“Family-owned, operated and argued over,” America’s third largest independent craft brewery is brewing great beer while stewarding the great outdoors. Come with us to Sierra Nevada in Mills River, North Carolina where we share a pint of Pale Ale with second-generation brewer, Brian Grossman. Leave us a comment, we’d love to hear from you! Inspired?
GLASS HALF FULL: SIERRA NEVADA
Ask any craft beer fanatic about the brewers who made small-batch brewing a BIG thing and they’ll surely name Sierra Nevada. Founded in 1980 by Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada quickly grew from small-batch beer brewed in recycled dairy equipment, to a 1.1 million barrel operation with two locations on opposite coasts.
Pioneers in shaping America’s palette toward hoppy, dark and flavorful beers, Sierra Nevada didn’t stop there. From the beginning, they’ve been building something bigger than beer on a foundation of respect for the great outdoors, and the mountains of their namesake. 18 years ago Sierra Nevada installed America’s largest private fuel cell power generator in their Chico, California facility.
When that equipment ran its full life cycle, they replaced it with 10 microturbines — 2 megawatts worth — and a bank of Tesla batteries, creating their own onsite storage and distribution network, bolstered with more than 10,000 solar panels. Today, the Chico facility produces nearly 80 percent of its own energy.