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Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Beer Stats:
Active Beers: 180
Beer Ratings: 81,792
Beer Avg: 3.86

Taps: / Bottles:
Cask: / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
100
world-class

167 Ratings
Ratings: 167
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.68%
$$ - reasonable
[ 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)
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Ratings: 167 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mckeehn
mckeehn

California

4.25/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$

My favorite bar. Driven mostly for my partiality to their brand. The tap room is attached to the brewery proper, and one can take tours of the operation, learn about making beer, look and the Sierra Nevada hops garden, drink one or more of any beer that is currently in season, eat a great meal, and buy a few six packs to take home with you, all in one location.

The atmosphere sports a long bar and large restaurant. The theme of "brewhouse" is apparent throughout, with a huge amount of copper fixtures and an open "industrial" feel to the vaulted ceilings. Some of the brewing Tuns can be seen polished to a mirror copper finish. The floor appointments are a beautiful symphony of hard woods and polished brass and copper. The kitchen is open, and you can see the brick oven where some entrees are prepared. The staff is immaculate in appearance.

These people KNOW beer. They really know their beer. Quality of presented beer is always close to perfection.

Service here is usually pretty snappy, though I have been ignored a couple of times. The serving staff is knowledgeable about the beer menu offerings and can make suggestions if you describe what you like.

If you want to drink something other than Sierra Nevada, go someplace else, because that is all they serve. However, they will have each and every beer currently in production on tap and ready to go. This allows you to taste some hard to find oddities that they produce straight from the tap of the maker.

Food. This is actually a high point. The menu is quite varied, and is worth seeking all on it's own. It is clearly take the SO to dinner quality. And certainly, as it is close (Relative actually) to my home town, should I be in it, I have yet to have my mom not jump at the chance to have a meal there; and she is not fond of beer.

Overall the Sierra Nevada Tap room combines my favorite line of regular beers, with a innovative quality menu, wrapped in a wonderful warm brewery atmosphere. It is clear why it is my favorite pub.

10-07-2009 22:20:41 | More by mckeehn
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
ThreeWiseMen

California

4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $

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.

09-27-2009 19:51:26 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of veech
veech

Tennessee

5/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$

My wife and I, drove 3 hrs across the Sierra Nevadas from Lake Tahoe on my honeymoon to visit the brewery/habe lunch last week. Beautiful weather, and scenery en route were a plus. The minute you approach the property it's obvious the amount of forethought and care that goes into everything involving the business. A small hop yard greets the visitor as they approach followed by a parking lot with a terraced canopy of solar panels that were pleasing to both my green and aesthetic sensibilities. The patio was at once cozy and spacious. We chose to dine inside and were seated immediately during the lunch rush. The decor is wood and copper. Huge gorgeous bar with Sierra Nevada's logo and nature scenes similar to those depicted on the bottle labels highlighted the huge behind bar mirrors. The bar linied the left side of the room and was divided by a half wall. copper exhaust/ducts that match the brew kettles run the ceiling and compliment the wood fixtures that help round out the high country lodge decor. Very classy and well appointed place. Our waiter was incredibly attentive and offered us several samples of their more unfamiliar styles: the brown saison and the southern hemisphere ale being our favorites, both were extremely delicious and warranted refills. The food matched the decor and service in top notch quality. I'll qualify this by saying that my experience with fish tacos is not what a Californian's would be, but regardless, they were amazing and by far the best I've ever had. We also had an Employee's favorite pizza which was also tremendous. We took the short, obligatory afternoon brewery tour, stopped off for some souv's in the giftshop, went back to the beer garden for a pint of brown saison and 1/2 pint of Bigfoot before leaving Chico. I highly recommend that whether you find yourself in the Bay area, Sacramento or Tahoe, make the trek to Sierra Nevada. It will not disappoint.

05-20-2009 13:52:19 | More by veech
Photo of washburnkid
washburnkid

New York

4.45/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$

I had the most excellent day of hiking at Bidwell Park before hitting up the Sierra Nevada brewery.
First, the atmosphere: The building was beautiful, the solar panels brought tears to my eyes, and the aromas were splendid. It was a really laid back place, and my pup got to sit right outside the patio gate so that we didn't have to leave him in the car.
The beer and food were as fresh as it gets. We two vegetarians had the lentil burger, fresh hand-cut fries, some of the brewery's very own mustard selection (porter, to be exact), and a mediterranean pizza that was loaded with fresh veggies. To wash it down, we had kellerweis (which I hope will come out in bottles someday), best bitter ale, and the brown saison. This was all for about $30 (not including tip).
Speaking of tips, I want to emphasize the great service. The waitstaff was attentive, and they were really kind in working with us to get our dog to join the experience as much as possible. They were busy, but were good with filling up our waters and beers whenever there were empty glasses.
The folks in the giftshop were also very kind and helpful. I brought three 6ers and an SN pint glass back home with me.

I look forward to going back again. Those burgers/pizza/kellerweis are worth the almost two hour drive. I look forward to trying many more beers that can only be enjoyed at the brewery.

04-12-2009 17:43:31 | More by washburnkid
Photo of xhcadamx
xhcadamx

Maine

5/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$

This place defines classy. Beautiful woodwork and shined copper everywhere. The quality of the beers and food were top notch. I was really impressed with all the beers they had on tap that they do not bottle. I wish these were more available besides just in the taproom. I went two times in one weekend (that good) and both times my servers were awesome. Food was excellent I had the fish and chips which blew me away and a salad with a grilled chicken breast. If I lived in Chico I would go all the time.

