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Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

259 Ratings
Ratings: 259
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 10.65%
Active Beers: 126
Beer Ratings: 99,919
Beer Avg: 3.88
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask:
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

1075 E. 20th Street
Chico, California, 95928
United States
phone: (530) 893-3520

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @sierranevada

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 259 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Fatehunter
4.14/5  rDev -10%

It was a beautiful day so we sat outside. The inside bar and dining area looked nice too.
Nineteen of their beers on tap with a fairly wide variety between them, though only one "Belgian" style beer. Whatever, all their beers are solid or great.
The service was the perfect blend of normal American style of "bugging-me-every-other-minute-to-ask-if-everything-is-okay" and German "never-approach-your-table-unless-you-are-doing-jumping-jacks-to-get-attention".
The food was great. I would go there just for the food. We had some fries, pretzel and beer cheese and a salad.
The prices were normal for the area. The gift shop has great prices on glassware, $3 for an imperial pint.

Fatehunter, Apr 15, 2014
Photo of jeffjeff1
4.48/5  rDev -2.6%

I went to Sierra Nevada Brewery today with my wife and parents. Great experience. Luckily there was no wait then and we got seated immediately. We were seated in a booth but the booth was weird. The seats went all around and you could rotate it around. It was pretty cool. They had a few beers that they don't have anywhere else and we tried a few of those. I had the Brewer's Pizza which was delicious. After that we went to the gift shop where we spent a ton of money. I got two tap handles, two pint glasses, two shirts, some mustard, and a cookbook. I highly recommend it. The brewery is also huge. It is truly a beautiful place. I felt like Charlie in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I wanted to go on the tour but we didn't have enough time so next time we will go on the tour.

jeffjeff1, Jan 21, 2014
Photo of drewone
4.58/5  rDev -0.4%

Chico is not convenient to anywhere - but I had wanted to visit for a long time and am glad I finally did as it did not disappoint. As you turn off freeway and drive down 20th you can not miss it.

Arrived on wed before thanksgiving around 11:45 - was able to snag the last spots on the 1pm tour (you can sign up ahead of time - but they always reserve half the spots for walk - in. Around holidays tours seemed to fill up fast.

Went and ate in the restaurant while waiting - super attentive staff, friendly to kids, quick service. Ordered pretzels, ham and bean soup, goat cheese salad, fish and chips, chicken curry (a special). All were very good, medium price. Also did 2 tater flights - $3 for 4 2oz tasters. As me and my wife were splitting 2 of them wish the size was a little bigger. Ideally in retrospect would have done tour than ate, but ended up not doubling up on many of the beers. Most all beers are all available as taster, half pints, pints or growler fills.

If you've trekked up here you better do the tour - and as it's free and they start you off first thing with a glass of SNPA you can't go wrong. Last about 1.5 hrs - highlights for me were the hop room and the packaging line. Ends in a tasting room where you get to try another 8 or so beers. Very awesome - guide was enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

No k ids under 12 allowed on tour - although there is a short self guided tour open to any one.

drewone, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.53/5  rDev -1.5%

Can't believe I've never reviewed this place. Been here about 20 times, and that may be a conservative estimate. Last visited Jan 2011 to pick up a case of Hoptimum.

Awesome atmosphere, unbelievable beauty all over the place. The brewing facility, the patio, hop fields, the very long bar, the amazing stained glass, hell even the gift shop. Quality is amazing, SNPA is the best beer in the world on such a massive scale. If you're into more rare stuff, they'll probably have a one off available for you. If you like hops, they'll have multiple selections available to you.

Service has always been good. Prices have always been good, a little more expensive than it used to be, but that's life everywhere I guess. Back in college we used to like to hit this place and then run downtown for the 'scene'. These days, I'm pretty content to just sit here all night and chill. A summer evening in the beer garden, you can't do it better than this. Tons of parking. Amazing scents. Amazing food.

