(Chico, CA) – Here is a short Q&A with Sierra Nevada Brewing‘s Bill Manley on the East Coast HQ search.
Q) Will you confirm any of the locations that have been rumored about?
A) I really can’t confirm any of the locations. There are many, many sites in consideration and I don’t think it would be fair to them to see a story and feel the need to compete or compare. For us, it isn’t really about what the sites can offer, it’s how we feel about them and how they fit with what Sierra Nevada stands for. It’s not a contest…just looking for the best choice from a stack of great choices!
Q) Will this be a destination brewery for visitors or just a production house?
A) The brewery, if it happens (again not 100% that we ARE going to build), will be a destination. It will probably have a pub or a restaurant attached, and there will be tours. We love it when people come to our brewery. We’re proud of what we do, and we welcome people to see where their beer comes from!
Q) The original report mentioned a goal of a site with 30 to 40 acres. I take this to mean that you hope to be able to grow hops and barley at a potential East Coast facility?
A) No, probably no East Coast hops or barley. If this goes forward, most/all of our specialty beers will still come from Chico. This brewery would mainly be for our mainline, year-round and seasonal beers, not the one-offs estate, or harvest beers or Beer Camp. The extended acreage would be for warehouses mostly. I’m sure you know, but Pale Ale is a bottle conditioned beer, so needs to be housed in cold storage warehouses to carbonate and condition before being shipped… therefore we need a LOT more warehouse space than the average brewery of our size. Also, if we are going to build, we want to future-proof the site, so would ideally like to make a site acquisition that can grow with the brewery if need be.
Q) What are you guys looking at for a capacity ceiling at the new place (in terms of barrels)?
A) We don’t really know what the ceiling will be. All we have now are rough estimates. As is true with most breweries, the brewhouse is not where the key to capacity lies… it is cellar space. Cellars can be installed in waves so I’m thinking we’ll start small and if demand grows expand from there.