Sierra Nevada’s Ken Grossman’s statement on North Carolina

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(Mills River, NC) – The following note comes from Sierra Nevada Brewing Founder and Owner, Ken Grossman, addressed to the media.

After a long and comprehensive search, I’m excited to announce our location for a second brewery, in the Henderson County town of Mills River, North Carolina.

Throughout the last 31 years, we have had the privilege to make bold, flavorful, and hop-forward beers — the kind of beer we have always loved to drink. Luckily, we’re not the only ones who drank it, and for most of the time we’ve been in existence, we have been scrambling to keep up with demand. For years, we’ve considered a second brewing location. The recent growth of craft beer in the eastern USA, combined with the environmental impact of shipping all the way across the country, made a
second brewing location the most sustainable solution for us moving forward.

For the past several years, we’ve reviewed over 200 sites with painstaking detail and an
exhaustive list of qualitative and quantitative considerations. In North Carolina, we were humbled by the community, its values and the outstanding craft beer culture in the area. Much of Sierra Nevada’s success stems from the hard work and dedication of our staff, along with the brewery culture that has grown up alongside the physical brewery. While we were making this decision, it was important for us to choose a location similar to our home in Chico, CA. Mills River and the Asheville area feel like a great fit for us; a close-knit community with outstanding quality of life, shared values and access to the outdoors.

Much like Chico, with its close proximity to many creeks, rivers and the Sierras, the location for our new brewery in North Carolina will be situated on property that borders the French Broad River, with the Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop. Of course, building a new brewery from the ground up is no small task, and we anticipate the construction to take between 18 and 24 months. Our East Coast brewery will be built with a sustainable and mindful approach and maintain the integrity of the property and beauty of the natural landscape.

Construction will take approximately two years, and when completed, we anticipate the new brewery to be close to 200,000 square feet, with an on-site pub & restaurant.
My son, Brian Grossman, and Stan Cooper will be leading operations of the North Carolina location, and a few key Chico staff will also be relocating to the new facility.

We thank you for sharing this adventure.

Ken Grossman


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10 thoughts on “Sierra Nevada’s Ken Grossman’s statement on North Carolina

  1. Pingback: Bruisin’ Ales Beer Blog » It’s official, y’all! Welcome to WNC, Sierra Nevada.

  2. Ken

    Call me crazy but I don’t see a ‘fit’ in W North Carolina for an environmentally conscious, left of center, NorCal brewer.

    (Not so) ‘Square peg – Round Hole’

    We’re talking about an award-winning, SUPER environmentally conscious ‘cornerstone’ NorCal craft beer brand ▌(that grew w/o advertising via Jerry Garcia & The Grateful Dead btw) ▌

    now, 2nd siting in the back yard of BIG COAL, old timey, bible Belt NC?! Combined w/ ‘dry state’ DNA / ‘SHINE’, NASCAR, right-wing pols, and SUPER-polluting coal-powered energy producers (one just 4 mi N of the site kicks out 2.4 million metric tons of CO2/yr [ ] folks…and THAT’s a ‘fit’? What would ‘Jerry’ think?

    Sounds more like a siting ‘solution’ heavily influenced by an international real estate siting .org w/a templates for:

    *cheap (and dirty) power
    *interstate connectivity
    *cheap labor / ‘right to work’ states (think no ‘rights’ much and cheaper labor)

    While you can make a case for Asheville, as the ‘Austin’ of NC, it ain’t NorCal by a long stretch!

    Next up New Belgium Brewing


  3. Ken,

    Youre way off base with your assessment of NC and Asheville(voted beer city USA two years running).

    Welcome to NC, Sierra Nevada. We are happy to have you.

    Ken, youre just a jealous hippy.

  4. Anyone writing such things about Western North Carolina obviously hasn’t spent much time there. Yes, there are some Bubbas and Sportsmen and NASCAR fans in these parts. But many or most of them are good folks. Have you read our clean air agreements that shut down coal plants in this area and over the border? Have you heard of NCGreenPower? And there is certainly a strong eco/green/crunchy contingent in the Asheville area, and any of NC’s urban areas. Been to Durham lately? It’s beautiful mountain country and Sierra Nevada is lucky to be making a home here.

  5. Yep, Blake is on point with his assessment.. A jealous hippie. I’d like to add yankee and stereotyping to that. A jealous YANKEE Stereotyping hippie. You obviously know nothing of North Carolina, it’s people, or it’s environmental policies. Thanks for giving me a reason to stay away from the adirondacks: assholes like you.

  6. Ken,

    I’m not sure if your aware but Asheville, NC has been gifted with the title Beer City USA. It has more breweries per capita in the United States. Some of the very best breweries such as Greenman and my favorite, Craggie are out of Asheville. You just might want to do a little research before you make a statement as such…JUST SAYING!!!

  7. @ Ken: I detected a small but significant syntax error in your statement “…Asheville, as the ‘Austin’ of NC…” i.e., having lived in the Austin area for almost 20 years and in Asheville for longer, I know I have the insight to say, it should be “Austin as the Asheville of TX…” Austin is a backwash, hick town compared to Asheville. No further discussion needed.

  8. Seriously, first poster, ive probably had 40-50 awesome brews from regionally popular breweries in western NC. I also live in NC and know no one that watches nascar

  9. Pingback: Introducing… the Beyond the Pour Podcast Episode 1: The Ethics of Reviewing Beer « beyondthepour

  10. Relax, Ken and have a beer! Welcome SN to NC. I just hit your brewery when performing some work on client in Asheville. Fantastic job on the facility!

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