Beerandraiderfan, Mar 30, 2011
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.78/5  rDev +3.9%

I lived in Chico this past summer and stopped into the Sierra Nevada Brewery at least a dozen times. I feel like I can write a pretty thorough review at this point, but I'll try to keep things concise. Here goes:

This is the best brewery I've ever been to. Definitely. Everything about the Sierra Nevada Brewery is high quality. The tap beers are always fresh, tasty and beautiful (the bartenders are masters of the pour). The beer selection is solid, boasting sixteen taps plus the occasional cask line. Polished brass and wood cover most of the interior, giving it a rustic yet classy feel. The bartenders, waiters, waitresses, and gift shop attendants are all kind, quick, and informative. Everything is reasonably priced, and the beer is downright cheap! All of the fellow customers I talked to were friendly and interesting. It's really hard to think of anything negative to say about this place.

Every experience I had at Sierra Nevada was a positive one. I highly recommend it to everyone. For those that haven't been before, here are a couple of tips to make your upcoming experience even more enjoyable:
- Every Thursday Sierra Nevada puts a different (and often brand new) beer on-cask. It's the only night of the week when cask beer is available at the brewery.
- All of the long-time patrons, home-brewers, and beer savants sit at the bar. If you're looking to strike up good beer conversation, you should sit here too.
- The patio is a great place to sit if you're looking for something a little quieter/mellower. It can get pretty hot up in Chico, which is why the patio is equipped with abundant shade and misters.
- The food at Sierra Nevada is hit and miss. Your safest bet is probably a burger, sandwich, or salad. The pizzas are okay, but I've heard that the fish & chips and Mexican food are downright bad. Everything is very fresh and grown/raised by Sierra Nevada.
- Self-guided tours are available daily from 10:00am-6:00pm. Guided tours are also available upon request.
- Check out "The Big Room" if you get a chance. I never got to see it, but I hear that the concerts in there are awesome!

This is a must stop! If you're anywhere near Chico, make the trip to the Sierra Nevada Brewery. You will not regret it.

ThreeWiseMen, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of warmstorage
3.4/5  rDev -26.1%

Sigh. We centered our brewpub tour of central-north California around Sierra Nevada yesterday, and were ecstatic to finally reach "The Mothership" as we call it. Best thing: $2.75 half pints of the renowned Bigfoot Barleywine. Worst things: a bunch of swill light styles, and loads of loud families drinking pop.

Background: I drink about two six packs a week of Bigfoot Barleywine each year for the ~3-5 months I can get it. I drink an average of two six packs a month of SN Pale Ale. I drink an average of a six pack of either SN Porter or Stout a month. This is total, and doesn't include all the other beer I drink.

I LOVE Sierra Nevada. I believe in it, and will always have a soft spot in my heart for it. Now... that said, the brewery visit itself turned up a lot of crappy beer, and a super crowded family-style dining experience that was highly inconducive to realbeer drinking.

I've visited three times in the last year, and each time, been mildly disappointed in the quality of the beer. As I noted elsewhere in a review of the Best Bitter, I agree with another reviewer that many of SN's brews, available only on tap at the brewery (and maybe kegs?), basically taste identical to one another, and suck. That is, the Best Bitter varied MINIMALLY from the Blonde, the Pilsner, the Wheat, the Crystal Wheat, and the Extra Special Pale Ale.

We waited a little under an hour for a table, which was fine, as it was passed at the bar, with the mediocre bartender rushing by every once in a while. Apparently, a fencing convention was in town, and packing the place in a partial buy-out.

