In 1980, Sierra Nevada brewed its first batch of beer in Chico, California. 34 years later, in 2014, the company opened up a new brewery in Mills River, NC, right outside of the beer mecca Asheville, NC. The facility is probably unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Located on over 200 acres of space beside the French Broad River, the facility has the best of everything, so much so that its been dubbed as a beer Disneyland of sorts.
Check out our interview from earlier this year with Brian Grossman, co-manager of the facility, who relocated from Chico to Mills River to open it up.
We recently had the chance to stop by and see the 200-barrel brewhouse in person. Check out the gallery for a look inside the space, and be sure to check it out for yourself if you ever find yourself in the area. Important to note: the tours often fill up, so you’ll want to make your reservation in advance. You also have a few options, ranging from a self-guided tour that gives you a quick overview of the space, to a three-hour “Beer Geek Tour” that shows you everything the facility has to offer, including the opportunity to sip on a wort right from the tanks. And don’t forget, both New Belgium and Oskar Blues also have breweries in the area now as well.
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Outside, Sierra has used kegs to create a pretty awesome looking bike rack
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When you stop in for a tour, this is reception area.
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Tours start with a short video (and a beer) right behind this beautiful wall.
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This massive bottle chandelier hangs in the entryway of the facility.
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Some of Sierra's original brewing equipment looked a lot like this display in its lobby
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These cones on display in the hallway represent beers that are currently in different stages of the brewing process. They're replaced with beer from new batches, so what you're looking at in the cone is what's sitting in the tank.
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Here's a close look at a batch or Torpedo an one of Sierra's iconic Pale Ale.
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Also on display in the hallway is one of the first jockey boxes. A jockey box is what breweries typically use to pour beer at festivals and off-site tastings.