Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sierra Nevada

The drive from Santa Rose went pretty quick thanks to Johnny Cash, a random stop for some chewing tobacco and some beef jerky.

The destination today was the Sierra Nevada brewery, one of the largest privately owned craft breweries in the States. Sierra Nevada developed the  definitive style the 'American Pale Ale'.

They have a superbly well rounded range and for a brewery their size it is amazing they still use fresh hop cones for every beer.

Above:  Fresh hop flowers being poured into the kettle.

We met with Terence Sullivan-Assistant Brewmaster and Field Educator for a behind-the-scenes tour. He spoiled us with many tastings directly from the tanks including:

* Draught Pale Ale (a mini version of the classic Pale Ale)
* Vienna Lager
* Chico IPA
* Black IPA
* Brown Barely Wine

They are always playing with seasonal/experimental beers and it was no surprise to see so many oak barrels tucked away for aging and future blending.

The entire site seems to be built around achieving high levels of quality. These guys have installed 10,000 solar pannels, which produces a whopping 83% of the electricity used on site! They have even been given an award for producing ZERO waste for an entire year! As if that isn't enough they have created the only bike that could have all the BeerAmbassadors give up driving completely. A 12 man bike with kegs and taps and a designated driver.

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