Collin works for a wholesale beverage distributor. These are his opinions only and not a reflection on his employer nor are they paid for in any way.
New craft breweries are opening regularly in Charlotte. Craft beer is “hot” right now.
That doesn’t happen by accident.
The beginnings of modern day craft beer in the US started over 30 years ago. Some of those pioneers are still at it today. One of the fathers of craft beer happens to have recently built a brewery close to Charlotte.
In Mills River, NC (easy day trip), Sierra Nevada Brewing Company just opened their 2nd brewery.
There are a lot of fantastic breweries in the area – but none are on the scale of Sierra Nevada.
Since the original brewery is located in Chico, CA, the trip to Mills River is way easier to pay a little craft beer respect to a master of the industry
Travel: 113 miles (about 2 hours) – make a day of it – and enjoy!
- Sierra Nevada began in Chico, CA in 1980
- The new brewery in NC fully opened this year
- All tours are free. And they book up quickly. At the time this article was written, July tours were completely booked.
- The cost of the new brewery is not disclosed. But let’s say – it wasn’t cheap.
- Taproom hours: Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm; Friday and Saturday 11am-10pm; Sunday noon-9pm.
- Brewery tour info and reservations here.
Here’s a sample of what you will see touring Sierra Nevada… if you can get a tour…
You can’t talk about this brewery without talking about sustainability. A focus on the environment starts outside the brewery with the parking lot. There you will find 9 sets of solar panels (there are more on the building) and a parking lot that is designed to catch rain water.
Doting the outside of the building are rain collection tanks like you might have at your house – only super sized.
Go inside and find the the front desk sports a living wall.
Pictures don’t do these justice. It is beautiful copper…
Walk through the brewery while beer is being pushed all around you. Everything is tightly controlled.
Hey, those look like ‘torpedos’. Well…maybe they are…
Everything is digitally controlled by these little blue tops. Brewers know what is happening in any tank at any moment. Super cool.
Go play with hops! Rub them in your hands, but don’t touch your eyes!
Check out the open fermenters.
Just a few barrels… they have a lot.
The music amphitheater is almost complete.
Don’t worry, you can eat and drink in the Taproom! Also the Taproom has ‘brewery only’ selections.
I suggest you go to the bar, tell the bartender a style of beer you like, and ask for something that you can’t find outside the brewery. Then drink it.
Eat. Try the Duck Fat Fries, The Glutton, Cauliflower Steak and Smoke Trout Roll. Just do it.
We are super lucky that Charlotte pumps out such good craft beer! If you want to pay a little homage to one of the founding fathers of craft beer – go check out Sierra Nevada.
Collin works for a wholesale beverage distributor. These are his opinions only and not a reflection on his employer nor are they paid for in any way. If you go on the tour, tweet Collin your favorite beer.