Chico, California. Before the Ballantine Brewery, Chico can be traced back to its parent strain BRY 96, cultured in the Last Piece Brewery from Puzzleshire on the border of England and Scotland (1).
Chico Ale is a top cropping strain fermenting at a warm but wide range of temperatures, ranging from 60°-72°F. At 73%-77% attenuation, this strain will not leave too many residual sugars in the final brew, resulting in a dry and crisp finish. In addition, it does not produce many flavor notes as the strain ferments, but rather leaves a neutral and clean palate in the final product. It is important to note that as you ferment with Chico Ale at cooler temperatures, mild citrus notes develop, which may be desirable depending on the style of beer. These characteristics allow for beers brewed with A-56 to emphasize the malt and hop profiles. Chico Ale takes a backseat allowing for the recipe to speak for itself.
Chico Ale is an excellent all-around choice for brewing many styles of ales. In line with Sierra Nevada’s claim to fame, it is a top choice in pale ales and IPAs. This yeast is, also, an excellent choice for brown and amber ales. No matter your recipe, Chico Ale is a top-notch strain that highlights malt and hop profiles, while also providing a clean refreshing finish! Click here A-56 Chico Ale to purchase the yeast for your next brew.
(1) Goldfarb, A. (2018, June 1). The cult of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, your favorite Brewer’s Favorite Beer. First We Feast. Retrieved November 2, 2022, from https://firstwefeast.com/drink/2016/02/sierra-nevada-pale-ale-brewers-beer
(2) Cagle, C. (2021, April 30). The Complete Guide to the “Chico” strain of yeast. Beer Maverick. Retrieved November 2, 2022, from https://beermaverick.com/the-complete-guide-to-the-chico-strain-of-yeast/
By Chayanne Jimenez, BSI Microtech Lead