Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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BEER AVG
3.84/5
Based on:
163 Beers
113,940 Ratings
Place Score: 100
Ratings: 303
Reviews: 74
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
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

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Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Ratings: 303 | Reviews: 74
Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
4.8/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I think not much more can be said about this place and the contributions they've made to the craft beer movement. A very nice facility that was packed at the time I visited, an August day after some long hiking through Lassen Volcanic Park miles to the north. While the service and atmosphere were hurt a little by this, the beer was still great in quality and selection. A must stop for any craft beer lover and I wish I could go back again... if it weren't so far from everything else I wanted to see...

Photo of Floydster
4.53/5  rDev -1.5%
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

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.53/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

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.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.53/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.78/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Photo of flexabull
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This is the West Coast Beer Mecca in my opinion. While the brewery has gotten MUCH bigger than my first visit 10+ years ago, the quality hasn't suffered at all. It is great to show up there every now and then, because often there will be a new beer on tap that is available only at the brewery. (or maybe a few select locales in Chico) I personally like tasting Best Bitter, Pilsner, and the 20th Street when I make it by. The food is good too... but the only problem I have found is that this place is SO popular, that you will usually spend a decent amount of time waiting for a table.

Photo of bradybeer
4.3/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 5

Last brewery on the trip from Bend back to Santa Cruz County and the 400th brewery I visited.

Located right off the highway and can't miss it with the hop fields and the grain silos.

My wife and I hit the gift shop where I scored a Timbukto SN bag for my 400th brewery.

We got there at 5pm ish on a Friday and got seated with in 10 minutes. The tap room is stunning and you have to see it to believe it. Our seat was above the bar in height and to the side giving us a great view.

I have to say I was disappointed by the beer selection. Of the 9 breweries visited on this trip the selection was nothing special. Yes they had the standard SN line up plus Ovila and Life and Limb 1 and 2. But only three special tap room only brews. One the Draught Pal Ale was one of the best two or three beers on this trip, a Rye PA, and a Kolsch. I expected more as delivered by Deschutes.

Food was exceptional-we split the sausage sampler, the salmon filled pasta shells, and the seafood pasta-top notch.

I would mos' def drive the 4 hours to get here even for a few hours-I wish they would kick up the tap only selection.

Photo of VegasBill
3.93/5  rDev -14.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

So I finally made it to Chico and SN Brewing. I love the atmosphere in the Taproom, dark wood everywhere and this place is so so clean. I was let down with the tap selection, I thought there would be a lot that I had never seen actually there were only two. I tried the Torpedo to see how much different it tasted on tap and there was a big difference, much better. The menu looked boring to me so no food. This was a Monday and they were quite busy, I was sitting next to a local and we started chatting and he said they are busy all the time. I should back up, this is a really first class operation, covered parking with like a mesh cover and security in the lot, everywhere very clean and kept up, first class.
I did go to the gift shop and bought two bottles of the Brux, a collaboration of SN Brewing and Vinnie at Russian River. When I got home I read the reviews here on BA and they are not good. Maybe I will give one bottle as a gift to my worst friend.

Photo of Troyone
4.4/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

It's good to be King of the Micros. A really nice restaurant and brewery. Spacious dining areas and patio. There is a field next to the property where hops are grown for one of their specialty beers. One can smell the cooking malt in the parking lot. Staff was friendly, one had been with SN for 15 years and a favorite of his was an available seasonal.

Stainless steel and some brass tap nozzles that appeared to be changables. Copper plated bar with wood siding also wood tables, chairs, and a huge beer cabinet behind the bar. Their draught beers had thick marble housing. The kitchen was in the open with a brick oven and a real grill. Restroom was clean and fancy with copper sinks.

Service was prompt, kind of business like but informative and knowledgable.

