Sierra Nevada Brewing Assists in COVID-19 Testing

After stepping up to help wildfire relief in 2018, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is rising to the occasion to help confront another crisis, this time it’s COVID-19. Sierra Nevada will help out fellow Chico, California-based Enloe Medical Center in performing COVID-19 tests by producing viral transport medium in their brewery lab. The partnership will allow the hospital to increase the availability of local COVID-19 testing.

More from a press release:

Viral transport medium (VTM) is a mixture that preserves clinical samples, like a nose and mouth swab, for testing. VTM is a necessary tool for COVID-19 sample collection and is in short supply nationwide, but Sierra Nevada regularly produces a variety of medium in its lab to perform quality tests on its beer and beverages. The brewery lab has begun production of viral transport medium for this purpose in addition to its usual production and quality testing.

Sierra Nevada is known for its comprehensive quality assurance program and state-of-the-art laboratory. Brewery founder and president, Ken Grossman, communicated with health officials and Enloe leadership at the start of the crisis to discuss local public health needs and potential gaps. The need for VTM was front and center in the crisis, and well within the capabilities of Sierra Nevada’s lab. The brewery got to work soon thereafter and has now started VTM production and delivery.

“We are extremely grateful to local businesses like Sierra Nevada, that selflessly set aside their own business needs to help address this national health crisis,” said Enloe Medical Center President and CEO Mike Wiltermood. “Their support to increase the availability of local testing is one more example of how local business leaders support community health.”

“We’re so pleased that we have the equipment and expertise to help supply tools for testing,” said Sierra Nevada Vice President Sierra Grossman. “This is an unprecedented situation that affects all of us, and we are honored to reach beyond our industry to help our community. We’re so grateful for the dedicated and committed healthcare workers at the front of this crisis and are proud to help them in any way that we can.”

Sierra Nevada hopes that this initiative might be replicable by businesses in other areas of the country and worldwide in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.

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 is famous for its extensive line of beers including Pale Ale, Hazy Little Thing®, 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: