FAQ

  • Beer

    In the United States, we have distribution in all states. For more information about our distribution network, please contact us or view our distributors page.

    We also have limited distribution in the following countries: Australia, British Columbia, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and United Kingdom.

    Use our beer locator to find which retailers in your area have our beer.

    Check out our Beer Release Calendar!

    Pale Ale, Torpedo®, Kellerweis®, Porter, and Stout are available all year.

    Our Seasonals rotate every three months and are generally available as follows: Ruthless® Rye IPA - January through March, Summerfest® - April through June, Flipside® Red IPA - July through September, and Celebration® Ale - October through December.

    Our High Altitude series rotate every four months and are generally available as follows: Bigfoot® Barleywine-style Ale - January through April, Hoptimum® Whole Cone Imperial IPA - May through August, and Narwhal Imperial Stout - September through December.

    To find accounts with our beer, use our beer locator tool.  For more information on our beer, visit the beer section of our website.

    The sediment evident in the bottom of a bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and other naturally conditioned beers is the yeast we use for bottle conditioning. Typically, the yeast lies tight and flat to the bottom of the bottle. As the beer is poured, the yeast will re-suspend making the beer’s appearance cloudy or slightly particulate but will not adversely affect beer flavor. If bottles are stored improperly (e.g. upside down or on their side) the yeast may resettle into what looks like a drop of pancake batter or vanilla ice cream and will be more apparent but will not affect the finished flavor of the beer.

    Bottle conditioning is a time honored method for naturally carbonating beer and traditional champagne. We dose back a small amount of fermentable sugar and yeast into the bottle. The fermentation creates the finished carbonation and flavors unique to our beer.

    Please fill out our contact form and tell us more about the information you are looking for.

    All Sierra Nevada beer is dated when packaged. This code represents the production date and can be found on all our bottles, cartons and kegs. For more information, view our date decoders.

    Most beer is best consumed fresh. Optimal storage conditions are cool, dark and dry. Our beer is dated on the day it is packaged. Since our Pale Ale is full flavored, with lots of hops and malted barley, it should last up to 150 days when stored under optimal conditions. Styles like our Bigfoot Barleywine are sometimes cellared and aged like wine; the flavors will continue to evolve and change with time. Celebration Ale is brewed and dry hopped with freshly harvested hops that contribute exceptional aromatic qualities. However, some people prefer it slightly aged; when the hops mellow, bitterness subsides and the malt sweetness comes forward.

    Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. uses the highest quality and most natural brewing ingredients while utilizing the very best brewing practices. This allows us to create ales and lagers with superior flavor, aroma, balance, and character. As a traditional brewer, Sierra Nevada currently uses malted two-row barley (malt), whole-cone hops, yeast, and water for every brew. Only some of our beers—Kellerweis and the limited distribution brands Old Chico Brand Crystal Wheat, Dark Wheat, Kolsch, Scotch Ale, Dunkelweizen, Weizenbock, Saison, Imperial Smoked Porter, and Belgian Wit—include wheat.

    All of our bottled beer is brewed, filtered and packaged without the use of isinglass, bone char or any other animal by-product.

    We add additional whole-cone hops to some of our beers as they age in tanks. This increases the aroma and hop character of the finished beer without affecting its bitterness. Popular hops used for dry hopping are Cascade and Centennial.

    Unfortunately, we are not able to ship beer directly to consumers. Please use our beer locator to find a retailer in your area.

    The difference between ales and lagers has nothing to do with strength, color, or bitterness. The difference is the yeast and the fermentation temperature. Ale yeast ferments best at warmer temperatures — up to about 75° F. Because a yeasty foam rises to the surface of the beer, these are known as “top-fermenting” yeast. Lager yeast, on the other hand, prefers cooler temperatures. They are called “bottom-fermenting” yeast because they sink to the bottom of the beer during the cold storage period traditional for lager beers. This process removes haze and gives lagers their characteristic clean, rounded tastes.

    A standard measurement for beer bitterness imparted by hops — a higher number indicates higher bitterness, and therefore higher hop usage. Higher BUs do not always correspond to higher perceived bitterness — the malt character in the beer will affect perceived bitterness.