Unbelievable but there were 16 beers on tap and no cask or guest beers. Unfortunately, in my opinion, most of the 16 beers tasted similar to their two versions of the flagship SNPA, therefore that was drowned out for notable consideration. Some possible notables were the Ruthless Hefeweizen (seasonal), Pale Bock, and Porter. A definite notable for today was the Bigfoot Barleywine (very good on tap). The local favorite is the 20th Street Ale or Green Hop Ale, same thing according to the regulars and locals, that is made with the hops in the neighboring field when available. Not available today nor was the Celebration Ale.

The food was really good with some healthy options.

Reasonable for the offering.

Photo of drewone
4.58/5  rDev -0.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

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.

Photo of warmstorage
3.4/5  rDev -26.1%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4

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.

Photo of willjschmidt
5/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I finally made a visit to my favorite brewery and it lived up to my expectations and more.

Atmosphere: The brewery, restaurant, and grounds are beautiful. There is a restaurant with inside and outside sitting. There is also a large hopyard adjoining the brewery. There is also a great gift shop where you can purchase beer, apparel, and other merchandise.

Quality: Everything about this place is high quality. The beer, the food, their commitment to the environment and sustainability. They only use the highest quality ingredients in their beer and food. For example, they only use whole cone hops and are the largest user of whole cone hops in the world.

Service: All the employees that I came across here were top notch. The bartenders, the tour guide, our waitress, and the gift shop employees. They were all fun, knowledgable, and you can tell they enjoyed their jobs.

Selection: They have all of their production beers on tap along with about 8 one-offs available only on-tap at the brewery.

Food: The food was great. I ordered a steak pizza. The steak was from a local ranch where the cattle are feed spent grain from the brewery. The circle of life! The cheese was made from Torpedo beer. It was excellent.

The Tour: I highly recommend their tour. It is top notch. It's 90 minutes and free. They start off with a video about the history of the brewery. The tour then takes you through all of the production from mashing, to the boil kettles, to the hop storage room, to the packaging line. Along the way they explain how they reuse and recycle 99% of their waste and generate a large portion of their energy and electricity. At the end you go into a tasting room and taste 8 different beers. Our guide was fantastic. She was knowledge and passionate about beer and Sierra Nevada.

I highly recommend a visit to what is really the mecca of American craft beer.

Photo of arizcards
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Visited here earlier today. Made the 2.5 hour trek up from Napa. Figured it was time to pay homage to one of the biggest most consistent craft brewers in the world. My perspective is from the brewery tour Da Boss and i took as well as dining in the restaurant after the tour.

Atmosphere in the pub was very comfortable. Long bar area with seating for maybe 20 plus room to stand behind as needed.

Quality of the beers was quite good, you cannot beat fresh hops at the source. The tour was very imformative and definitely one of the top three i have experienced.

Service was very good on the tour and at the restaurant. John our tour guide was very enthusiastic and knowledgable for the hour plus tour and tasting. Jimi-Lynn our restaurant server was very sweet, kind, and timely on a early Monday afternoon.

Selection of brews was very good. I think there were 15 SN brews on tap and 4 bottles available for purchase including SN 30th anniversary brews. I enjoyed the flip side double ipa weighing in at 8.2 abv and about 90 ibu - very fresh and tasty.

Food was very tasty, I believe that the beef and veggies are grown on the SN estate. Da Boss and i split a bleu onion burger and a porter goat cheese salad - all very fresh and tasty.

Overall is was an execellent experience and a very reasonable day cost wise with the tour and lunch. Got to sample a Wee Heavy brew and purchase a bottle in the gift shop. Great place to visit if you happen to get in this remote neck of Cali!

Photo of GreenWBush
4.83/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

For some reason I am shocked as I write this to see that there have only been two BeerFly reviews of the classic Sierra Nevada brewing Company. I am having to restrain myself from going hog-wild with praise for the place.

The brewery sneaks up on you with the strange wort smell you catch a half a mile down the road. All of the sudden you are forced to deal with SNBC in its mighty stature: mammoth, impressive, even imposing. Even being as large as it is, it is still rather hard to believe that a single place like this could produce such a wide slosh of brew throughout the country and abroad.

