When you name your brewery after some of America’s most spectacular mountains, your natural conservation game better be strong. And though sustainability and craft beer have long been inseparable cousins, Sierra Nevada does it on a scale never seen before at its Mills River brewery.
Founder Ken Grossman has long held Sierra Nevada to be a pioneer in eco-friendly brewing. The company’s original facility in Chico, CA, has led that charge for decades. It grows its own organic barley and hops at an on-site farm to reduce transportation impact. It has over 10,000 solar panels producing over 1.5 megawatts of electricity. It even raises its own cattle — fed with spent grain from the brewery — for use in the taproom’s restaurant. But when Sierra Nevada opened up shop just outside of Asheville, it set a new industry standard for sustainability.