ATMOSPHERE: I used to like the atmosphere; as other reviewers have noted, it's beautiful, but only when empty, and not when packed to the gills with people. Even more unfortunate, a definite majority, and perhaps a supermajority, weren't drinking good beer. Sitting at the bar for almost an hour, we saw MUCH more white wine, Pilsner, and Blonde being poured than anything else. Entire tables, with half kids and half yuppie adults, drank only soft drinks and iced tea and water. WHAT? You come to The Mothership and drink POP? What the HELL is wrong with you? Clearly, many of these tables were full of people who might have been just as happy at TGI Friday's, Chili's, Olive Garden, etc. (we personally witnessed at least eight tables that fit this profile.) It was loud, crowded, bright, and heavy on young children. I (sort of) hate to be ageist and snobby, but this was *NOT* conducive to enjoying and drinking good beer.

The SERVICE was fine, and pleasant, if harried, and busy. No knowledge of the beer was noted, except when the bartender remarked on my drinking pints of the Best Bitter and Extra Special Pale Ale, then tasting Wheat and Crystal Wheat, and finally ordering a Stout. (Explanation: I like to taste lots of stuff, but since almost all the light beers taste thin, boring, and similar, I wanted a pint of something that actually would taste good.)

The FOOD was quite tasty, but let's be serious: I don't come to The Mothership to eat. We had a tasty pizza, and in the past two visits, I"ve enjoyed the organic greens salads, and sandwiches.

The SELECTION is amazing: approximately 17 beers currently on tap, but with limited information provided regarding distinctions between styles: for example, at least three were variants of "pale ale", and they basically all taste the same. I've had the great deal taster ($8 for 2-3 ounces of everything on tap) twice in the last year, and probably fiev times total, and each time, been struck by how little difference exists between the various lighter beers.

The beer QUALITY... well, as I said above, many of the light beers taste very, very, very similar to one another, and basically suck. We drank and tasted the Best Bitter, Blonde, Pilsner, Wheat, Crystal Wheat, and Extra Special Pale Ale, noting only minor distinctions between them. The Pale Bock was also very similar with only a cloying sweetness and hint of higher alcohol to distinguish it, and the Stout and Barleywine were obviously very different.

Of these, the Bigfoot Barleywine was fantastic, the Stout predictably great, and everything else went downhill, fast, from there. My "Quality" score of 2.5 reflects the reality that about five of the 17 beers are outstanding, and about eight are pretty poor for such a competent brewery, with five hovering in the middle, but barely average.

I have taken the self tour in the past, which is indeed entertaining. And yes, the place is pretty. But really: I'm going to a brewpub to drink great beer, and when I can get all the the great styles in bottles, and otherwise only taste boring, bland, thin styles, I'll skip it. While I'll continue to buy loads of SN six packs, I won't bother to drive all the way to Chico again.

warmstorage, Mar 21, 2005
Photo of AmeriCanadian
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

AmeriCanadian, Today at 03:55 AM
Photo of Frank_TX
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Frank_TX, Saturday at 04:27 AM
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4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

illpass78, Wednesday at 02:02 AM
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4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

HelpMeBloody, Nov 16, 2014
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5/5  rDev +8.7%

bdougherty, Nov 16, 2014
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3.75/5  rDev -18.5%

sonic4482, Nov 15, 2014
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4.76/5  rDev +3.5%

CMack71968, Nov 13, 2014
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4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Manbear, Nov 11, 2014
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4.84/5  rDev +5.2%

KyleSweetsema, Nov 09, 2014
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3.75/5  rDev -18.5%

Adeezy4495, Nov 08, 2014
Photo of Reds76
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Great brewpub.

Reds76, Nov 03, 2014
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5/5  rDev +8.7%

ButtomsUp, Nov 02, 2014
Photo of Locky
2.04/5  rDev -55.7%

Locky, Oct 31, 2014
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2.52/5  rDev -45.2%

reedwoytek, Oct 31, 2014
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4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

fuzzbalz, Oct 31, 2014
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4.6/5  rDev 0%

meno19, Oct 29, 2014
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4.9/5  rDev +6.5%

nicksanch81, Oct 28, 2014
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Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, CA
100 out of 100 based on 259 ratings.