Maybe the doctor wouldn’t have ordered a Sierra Nevada Brewing tour complete with 8 beer tasting but that’s what I did the day after Thanksgiving. Myself, Darren and my dad made the hour drive down to Chico from my parents to tour Sierra Nevada. I wasn’t THAT interested in it when we were going but they might need a sober driver so I obliged. Pictures are sprinkled throughout – sorry for the bad lighting – it was good in some places and bad in others.
We got there around 1pm only to learn that all the tours were full until 4:30 pm. We only got on that tour because there were two spots open and I begged asked if it was possible to squeeze one more person on. They agreed – only after I bribed them. So we decided to grab lunch and do a little perusing around Costco. I don’t know about all of you but I LOVE Costco. I have no idea why but even if I don’t need anything I like to walk around and look at everything. Call me crazy but I think its fun!
After lunch and a Costco trip we headed back with a little time to kill. Darren and my dad both bough pull over sweatshirts within seconds of being in the store. It was like the world was ending and all the Sierra Nevada sweatshirts would no long exist. I’ve never seen two grown men whip out their credit cards that fast for a piece of clothing.
After they sold their soul bought their new fashion accessory sweatshirts we were just about ready for the tour. Putting aside my feelings of disgust for 90% of beers I actually enjoyed the tour. Sierra Nevada is doing some really cool things. Here are some interesting facts I learned:
- They produce 85% of their own electricity.
- They have a cow farm that supplies their restaurant and the left over’s of barley and stuff from the beer making process is food for said cows. They also sell it to many local farmers in the area as well – simply because they have SO MUCH.
- They are starting a canning line so you can drink Sierra Nevada out of a can now!
- They are the 6th largest brewery in the U.S.
- They grow the hops, etc. on site for their Estate Homegrown Ale
- They are able to recover and recycle most of the CO2 for use around the brewery and during the bottle-filling process to assist in dispensing ales and beers.
The tour with tasting lasts about 2 hours. The tour itself was about 1 hour and 15 minutes. That leaves 45 minutes for the best part. Beer drinking! I liked two of the beers and could handle a few others. I say of the 8 we tried I liked maybe 4. I really liked the Kellerweis and an un-named Rye IPA.
If you are ever in the area I DEFINITLEY would recommend taking a look at it. Even if you’re not a big beer drinker (I’m not either) the way they run this facility is really cool and very green and forward thinking. Plus its free and everyone was so knowledgeable and friendly. For people that like art they had some really cool paintings on the wall that looked 3D (but weren’t) and tiles that no two are alike that someone painted.