The "experimental" hop garden near the parking lot is interesting but was in unhealthy shape when I visited. A sign informed visitors that the area used to be large hop producer, and these hops will one day be used in a small experimental batch at the brewery.

We took the self-guided tour, visiting the awe-inspiringly beautiful process unfold even into the more mechanized distribution area. I'm in beer utopia. You walk through a huge, 4-star looking reception area on the tour, and down the beautiful marble SNBC engraved stairs lie another beer guy's dream. Gift shop. Lots of SN swag, which is mostly all available on the website. I only took part in the free SNPA, Celebration, and Bigfoot posters littered around in the lobby area. Cheap SN is available for carry-out, and boy did we, eventually both putting down our respective six-packs with no effort later that night.

The actual dining area has the feeling of a nice hotel banquet area with a long curving gold bar, but we decided to sit outside in the secluded and beautiful beergarten area. The waiters are all super-professional and are treating everything in a very high-class way. I felt their beer knowledge might be a little lacking, but no way i'm testing that. This is the closest to 5-star food i'm getting on this (driving and camping) vacation.

I had a free-range, SN grain-fed hamburger, and the wifey had a huge spinach salad with all-organic veggies. The fries were even wicked good.

But the beers, of course, the beers. Fresh, slobberingly hoppy Bigfoot available in half-pints for a little more than $2. Nothing was more than $3/pint. Breaks for pitchers. I don't know about growler fills - most probably not as this is shooting to be a 'nice' restaurant. Extra Pale, Best Bitter, IPA, Rauchbier, and Pale Bock were the "different" selections I tried, though the Dopplebock I felt ruled the SN world that night.

A journey that I kept questioning myself about on the way (Chico was way out of the way, and way, well, not that great) but once I was here I found it to be the best beer nirvana i've had, and will probably have, in quite some time.

Photo of SteveO1231
4.53/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Huge place, really nice, took a little tour of the brewery pretty fun, but I wanted to drink.
Headed down to the resteraunt, nice place, big bar, full menu, pretty busy.
I sat at the bar and ordered up the sampler platter that featured like 15-20 beers, some only released in the Chico area. it was pretty cool at first but after the first 12 they all start to taste the same. Not to mention I warmed up with a 9 oz. Bigfoot. I think I ordered some food but to be honest with you I was rather schnokerd. Oh well good times. I would love to go back up but that drive from San D is a killer!

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.4/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

So this was is going to be a must-visit-again place. I'm impressed with the place even as I pull up to the building, a very well designed brewery. The restaurant was beautiful, with big copper ductwork and woodwork throughout, and as you enter you walk past their first brew kettle, really cool. Though it was a Friday night and there were plenty of people around, I didn't get that great of service, nor was anyone friendly. The beers, as anyone can attest, are great, and perhaps better on tap. So the beer is top notch, but the food is no second thought. I had a hop-fed Kobe beef bacon cheeseburger, which was really flippin good, and my fiance had halibut, and a good portion of it, and that was also delicious. They brought out bread beforehand, and that, big surprise, was really good. So, to sum up, an fantastic feast of food and beer in a beautiful place, and I want one in my town.

Photo of colonelforbin
4.53/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Top notch company, facility, etc., all the way around. It doesn't get much better than Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. They do what they've done for years and they do it exceptionally well.

The bar/restaurant is very well laid out, a lot of thought was put into the design and it shows. The same can be said for almost all the facilities at Sierra Nevada. Lots of wood and a cozy bar area with room for people to stand behind the folks at the bar if it's crowded.

Selection is always excellent. I was just there again on Friday and there were at least 15 beers on tap, including 3 wet hop, single hop, estate grown hop beers (20th St. Pale Ale, Cascade, Citra and Chinook varietals). I had these three side by side by side and they were excellent. Also had a Cele-Foot (Celebration-Bigfoot blend) that was phenomenal. Just great beers all around, what can I say?

