Sierra Nevada announces Year-long 40th Anniversary Brewhouse Tour

Ken Grossman Founder of Sierra Nevada was on hand to kick off a yearlong 40th Anniversary celebration starting Thurs. Oct. 3, 2019 at the Great American Beer Festival at the Colorado Convention Center, Denver, Colo. Founded in 1980 when there were only 44 breweries in the U.S., Sierra Nevada was one of the catalysts for America’s craft beer revolution. (Feature Photo Service)

With 2020 being the 40th anniversary of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., the brewery will embark on a year-long tour of their original brewhouse and release an anniversary beer. The anniversary brew tour began with a toast from Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman at the Great American Beer Festival and will be at San Francisco Beer Week in February and Homebrew Con in Nashville in June.

More from a press release:

When Ken founded Sierra Nevada, there were only about 40 breweries operating in the United States. That pioneer brewhouse, where he first crafted Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, was one of the catalysts for the nationwide beer revolution that’s in full force today, with roughly 7,000 brewers now in business across the U.S. 

Small brewing systems didn’t exist 40 years ago. To create the original brewhouse, Ken used recycled dairy equipment he’d foraged from scrapyards along the Pacific Coast. It was a labor of love that included hand-drilling 4,000 holes in the mash tun. But it paid off: the 10-barrel brewhouse started the company that now brews more than 1 million barrels each year. 

“It’s hard to believe it’s been 40 years. It’s been—and continues to be—a very wild and rewarding ride,” said Grossman. “We’re continuing to do what we love independently, and it’s exciting to innovate new and unique offerings for the years to come.”

Additionally, Sierra Nevada will release a limited-edition beer to celebrate.

The beer, 40th Hoppy Anniversary Ale, will be a signature West Coast-style IPA with 65 IBU and 6% ABV. Brewed with Cluster, Cascade, and Centennial hops, the beer will have intense notes of pine and citrus with slight malty sweetness and a deep golden color. It will be available in bottles nationwide starting January 1, 2020. 

“I was always fascinated by the smell of hops, particularly the signature of Cascade,” said Grossman, who helped introduce hop-forward beers to drinkers in the 1980s. “This beer shows off those flavors we fell in love with 40 years ago.” 

About Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Inspired by frequent trips to the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, Ken Grossman founded Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in 1980. Highly regarded for using only the finest quality ingredients, Sierra Nevada has set the standard for craft brewers worldwide with innovations in the brewhouse and in its sustainability efforts. The pioneering spirit that launched Sierra Nevada now spans both coasts with breweries in Chico, California and Mills River, North Carolina. Sierra Nevada continues to honor its mountain heritage through day-to-day sustainability efforts and programs like Pale Ale for Trails. The brewery is famous for its extensive line of beers including Pale Ale, Hazy Little Thing®, Torpedo®, Tropical Torpedo® and a host of seasonal, specialty and limited release beers. Learn more at

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Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: