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Although home brewing has become one of the most popular activities for young and middle-aged Americans, few have the drive and delicious beer to turn it into an empire. However, that's just what Sierra Nevada did. Started in 1980 by two friends, Sierra Nevada Beers is now the seventh-largest brewer in the United States with an output of 1.25 million barrels a year. Headquartered in Chico, California, the brewery gets its name from the nearby Sierra Nevada mountains, and several of their bottles depict the scenic landscapes of the area. The company's also a leader in sustainability, earning recognition from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Maybe this talk of Sierra Nevada's success gets you amped to start your own brewing. If not, just indulge in the fruits of their labor. You may find it just as satisfying.
What Types of Beer Does Sierra Nevada Make?
What started as a one-beer company has quickly turned into a vast offering of products. Today, Sierra Nevada Beer portfolio is 11 beers year-round, four seasonal brews, three high-alcohol varieties and a run of special edition beers. With that type of lineup, you never have to worry about finding a beer that makes your taste buds get up and dance.
- Pale Ale: Chances are if you've had a Sierra Nevada, it was a pale ale. It won't give you bitter beer face even for a pale ale, and this classic sits on a pedestal like some sort of Greek god. It has pine and grapefruit hints and pairs satisfyingly with steak or curry.
- Sidecar Orange Pale Ale: If you love the pale ale but you need something with a citrus edge, go with the sidecar. It doesn't taste like someone poured orange juice into your beer when you went to the bathroom, instead using a variety of orange peels to enhance the flavor. This goes well with salmon or orange-glazed chicken.
- Nooner Pilsner: The abundance of hops in pale ales aren't for everyone. That's why Sierra Nevada has a number of other beers to quench your thirst. The Nooner Pilsner is a summery beer that uses the traditional German pilsner method. Paired with fish or fresh pasta, there's nothing better. Just make sure to set this one down before you jump in the pool.
- Narwhal Imperial Stout: If you love the idea of a meal in a pint glass, go with the Narwhal Imperial Stout. This dark beer combines cocoa, espresso and smoky flavors and has a smooth, velvety finish. What makes this beer even better is that you can pair it with ribs or chocolate mousse. Your stomach won't know what's happening.