We have been looking forward to our pilgrimage to Sierra Nevada Brewing Company – Beer Mecca – in Chico, California, for many years! Sierra Nevada is of course one of our all time favorite craft beers. Sierra’s legendary American Pale Ale is often times our go-to at the bar, whether New York or San Francisco or somewheres between, when it’s found on tap.
Founded in 1979 by home brewers Ken Grossman and Paul Camusi (today independently owned by Ken & Family), Sierra Nevada Brewing Company has grown to be the largest craft beer producer in America behind Yuengling and Samuel Adams. We can see why – they make truly awesome beer!
Original beer art abounds at the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico, California.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company purchased this shiny vessel and another just like it from a defunct German brewer for the price of scrap back in the day! It took them awhile to save up even more money to get them back in their original shape and brewing again, but they made it work!
You may ask how does Sierra Nevada brew over 1 million barrels of beer per year?! Massive fermentation tanks like these come in handy, and they are just the tip of the brewing iceberg!
Cases of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale coming down the bottling line at – what a beautiful sight!
One of the best parts of the beer tour at Sierra Nevada is that you get to sample many of their offerings for free! You start off with the original Pale Ale to get you in the beer tour mood and finish off in their beautiful old world bar and sample another half dozen fresh beers each in their own glassware that optimizes the aroma and experience of each taste.
Of course, even after imbibing a few free beers from the brewery tour, we try a few additional beers at Sierra’s brewpub that are only available in Chico or the Berkeley Torpedo Room. Beer flight on deck! Bigfoot (barleywine aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels), Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale (made with New Zealand hops), Beer Camp #141 Blue Baltic Porter and Knightro! We’re in Beer Heaven. Cheers!