Hops and Dreams: The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
On November 15, thirty years ago, two friends mixed 300 pounds of pale malt and roasted barley, then added six pounds of hops. A week later they pried open their bottles of beer and poured it all down the drain—it had an unwelcome astringent taste. Ten batches later, after seeking advice internationally and experimenting, Ken Grossman and Paul Camusi created their first marketable batch of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
Today, the brewery they grew is producing more beer than any other craft brewery in the United States (The Boston Beer Company produces more but it contracts out some of its brewing).
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., located in Chico, California, is holding a nationwide toast to celebrate its anniversary. Grossman, who bought out his partner, is sole owner of the company. The rise to this company’s and Grossman’s success is described in Hops and Dreams: The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (Stansbury Publishing, $19.95, 224 pp.).
Ken Grossman and Paul Camusi moved to Chico from separate hometowns in Southern California. Introduced at Grossman’s Chico Home Brew Shop, which sold ingredients for homebrewing, the two decided to open their own microbrewery, just as the Bay Area
microbrewery pioneers had done recently.
Grossman is an innovative mechanic. He and Camusi scrounged for used equipment from dairies, scap yards, and bottlers, then Grossman rebuilt it into usable machinery. They took their small savings, received some money from relatives and a friend,and started producing. Their plan was to be selling 1,500 cases a month.
Author Rob Burton tells how they made their first sales, got picked up by a supermarket chain,received publicity, and began to develop a cult-like following of beer aficionados.
The company moved from its original rented warehouse to a building developed from the ground up; influenced in appearance by the defunct German Aschaffenburg brauerie from which they purchased two large copper vessels to adorn their new entrance.
Since then, Grossman has added a building to bring the brewery’s capacity to 800,000 barrels per annum. To power the brewery, 10,000 solar arrarys cover its rooftops and parking lot, outputting 1.5 megawatts of electricity plus four hydrogen fuel cells producing 1 megawatt - enough for 2,500 families for a year. The brewery processes spent cooking oil from its restaurant into biodiesel fuel for use in delivery trucks. The company strives for 100 percent sustainability. It recycles its waste and uses it for production, growing hops, and a garden.
Employees receive many perks including a profit sharing retirement program, a self-funded group health plan subsidized over 80 percent by the company, an on-site medical clinic and wellness program with free access six days a week, a child care center, and subsidized public transportation.
Hops and Dreams author Rob Burton compares U.S. craft beer to his native England’s, discusses the craft beer movement in the U.S., and laces the book with tales from Sierra Nevada’s Taproom. For those visiting the brewery he describes its tours and the 350-seat Big Room where national artists perform for the community on a high-tech stage set up for broadcasting. Chef Micheal Iles offers his pairings of favorite beers with menu choices and Brewmaster Steve Dresler narrates the history behind the company’s best-known beers. Hops and Dreams is the only book written about Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Title: Hops and Dreams: The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Author: Rob Burton
Availability: Available now from BN.com and Amazon.com. After November 10 available
through all bookstores, library jobbers, and the publisher.
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesPCWA Customers Curb Water Use 34 PercentDrought Watch: Since June of this year, PCWA customers have decreased water use by 34 percent in comparison to base year 2013.
Roseville Area Events Calendar for October 3, 2015Roseville, CA - Bright sunshine and warm temps make for ideal conditions as the fall events season kicks into full swing in Roseville and beyond.
Placer County Child Support Services Recognized for ImprovementsThe Placer County Department of Child Support Services has received the 2015 Most Improved Child Support Program Award
Free Hazardous Waste Drop Off in AuburnPLACER COUNTY, Calif. - The Western Placer Waste Management Authority's annual household hazardous waste collection event will be held Saturday and Sunday
Repeat DUI's Targeted with Ignition Interlock ProgramOn Monday, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 61, adding another 18 months to a four-county ignition interlock pilot program
California Fire Updates Summary (10-2-15)Nearly 1,000 firefighters are battling 7 large fires. In Northern California, an area of low pressure is moving throughout the area today with light showers
Lincoln Salmon Festival Celebration October 3rdLincoln, CA - The Wildlife Heritage Foundation (WHF) is gearing up for the sixth annual Salmon Celebration to bring awareness to the migrating salmon population
Roseville Coffee Wars: Dunkin Donuts and Dutch Bros. ExpandingRoseville, CA - Coffee is big business and Roseville is at center stage in South Placer County as the coffee giants battle it out to serve up their high-priced specialty brews.
151,000 Acres Scarred: Rough Fire GrowsCalifornia Fire Updates 2015: In Northern California, an area of low pressure is moving slowly into the area today with light showers expected and cooler temperatures
Seniors First Awarded Grant from Wells FargoSeniors First was recently awarded $10,000 grant from Wells Fargo Bank which will help to continue funding of Seniors First's eight Senior Cafes
Salmon Celebration Festival in Lincoln October 3rdLincoln, CA - The Wildlife Heritage Foundation (WHF) is gearing up for the sixth annual Salmon Celebration
Free Healthy Aging Program Presentations in OctoberIn a series of four Saturday morning sessions at UC Davis School of Medicine, attendees will learn the latest from physicians and other experts about aging and medical science.
NEWS: In Case You Missed It