Brewery Spotlight: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Part 2

Hello readers! The Pizza Press Beer Blog was lucky enough to be invited to Sierra Nevada Beer Camp last month, and part of our experience was a full tour of their facilities in Chico, California. In this post we’ll be sharing up the best photos we took from our tour. Coming up soon: an exclusive look at what it’s like to brew a unique beer at Beer Camp! You won’t get this inside scoop anywhere else. Let’s start the tour!


01 canyoutellwevisitedindecember


This is the first thing we saw when we walked in. Can you tell we visited in December?



02 cool equipment


There’s cool antique equipment everywhere.


03 lotsofmedals


They’ve won a fair number of awards…



04 greatselection


Quite a great selection, and these aren’t the only taps!


05 flownfromgermany


This mash tun was flown in all the way from Germany (in two pieces).


06 hops





07 morehops


More hops!


08 happycamper


One happy Camper.


09 onlywholecone


Sierra Nevada uses only whole cone hops in their beers, never pellets.


10 bales


Bales and bales of hops.


11 closeup


A close up of some whole cones.


12 onemotto


One of their mottos can be found on all their hop transport containers.


13 foundinhopshipments


This is an example of some of the objects found in their hop shipments. That’s why they inspect all of their shipments extremely closely!


14 maplesyrup


If you ever wondered what a barrel of maple syrup looks like…


15 shinyinaction


The shiny mash tun in action!


16 moreshiny


Even the controls are shiny.


17 stillingerman


All the labeling is still in German.


18 freshbigfoot


Trying some fresh Bigfoot Barleywine straight from the Brite tanks.


19 thickiceonbrighttanks


The Brite tanks build up a very thick sheet of ice on the outside. Great for doodling!


20 coolmurals


The murals on the walls are quite cool.


21 morecoolmurals


More cool murals.


22 solarpanels


Sierra Nevada gets a lot of their electricity from solar panels- here are only portion of them!


23 crazypipes


There’s certainly some crazy piping to be found.


24 bigrig


Yes, they do have their own semi truck for transporting malt shipments. Sweet paint job!


25 fullofmalt


That’s a lot of malt.


26 barrelroom


This is what the inside of Sierra Nevada’s Barrel Room looks like!


27 bourbonbarrel


There are plenty of bourbon barrels…


28 scotchbarrel


… scotch barrels…


29 barreltasting


… port barrels…


29 wine barrel


… and wine barrels!


30 jeff white


Jeff White, Sierra Nevada’s Barrel Room Guy, educates the group on barrel aging.


31 endresult


Some finished product from the Barrel Room. Sierra Nevada’s Trip in the Woods series beer are all barrel-aged.


32 sours


They have some barrel-aging Sours too!


33 malts


A very small selection of the malts used in brewing beers.


34 hopsafterbrewing


This is what hops look like after brewing. Yummy!


35 moresmplingwithfrisbee


More beer sampling (with specialized Frisbee device).


36 careful


We tried to stay away from this thing…


37 vehicle


Sierra Nevada’s famous beer bike! Running entirely on pedal power, it has several taps too!


38 closeup


A close up of the beer bike’s propulsion system.


39 vwbus


And they even have a VW Bus (with taps, naturally).


40 hotrot


Sierra Nevada is home to the first HotRot composting system in the U.S. It transforms the facility’s organic waste into the rich compost used in their hop field, barley field, and garden.


41 examininghotrot


The company also sends its spent brewing ingredients to local cattle and dairy farms for use as feed. Only roughly 2% of the total materials that come in to Sierra Nevada Brewing Company end up going to a landfill.


42 closeup


A close up of one of the reasons why they are a platinum-level Zero Waste Facility.


43 biodiesel


They also make their own biodiesel!


44 comparison


A visual comparison of the finished biodiesel and the grease it’s made from.


45 hopharvestercloseup


Be sure not to put your hands in the hop harvester!


46 sensorytesting


Here’s what it looks like when you participate in their Sensory Testing program. It can be quite difficult to taste which beer samples contain off-flavors.


47 explosionproof


Is your refrigerator explosion proof?


48 lightreading


Some light reading in their laboratory.


49 sampletesting


Ending the day with quality control. Who says work can’t be fun?


Big thanks to Sierra Nevada, our amazing guide Byron Wetsch, and our fixer Brian Bagby. We hope you enjoyed the tour, check back soon for The Pizza Press Beer Blog’s exclusive article about brewing at Beer Camp #186!


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