Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the new Sierra Nevada brewery and sample some brews in their Taproom. During a guided or self-guided tour, learn about their brewing process and commitment to sustainability. Their Taproom and Restaurant opened in 2015, and it's definitely a showpiece for the brewery with 400 seats, 23 beer taps and a chef-driven farm-to-table menu that incorporates and complements their craft beer. The centerpiece of the Taproom is Sierra Nevada’s experimental 20-barrel pilot brewhouse, supplying limited rotating draughts exclusive to the restaurant. During much of the year, enjoy outdoor dining and their live music venue. Hours are: Monday-Thursday 11 AM-9 PM, Friday 10 AM-10 PM, Saturday 11 AM-10 PM and Sunday 12-9 PM.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. opened its East Coast brewery in Fall 2014 in Mills River (18 miles south of downtown Asheville). Situated on 200+ acres along the French Broad River, the majority of the site will be kept wild and intact. They have plans to develop a trail system with river access. Beer City USA keeps getting better (see our Asheville Beer & Brewery Guide).
Take a tour! They have several choices:
- Brewhouse Tour: This 90-minute, free tour is for ages 12+ and reservations are required. Take a fascinating tour to follow the hops to brews process. Peek into the copper kettles, smell the hops, see the assembly line and end with a tasting (21 and over) next to the fermenters.
- Natural Resources Tour: Head outdoors in warmer months with this 90-minute, free tour for ages 12+ and reservations are required. It covers much of the brewery’s outdoor grounds, showcasing sustainability practices and many of the initiatives based on their philosophy to “reduce, reuse and recycle.” See many of the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) features. End the tour with educational tastings of award-winning brews.
- Beer Geek Tour: This in-depth, 3-hour tour is $30/person and reservations are required. Small groups of six will learn all the details. Talk ingredients and craft beer history before going into their 200-barrel production brewhouse. Venture into the hop freezer and take in the aromas and wander through our cellar where you’ll sample brews right from the tanks. To top it off, visit to the 20-barrel pilot brewery.
- IPA Tour: This 1.5-hour tour for ages 21+ is $25/person. Sierra Nevada is famous for their heavy-handed use of whole-cone hops. Learn how their passion for the “green gold” took shape with a one-of-a-kind look. Celebrate crisp, hoppy goodness in the aromatic hop room, copper-clad brewhouse and more. Discover the differences between wet hops, fresh hops, and our innovative steam-distilled hop oil.
- Visitor Corridor: If you want a casual look, take a self-guided tour via their upstairs visitor corridor that includes a raised mezzanine for bird’s-eye views of the copper-clad brewhouse, a real-time look at fermenting beer, warehouse and packaging hall.
Their east coast facility adds much needed capacity for Sierra Nevada, and will allow for the quick shipment of brewery-fresh beer to consumers in the east. The added barrelage will accommodate wider production of the myriad of seasonal beers and bottled specialties Sierra Nevada has produced in recent years, as well as an expansion of the brewery's well-known flagship product: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
They follow traditional brewing methods, using only select malted barley, whole hop flowers, brewer's yeast, and pure water. The quality of ingredients and devotion to the craft of brewing shows in the superior flavor, aroma, balance, and character of their ales and lagers.
Sierra Nevada is near the Asheville Airport (NC 280 near I-26) and the WNC Agriculture Center. Their street address is: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., 100 Sierra Nevada Way, Mills River, NC 28732
About Sierra Nevada
Founded in 1980, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is one of America's premier craft breweries, highly regarded for using only whole-cone hops and ingredients of the finest quality. Sierra Nevada has set the standard for artisan brewers worldwide as a winner of numerous awards for its extensive line of beers including the flagship Pale Ale, Torpedo, Porter, Stout, Kellerweis, four seasonal beers, Estate Ale, Harvest Ales, Ovila Abbey Ales and a host of draught-only specialties.