    BPA (Bisphenol A) is a chemical that is found in trace amounts in the protective epoxy liner used to coat many food grade surfaces. Almost all cans (food, soda, and beer) have this type of epoxy liner which is designed to maintain the flavor integrity and freshness of product. For us, the liner has an important role: keeping beer from coming in contact with the metal, which could impact beer flavor. BPA is a chemical that has shown to be toxic in high doses. Although opinions vary as to the risk, some studies show that you’d have to eat and drink the contents of roughly 450 cans per day, every day, to ingest enough BPA from a can liner to reach unsafe levels. However, we encourage you make the best decision for you. Sierra Nevada can liners do contain trace amounts of BPA because there is currently no alternative for beverage container liners. The industry is focused on developing a satisfactory alternative to the current liner technology, but so far none has been found to meet the performance and safety of the materials currently available. We have diligently petitioned our can manufacturer to develop a liner that doesn’t contain any measurable BPA and would protect the flavor of our beer. We are one of the first companies in line to use a BPA-free liner as soon as it’s available. In our opinion, the benefits of cans—portability, lower carbon footprint, recyclability, and absolute protection from light and oxygen—outweigh the risk.

    We believe that the best results are born from the best possible ingredients, and malted barley and wheat are among the grains that help us create exceptional beers. Both of these grains contain small amounts of naturally occurring gluten, and although the brewing process notably reduces the gluten levels, no beer brewed using these materials can be called gluten free.

  • California Brewery

    We are located in Chico, CA, about 1.5 hours NE of Sacramento. Click here for directions to our brewery. Our address is: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. 1075 East 20th Street Chico, CA 95928 USA

    Please note that we are generally closed on holidays.

    Office Hours

    Monday – Friday : 8:00am – 5:00pm

    Taproom & Restaurant Hours

    Sunday – Thursday: 11:00am – 9:00pm

    Friday & Saturday: 11:00am – 10:00pm

    (please see the taproom page for any upcoming closures)

    Gift Shop Hours

    Sunday – Thursday: 10:00am – 6:00pm Friday & Saturday: 10:00am - 7:00pm

    (please see the gift shop page for any upcoming closures)

    Brewery Tours

    Monday – Thursday: 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:00pm & 4:00pm

    Friday and Saturday: 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:00pm, 3:00pm, 4:00pm & 5:00pm

    Sunday: 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:00pm, 3:00pm & 4:00pm

    (please see the tours page for any upcoming closures)

    Please use our contact form or call the following: Front Office: 530.893.3520,  Taproom & Restaurant: 530.345.2739, Gift Shop: 530.896.2198, Tours: 530.899.4776.

    Yes, we welcome visitors of all ages to our brewery, restaurant and live music shows. Public tours are for those 12 and over only. Please read our entire tour policy. Remember that anyone wishing to purchase alcohol must be over 21, with valid identification. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., in accordance with California and North Carolina alcohol regulatory agencies, strictly abides by the Bona Fide I.D. requirements when determining drinking age. An acceptable form of I.D. must be issued by an Official Government Agency (Federal, State, County or City) and contain all of the following: name, photo, and date of birth, and must be currently valid. (Bona Fide I.D. is one card that contains all of these items).

    Many local hotels, motels, inns, and bed & breakfasts are listed on the Chico Chamber of Commerce web site. Just click on the “Visitor Information” and then select “Places to Stay” and choose either “B&B” or “Hotels/Motels.”

    Sorry, Sierra Nevada is a privately held company.

    Sierra Nevada supports many federally regulated non-profit organizations and has a long history of charitable giving. Please review our guidelines before filling out donation request form.

    Sierra Nevada loves animals, but only certified service animals are allowed. We apologize for any inconvenience.

    Yes. At both our Chico, CA and Mills River, NC breweries we have small tasting rooms for sampling beers directly following a tour. To schedule a tour, click here for Chico and click here for Mills River.

    • Taproom

      Our beers rotate daily. A list of current offerings is available on our taproom page.