01-20-2009 02:50:00 | More by xhcadamx
Photo of SpecsBEERMAN
SpecsBEERMAN

Texas

4.63/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$

A must see. The best brewery I have ever seen. Most smaller breweries would die just to have access to Sierra Nevada's pilot brewery. An amazing operation. You would never believe this place is so big until you have seen it first hand. The entire brewery is cleaner than my kitchen. The pub attached to the brewery is amazing. Great, laid back atmosphere where after work hours you will find the brewers and Ken Grossman enjoying a pint and conversing. The food is even better. The cows where the beef comes from are feed all of Sierra's spent grain, the result is something everyone needs to experience.

11-30-2008 22:31:00 | More by SpecsBEERMAN
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$

On my last visit to Chico I ate dinner and had brews at the brewhouse three nights in a row- it's that good. I make it a point to stop here every time I'm in town. The place is very nice- very eco-friendly and beautiful and open without looking industrial. Very warm and inviting but still holds a lot of people. The service is generally eager and pleasant, but they aren't necessarily beer people. This place has what really matters though- great food and a great selection of solid beers. The first time I was here I had the sampler beer tray- Wow! 14 beers- that is a sampler tray. Many were beers not really available elsewhere as well, and many of the smaller run Sierra Nevadas are quite good. On subsequent visits I had various delicious pints. The food is also quite good. It is upscale pub food, but very tasty and with lots of organic option. They supposedly have their own herd of organic cattle to supply the restaurant. I always thoroughly enjoy myself here, and its quite worth going out of your way to check it out.

10-30-2008 02:22:25 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of Floydster
Floydster

California

4.53/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $

I took a day trip to Chico with my girlfriend and her family, this was obviosuly my choice for lunch, we went around the gift store for a couple minutes when we first got there and a few of us bought shirts including myself, then we went on a tour which only lasted about fifteen minutes, the guide was terrible and it probably would have been better to just go explore ourselves but we did get to see some cool things, the old bottles in the glass cases were my favorite part, after that we walked over the restaraunt and was seated immediately, a few of the people I was with ordered the beers sampler which included fourteen of the sixteen beers available that day, I had a bunch of half pints myself, the most expensive pint on the menu was $4.25 which was awesome, they had a lot of stuff you would not see anywhere else too, the beers available while we were there were: Southern Hemisphere Harvest, Anniversary 2008, IPA, Brown, Blonde, Porter, Stout, Wheat, Double DeBockel, standard Pale Ale, Draught Style Pale Ale, Ruthless Hefeweizen, Torpedo, Crystal Wit, and Best Bitters English Ale, the kettles and everything were bright copper and looked awesome along with all their other equipment, the experimental hop field looked really nice as well and I cannot wait to try the Chico Estate Ale once I see it in a bottle, solar panels were everywhere and they supposedly have nine thousand of those, great atmosphere and the place was immaculate, service was good for the most part even though the people were not the nicest at times, food was great and definitely centered around an organic theme, I ordered the burger which came with cajun fries and enjoyed it with a variety of their mustards, other people with me ordered pizza, lentil burgers, a chicken sandwich, and the soup, the bread they bring you at the beginning is awesome as well, the food was priced very fairly and the meals ranged from seven to ten dollars at lunch, will be back here every time I am in Chico for sure, great stop and highly recommended

08-23-2008 16:37:22 | More by Floydster
Photo of 1759Girl
1759Girl

California

4.78/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$$

There are many things to love about Sierra Nevada, starting with the company's part in the resurgence of microbrewing in CA,not to mention nationwide.
It's pretty awesome to drive in and park in the shade of the solar panel-covered parking lot, beside the beautiful hop farm!
The tap room is always busting at the seams with convivial locals who are proud to tell you all the fabulous things that SN does for the community, and to promote green policy.
Oh, I should probably get to the beer. ...
You'll need to walk down the whole bar before choosing, because there are so many styles on tap, that you can't see all the handles in one place. The bartenders are friendly and knowledgable. You get a good pour in a proper glass everytime.
Okay on to the food. Don't think that Sierra Nevada has just kept strict quality control on their beer... Even the meat is local and organic. And, from what I hear it's awesome. The pizza is excellent. I'd rather that the caesar salad had more anchovy, garlic and lemon... and that they would make a tasty stout ranch for their fries.. but these are just suggestions from a connessieur.
Did I mention the beer garden? If it's not a million-degree Chico day, then be sure to hit it up.
Enjoy!

08-09-2008 18:50:56 | More by 1759Girl
Photo of kleffman
kleffman

California

4.18/5  rDev -9.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$

Finally got to check out Sierra and their crazy operation. Pulled up and was definitely diggin the hop yard next door and all the solar panels that I assume help power a portion of their facility. Gift shop is intense with every design, and tons of merch for cheap. Even discount items in a bin. Didn't make it in time for the guided tour but we were able to walk around most of the same area apparently. This consists mostly of looking through glass at the equipment, except for the Kettles and whirlpool which you see from an elevated walkway. The floor looked clean enough to eat off of. Impressive. I wish they had been brewing at the time I stopped by.

Then went for some beer and appetizers. Since it's summer they mostly only had the summer beers on. Vienna Lager, Kolsch, Crystal Wheat, Summerfest, and then southern hemi harvest and torpedo. Also tried the brown which was a nice beer.

Had some fries and onion rings both of which were good. Especially enjoyed the fries.

Definitely worth a visit, I'd like to eat dinner there next time.

06-20-2008 19:23:59 | More by kleffman
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, CA
100 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.