Tours & Tastings

The exterior of our 200-barrel brewhouse.
Copper cladding pays homage to traditional brewhouse kettles.
Our 1600-barrel fermentation tanks shimmer in the sun.
One of nine canopies in our parking lot solar array.
Pale Ale cruises down the packaging line.

Explore our brewery nestled in the Appalachians.

When we brewed our first batch of beer in 1980 in Chico, California, the lush forests of North Carolina were far from our mind. Over the last four decades, our thirst to brew quality, flavorful beer led us across the country and around the globe. In 2012, we broke ground on our second production location in order to send the freshest beer possible to our friends and fans all over the world.

Come visit our sprawling East Coast home in Mills River, North Carolina and see first-hand how determination and a pioneering spirit can lead to incredible adventures.

Our tours fill up quickly. You must make reservations online for all tours except the Guided Tastings and the self-guided Visitor Corridor. Click below to check availability and book your tour. Please feel free to contact our Tour Desk before your visit if you have any questions about our tour programs or policies. 

 

Brewery Tour - Mills River, NC

Duration: 45 minutes | Ages 12+ only | Complimentary | Reservation required

On this 45-minute tour of our production facility, we will navigate the entire beer-making process: from raw ingredients through fermentation and packaging.

You will rub our aromatic, whole-cone hops in your palms, gaze in the window of our whirling mash tun and sip some sugary wort before it moves into our fermentation tanks. We will venture to our packaging facility and whet your thirst before finishing with an educational tasting of a few Sierra Nevada beers

Book 2018 Brewery Tour

 

Heritage Tour

Duration: 90 minutes | Ages 12+ only | $12.00 | Reservation required

In 1980, Ken Grossman founded Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in a 3,000 square foot, rented, metal warehouse. We started with a love for American hops and a simple goal: brew the beer we wanted to drink. Today, our breweries in Chico, California and Mills River, North Carolina carry on this ambition and we want to share this story, adventure and beer with you. 

On this 90-minute tour, we will explore our pioneering production facilities and the journey that led us from a small homebrew shop in California to becoming one of America’s premier craft breweries. We will end our tour with a full, educational tasting of some of our year-round and seasonal brews.

Book Heritage Tour

 

Beer Geek Tour

Feburary & March dates available. Waitlist option available for all sold out dates.       

Duration: 3 hours | Ages 21+ only | Cost: $45 | Reservation required | Mondays & Thursdays only | Long Pants & Close-Toed Shoes Required

Get ready for an intimate, 3-hour tour into the depths of what makes Sierra Nevada tick. This tour is ideal for beer lovers who already have basic beer knowledge and are looking for a behind-the-scenes look and taste of our facility. We’re keeping the group small (5 new best friends for you!) and the experience big.

We’ll talk ingredients and beer history before inviting you into our 200-barrel production brewhouse. We’ll wander into our hop cooler, take in the aromas, and scope out our cellar where you’ll sample beer right from the tanks. We’ll venture through our packaging floor and then you’ll —what’s that? You’re already convinced? Excellent. Prepare for a few surprises along the way and a Sierra Nevada experience like no other!

Book Beer Geek Tour

 

Chocolate & Beer Pairing - SOLD OUT

Duration: 1 hour | Ages 21+ only | Cost: $30 | Reservation required | Saturdays at 6:30pm: February 24th & March 3rd

You know what we love? Beer. You know what is a close second? Chocolate. In honor of Valentine’s Day, we decided to pair them up! They just might be the best couple since malt met hops.  

Like beer, chocolate can be dark, roasty, bitter, sweet, malty, intense, approachable and everywhere in between. Come explore this complex taste portfolio and how the right beer paired with the right bite can elevate the flavor of both.

On this unique tasting, our guides will provide you with a selection of locally-sourced chocolates paired with samples of our limited-release brews. You will discuss flavor profiles and what makes a truly incredible edible combination. 

Grab your friend, your sweetheart, your roommate (leave the dog at home – dogs can’t have chocolate!) and join us for a delicious night! 

Book Chocolate & Beer Pairing

 

How to Taste Beer

Duration: 1 hour | Ages 21+ only | Cost: $20 | Reservation required | Fridays in March: March 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th

Beer is the third most consumed drink in the world (after water and tea). Its popularity and approachability make it a natural partner to backyard barbeques, outdoor adventures and pizza night.

Beer is also versatile. It comes in hundreds of styles – each linked to its own history and traditional glassware. Its complex flavors, directly stemming from four essential ingredients (water, malted barley, hops and yeast), can also pair beautifully with an elaborate meal or your next celebration.

On this sensory tasting, your guides will walk you through a variety of Sierra Nevada beers and provide style and sampling notes for each. You will discuss aroma and mouthfeel and learn how to properly store, serve and consume beer to optimize the tasting experience.

This experience is ideal for beer lovers of all kinds – whether you want to know the difference between an ale and a lager, learn to pour like a pro or just better appreciate the story in your glass.

Book How to Taste Beer

 

Guided Educational Tasting

Duration: 30 minutes | Ages 21+ | Cost: $12 | Same-day Ticket Sales* | Saturday, February 24th: 12:00 & 2:30 PM, Sunday, February 25th: 12:00 PM

Don’t have 90 minutes to take a tour with us? Care more about how a beer tastes than about how it is made? Consider joining us for a 30 minute, guided, educational tasting!

One of our knowledgeable guides will walk you through a sampling of eight of our beers. We will discuss beer styles and their history as well as what makes Sierra Nevada’s beer unique. We’ll provide the paper and pens for tasting notes, you bring an adventurous palate and a thirst (for beer and knowledge)!

*Tickets can be purchased in-person at the Tour Desk on the day of the tasting. They are offered on first-come, first-served basis.

 

Guided Barrel Tasting

Duration: 30 minutes | Ages 21+ | Cost: $10 | Same-day Ticket Sales* | Saturday, February 24th: 3:00pm, 3:30pm, 4:00pm & 4:30pm

The weather is turning cooler and the holiday season is upon us. It makes us want to curl up next to the fire and sip on something roasty and dark. To indulge this feeling at the brewery, we are opening up our Barrel Room for exclusive, guided barrel tastings. 

Step inside the dark ambience of our Barrel Room and inhale the aromas of beer and wood. One of our knowledgeable guides will walk you through a sampling of four barrel-aged beers. Along with three 1 oz. samples of our Trip in the Woods barrel-aged series, you will taste a sample directly from a barrel. This seasonal experience is not one to miss!

*Tickets can be purchased in-person at the Tour Desk on the day of the tasting. They are offered on first-come, first-served basis.

 

Visitor Corridor

Duration: At your leisure | All ages | No reservation required | Sunday-Thursday: 11am-8pm, Friday-Saturday: 11am-9pm

Groups not your thing? We get it. For those who prefer to wander solo, our Brewery has been designed with guests in mind! Our upstairs Visitor Corridor includes a raised mezzanine for bird’s-eye views of our copper-clad brewhouse, a real-time look at fermenting beer and a visit to our warehouse and packaging hall.