      Our menu is available online. Please note that it is updated frequently!

      We can accommodate most dietary needs. Please contact us in advance.

      Please fill out our contact form and select ‘Taproom & Restaurant’ from the dropdown, or call 530.345.2739.

    • Tours

      Please fill out our contact form and select ‘tours’ from the dropdown menu. You can also call us at 530-899-4776, email us at chicotours@sierranevada.com, or visit our brewery tour page to book a tour online. We’ll see you soon!

      You bet! Please contact our tours team at 530-899-4776 or chicotours@sierranevada.com for more information. Please note that special request tours must be scheduled two weeks in advance.

      All tour guests must be at least 12 years of age. Educational beer sampling is reserved for those 21 and over. We ask all guests to check in at the Tour Desk at least 15 minutes prior to your tour’s start time. We permit standby guests to fill open reservations not claimed 15 minutes prior to the tour. We don’t want you to lose your spot! We wish we could treat it like a roller coaster ride, but we allow only one brewery tour per guest per day.

      At our California brewery, families with children under 12 years of age may take the self-guided tour at the mezzanine level any time between 10am and 6pm Monday through Sunday.

      Please note that we are generally closed for major holidays. Tour hours:

      Brewhouse Tours:

      Monday–Thursday
      11:00am | 12:00pm | 1:00pm | 2:00pm | 3:00pm | 4:00pm

      Friday–Saturday
      11:00am | 12:00pm | 12:30pm | 1:00pm | 1:30pm | 2:00pm | 2:30pm | 3:00pm | 3:30pm | 4:00pm | 4:30pm | 5:00pm | 5:30pm

      Sunday
      11:00am | 12:00pm | 12:30pm | 1:00pm | 1:30pm | 2:00pm | 2:30pm | 3:00pm | 3:30pm | 4:00pm

      Sustainability Tours (Available May–September):

      Friday–Saturday
      11:30am | 1:30pm | 3:30pm

      Beer Geek Tours:

      Friday
      10:30am | 2:30 pm

      We ask all guests to check in 15 minutes prior to the start of their tour at the Tour Desk inside the Gift Shop lobby. Our tours fill up quickly; be sure to make your reservations early.

      Contact the Tour Desk at 530-899-4776 or chicotours@sierranevada.com.

    • Gift Shop

      Here at Sierra Nevada we want you to leave happy with your purchases. Any items purchased in our gift store, except food or beer, may be exchanged or returned at any time provided that the items are in new condition. For a full refund of the purchase price, a receipt must be provided at the time of return. All items returned in new condition without a receipt are eligible for exchange only.

      To return or exchange an item purchased online, simply send it back to us at: Attn: Gift Shop, 1075 East 20th St. Chico, CA 95928. Include your packing slip or a note specifying your name, order number, phone number, address, and what you would like us to do with your return (exchange for a different item or credit your card). When we receive your return we will send your exchange or contact you for more information. We do not charge shipping to send your exchange via standard mail.

      Please fill out our contact form and select ‘gift shop’ from the dropdown, or call 530.896.2198.

      Please fill out our contact form and select ‘Gift Shop’ from the dropdown, call 828-708-6169, or email us at MillsRivergiftshop@sierranevada.com.

    • Big Room

      We currently average three to four shows a month. Visit our Big Room calendar for a listing of  upcoming shows.

      We have a wonderful hardwood dance floor that’s open for “dance” events such as blues and rock shows. For acoustic shows, chairs are placed on the dance floor.

      We generally offer at least seven or eight Sierra Nevada lagers and ales, a wide selection of wine, soft drinks, coffee, and water. No hard alcohol or non-Sierra Nevada beer products are served. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., in accordance with California State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, strictly abides by the Bona Fide I.D. requirements when determining drinking age. An acceptable form of I.D. must be issued by an Official Government Agency (Federal, State, County or City) and must contain all of the following: name, photo, and date of birth, and must be currently valid. (Bona Fide I.D. is one card that contains all of these items).

      Casual comfort always works. Shoes and shirts are required. 

      We start all our shows right at 7:30 PM because we offer our shows on “off nights,” that is, “non-weekend nights,” and our clientele have to go to work the next day. Our shows generally average one-and-a-half to two hours in length, allowing attendees to return home at a reasonable hour.

      Bob Littell is in charge of booking the Big Room. He tries to bring in a mix of national class entertainers with a focus on roots/Americana, folk and blues. If you have a suggestion for someone you’d like to see, you may contact music@sierranevada.com. Please remember, with only 350 seats, national headliners are not possible. 

      No. If you do see a reserved seat sign, it is generally for the house.

      We offer general admission seating only. You may want to show up early in order to get a good seat and enjoy a beer!

      We serve a full dinner buffet from 6:00pm until 7:30pm, prior to each show. For more information call 530.345.2739.

      We bring in top-of-the-line, nationally known entertainment and provide it in an exquisite dinner theatre environment that has become one of the West Coast’s premier musical venues. Great sound, good food, and world famous beer create a demand for tickets that far exceeds our 350-seat capacity.

      To purchase tickets you may either visit the Gift Shop when the tickets go on sale or you may call 530.896.2198 and purchase them using a major credit card.

      Visit our list of upcoming shows! If you would like weekly notifications about all upcoming shows, information on the performers and the exact time and date that tickets will go on sale, sign up for our mailing list. You are also welcome to call our Gift Shop at 530.896.2198 and ask for show information.

      Our doors open at 6pm (lines begin to form about 5pm). The show starts at exactly 7:30pm and the shows last from one-and-a-half to two hours.

      First and foremost we are a brewery. Our local area bars, restaurants, and event venues all sell our beers – in an effort not to draw business from them we host shows on nights they do not.

  • North Carolina Brewery

    Yes, we welcome visitors of all ages to our brewery, restaurant and live music shows. Public tours are for those 12 and over only. Please read our entire tour policy. Remember that anyone wishing to purchase alcohol must be over 21, with valid identification. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., in accordance with California and North Carolina alcohol regulatory agencies, strictly abides by the Bona Fide I.D. requirements when determining drinking age. An acceptable form of I.D. must be issued by an Official Government Agency (Federal, State, County or City) and contain all of the following: name, photo, and date of birth, and must be currently valid. (Bona Fide I.D. is one card that contains all of these items).

    Please use our contact form. It is the best way to get your request in front of the right people at Sierra Nevada and answered as quickly as possible.

    Absolutely. We expect to hire for between 20 and 40 construction jobs, depending on the stage of the project. Our goal is to provide as many local construction opportunities for workers and companies as possible and to seek to purchase materials locally whenever possible.

    Yes. We’re just learning about the community and are excited to get involved. If you ask our neighbors, they’ll tell you we’ve been good stewards of music and arts in the Chico area and in Northern California. We are excited to be part of that community in North Carolina. When the brewery opens, we will be posting event listings and updates on our website.

    Yes, once our new facility is up and running in 2014, we will offer public tours.

    We have purchased enough land that we might do that in the future.

    We need the second facility in NC for larger volume beers, specifically our year round and seasonal ales, so while we don’t have any specific plans in place now, we wouldn’t rule it out.

    Yes, we’ll have a restaurant, taproom and gift store offering Sierra Nevada beer and products. North Carolina Bill H796 contains a beer provision that allows breweries that produce more than 25,000 barrels to sell their products on site.

    We are located in Mills River, NC about 20 miles south of Asheville. Our address is: 100 Sierra Nevada Way Mills River, NC 28732.

    Please note that we are generally closed on holidays.

    Gift Shop Hours

    MONDAY–THURSDAY
    11:00am — 5:00pm

    FRIDAY–SATURDAY
    11:00am — 6:00pm

    SUNDAY
    12:00pm—6:00pm

    (please see the Gift Shop page for any upcoming closures)

    Brewery Tours
    MONDAY–THURSDAY
    11am | 12pm | 1pm | 2pm | 3pm

    FRIDAY–SATURDAY
    11am | 12pm | 1pm | 2pm | 3pm | 4pm

    SUNDAY
    12pm | 1pm | 2pm | 3pm | 4pm

    (please see the tours page for any upcoming closures)

    Please use our contact form or call the following: Front Office: 828-681-5300, Gift Shop: 828-708-6169, Tours: 828-708-6176.

