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 HeadlinesWater Savings Fall Short AgainRoseville, CA. - Customers in San Juan Water District's retail service area reduced their October water use by 26 percent, which is 10 percent less
Chapa-De Indian Health Website for PatientsAUBURN, CA - Chapa-De Indian Health is proud to announce the launch of its newly updated website will also allow patients to learn about the comprehensive healthcare services
Blindness EtiquetteRoseville, CA - If you are meeting a person who is blind or visually impaired for the first time, do you offer your hand for him to shake?
Toyota RAV4 remains reliable compact SUVRoseville, CA- There is obviously a lot to like regarding the RAV4, starting with a sticker price that ranges from $23,680 to $29,850.
Roseville, Rocklin May Get Jobs Boost from Sunset Area PlanRoseville, CA - Currently known as the Sunset Industrial area west of Highway 65 and surrounded by the cities of Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln.
Loretta Claiborne: RevisitedRoseville, CA - Last week, I began telling you about Loretta Claiborne, an African American who was born poor, partially blind, and with an intellectual disability.
Placer County Water Agency Adopts 2016 BudgetAUBURN, Calif. - At its November 19 meeting, the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors adopted the Agency's 2016 budget
Rocklin Crime Report Update: DUI Arrests JumpRocklin, CA - Rocklin police weekly crime report digest update summary for the period of November 9- 15, 2015.
Roseville and Rocklin Among Beneficiaries of Clean Energy ProjectsRoseville, CA - The Placer County Board of Supervisors received a program update on mPOWER which has funded more than $35 million in clean energy projects
Cali Bowl in Roseville November 27-29Roseville, CA- The 8th Annual California Bowl comes to Roseville on Nov. 27-29 at the Woodcreek High School football stadium
Roseville to Hold Green Gardening at Home SeriesRoseville, CA - Starting this January, the Roseville Utility Exploration Center, 1501 Pleasant Grove Blvd. at Mahany Park
Loretta Claiborne Ran to SuccessRoseville, CA - You may have seen the Disney made-for-TV movie The Loretta Claiborne Story, in which a partially blind, African-American woman with an intellectual disability
NEWS: In Case You Missed It