    We hope that building our brewery will be seen as a positive thing. It’s important for us to be a part of the community and put down roots by becoming involved in activities in the area. We’re eager to get to town, get to know the other brewers, and be a part of the community. We have knowledge, systems, and experience that we’re willing to share and hope we can be a part of the Asheville Brewers Alliance and community that Asheville is so famous for.

    Since we have been subsidizing the freight to many of our Eastern markets, our shelf price will most likely not change significantly.

    The site of our new location is set on a plot of nearly 190 acres near the French Broad River and has been a family owned property for almost 100 years. The owner carefully managed the forest and required a review of potential users before he agreed to the sale. A majority of the site will be kept wild and intact; we have plans to develop a trail system with river access.

    Sorry, Sierra Nevada is a privately held company.

    Sierra Nevada supports many federally regulated non-profit organizations and has a long history of charitable giving. Please review our guidelines before filling out donation request form.

    Sierra Nevada loves animals, but only certified service animals are allowed. We apologize for any inconvenience.

    Yes. At both our Chico, CA and Mills River, NC breweries we have small tasting rooms for sampling beers directly following a tour. To schedule a tour, click here for Chico and click here for Mills River.

    We were charmed by the people and environment in Asheville. We love the sense of the outdoors and connection to the land, as well as the amazing beer culture and brewing scene that has sprung up in this area over the past decade.

    We looked at more than 200 different sites over 18 months and developed a long list of qualitative and quantitative factors – ease of transportation and quality of water being two important considerations, but also good schools, connection to the outdoors and quality of life. 

    We narrowed it down to a short list and looked at pros and cons of each one, landing ultimately on a few great choices for us. In North Carolina, we were humbled by the community support and the shared values with our brand and company. We feel fortunate that every place we considered was incredibly welcoming.

    We’re bringing the Henderson County community a well-respected business and the potential for nearly 100 new jobs. Sierra Nevada has a longstanding focus on sustainability and a history of supporting river preservation and community giving programs. We also look forward to working with local craft brewers, including the Asheville Brewers Alliance. We haven’t formalized any specific initiatives, but we plan on being as actively engaged in the community as we have been in our hometown of Chico, CA.

    Yes. Sierra Nevada and the Grossman family have a longstanding commitment to sustainability. Our brewery in Chico, CA, has one of the largest private solar installations in the country and was the first brewery to install hydrogen fuel cells; the combination of these two systems generates more than half of the brewery’s energy needs on site. We also have an extensive water treatment program and strive to be zero waste. Through extensive recycling, re-use, resource recovery, and composting programs we divert 99.8% of our waste from landfills. Sierra Nevada always strives to minimize our footprint as well as make brewery operations a closed loop, and our new location in North Carolina is no exception. For more info on our sustainability programs, download our Sustainability Report. Sierra Nevada’s North Carolina facility will be built to at least LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver standards. Sustainability will touch every facet of our new facility just as it does at our Chico facility.

    We will brew our year round and seasonal beers, and will have the ability to brew a wide range of specialty beers as well.

    Many local hotels, motels, inns, and bed & breakfasts, as well as other great visitor information is listed on the following websites:

    The Town of Mills River—www.millsriver.org
    Henderson County Tourism—www.historichendersonville.org
    Historic Downtown Hendersonville—http://downtownhendersonville.org
    Asheville Tourism—www.exploreasheville.com

  • Torpedo Room

    While we’re allowed to fill growlers that originated at other breweries, we’ve chosen to fill only Sierra Nevada vessels. Beyond being legally required to affix labels to others’ growlers to “rebrand” them as our own, we really just think our growler designs are pretty cool. We hope you’ll snatch one up.

    Give us a shout at 510-647-3439 or write us a beautiful note: torpedoroom@sierranevada.com

    We all love a good shindig, but we can’t provide the suds.

    We’ll fill up your calendar, how about that? Torpedo Room events include sensory beer seminars, beer science talks, seasonal beer launches, and more. Keep tabs on the Torpedo Room page.

    Let’s see what we can work out! If you’re looking at a group of 12 or more please call us at 510-647-3439 or email torpedoroom@sierranevada.com.

    Doubtful the Torpedo Room will see any shopping sprees, but it does have a good selection of merchandise including T-shirts, sweatshirts, glassware, bottle openers and beer-focused books. OK fine, go on a shopping spree.

    We encourage folks to try our small plates we’ve designed for educational pairings with our beer flights. They’ll tide you over until you can stroll to another excellent Berkeley food spot.

    Well, more accurately, snacks. We’d recommend not coming in with a ravenous appetite since our selection is more munchies than a full meal. Don’t worry, Berkeley boasts plenty of excellent food venues. We can point you to some good ones.

    Yes, we have a cooler stocked with a good spread from large-format specialty bottles to trusty six-packs.

    Up to sixteen awesome ones! You can flip through the list on the Torpedo Room page. It changes frequently, so bookmark that page and check back often!

    A flight totals a pint! We’re assuming you mean just a good ol’ pint glass, though, yeah? The Torpedo Room is a place of craft beer discovery and education. In this spirit, we don’t serve full pints; rather, we serve tasting trays with four 4-ounce glasses so you dive into an array of beer styles—let’s talk about them and focus on what makes each one great.

    We will not serve those under 21 years of age, though our space itself is open to all passersby. We ask that Torpedo Room visitors who are not of legal drinking age be accompanied by someone(s) 21 or over.

  • Sustainability

    Yes! You can download the Sierra Nevada Sustainability Report from our Sustainability page.

    Absolutely. If you have curbside recycling pickups at your residence, you can add the glass bottles, cardboard packaging and metal bottle caps to the recycling streams. If you live in a state with a bottle bill, you most likely put a deposit on that Sierra Nevada bottle. Find a buy-back center near you to redeem that deposit! If you do not have curbside recycling collections, check with your city or county to find out what recycling collections exist in your community. If your community does not have any recycling collections, you should start one!

    Our Estate® Ale, made with organic hops and barley, is a USDA certified organic beer. The hops and barley are what make this ale truly “estate” because they are grown right here in Chico, CA, on Sierra Nevada land. For all of our other beers, we purchase more organic hops and barley than most other brewers. We also work closely with hop and barley farmers to understand what hurdles they face in moving toward more sustainable growing practices.

    Although we are working toward 100% self-generation through the use of solar panels and hydrogen fuel cells, we will never truly be “off the grid.” We will always need to be connected to our local utility grid, especially for instances where we produce more power than we need. When we are producing more than 100% of our power needs we are able to sell excess electricity back to the utility and help supply our local community with clean power. With that said, at our Chico brewery, we have invested in one of the largest privately owned solar photovoltaic installations in the country. Our solar installation includes more than 10,500 individual panels and can provide up to 1.5 megawatts of AC power. Coupled with our solar panels is a one megawatt hydrogen fuel cell system. Between the two systems, we are capable of producing more than half of our total power needs on an annual basis. Click here for a real-time look at how much power our solar panels and fuel cells are producing.

    Additionally at our North Carolina brewery, we’ve installed 2,200 photovoltaic panels which produce 710 kilowatts of AC power and coupled that with two micro-turbines that run of off methane gas produced naturally as part of our wastewater treatment. When combined, the solar array and the micro-turbines will produce about 1 megawatt of AC power.

    Please fill out our contact form and select ‘sustainability’ from the dropdown.

  • Employment

    All of our current job openings are available online. Please follow the directions to apply for an open position with us. We look forward to reviewing your application with the attention it deserves.

    Although we would like to have the opportunity to speak to everyone who is interested in working for us, we are very busy with applicants and want to give them the time and energy that they deserve in our recruiting process. The best way to contact Human Resources is to email recruiting@sierranevada.com or fill out our contact form.