The steps this company goes through to lessen its impact on the environment is also most impressive. I won't go into the details, but suffice to say that they are head and shoulders above most businesses of their size in taking the steps they take. Great to see and they also set an example for other companies, and breweries in particular, to strive toward.

Other amenities include their own hop and barley fields, a nice company store, and brewery tours every day of the week. Really a world class facility, and a place worth visiting, if you are anywhere in northern CA (or Oregon or Nevada, I suppose as well).

Photo of Fatehunter
4.14/5  rDev -10%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

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.

Photo of Wobbly
4.45/5  rDev -3.3%

As the fashionable breweries of California perpetuate the trendy obsessions with big IPA's and stouts, Sierra Nevada has been turning out quality, understated but complex classics for thirty years. I would take this brewery over nearly any other in California.

Photo of Reds76
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Great brewpub.

Photo of veech
5/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Photo of kleffman
4.18/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Photo of Dcbelkot
4.08/5  rDev -11.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

We paid this fine establishment ,sampeled many beers and had some very good food to pair with em. the wait can be long so be prepaired for a seat. Pretty cool enviroment, the solar covered parking area is very cool.

Cheers!

Photo of beerceller99
4.63/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

I've visited this brewery several times in my travels up and down Interstate - 5 between the Puget Sound and Bay areas . It's located in the small valley town ( small for California , anyway ) of Chico , about an hour plus drive north of Sacramento on rural highway 99, and maybe 2.5 hours from Frisco, basically it's in the sticks. Being that it's only a half mile off of Hwy 99 and huge makes it easy to find.

The brewery lobby is a large two story area with super fine brass and wood trim. The gift shop is neat , clean , and well stocked with Beeraphernalia , including genuine SN tap handles. Cold bottled SN beer to go is also available at discount prices. The brewery is also one of the few places you can get bottles of their Pale Bock every spring ; one of my favorites.

Brewery tours are available. Walking the tour reminded me of a baby Miller plant only much cleaner and with much better products of course.

The Bar - Restaurant is the largest I've seen that's attached to a brewery. The Bar is " L " shaped and has about 25-30 stools to slide on to. The Bar is open to the large all ages dining area which seats 90-100 folks. The furnishings and atmosphere here is top notch and is very popular with the locals. Get here much after 5 and you'll be on a waiting list for a table. The food menu is much more than the standard pub grub and is very good at that. The 3 sausage platter is a standout item on the menu.

On tap are 10-12 SN brews most of which are not bottled. A draught style Pale Ale , Harvest Ale, and Rauchbier are among my favorite tap only brews. Seasonally they'll have Celebration and Bigfoot on tap. My favorite on tap brew is the stout which goes well with the menu items.

Over all this is an excellent establishment and I' d highly recommend it to all BA's passing through the Northern California area.

Photo of Zorro
4.3/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I do not often get much farther north in California than San Jose. This last weekend I traveled to Redding California to view the Solar eclipse of May 20, 2012.

I had enough time to dash to Chico for lunch and get back with plenty of extra time.

First thing you notice the thing is very big! The brewery is attached to the gift shop and the restaurant and bar.

Parking is problematic, I ended up parking behind the place.

About 2 groups waiting for tables in the restaurant, but I was solo so I just headed for the bar. Inside is all copper and wood and very well maintained, no small thing with copper.

I had the Calamari and fries, technically an appetizer, but for $10 you get a pretty damn big plate calamari and fries. I almost couldn't finish the squid. The fries are of the fresh made variety, nothing from frozen.

Beer prices are VERY low for a brewery like $5 for a snifter of knock on wood and $2.50 for a 1/2 pint Best Bitter.

Service was reasonable for a very busy Sunday.

Checked out the bathroom and they have copper sinks and brass fixtures in there, very different.

I did not get to take the brewery tour they were sold out of all tours before 10:30 AM, plan ahead and get a reservation.

Clean and neat gift shop selling their beers and misc associated items.

Not much to complain about at all, but I do have two annoyances. Brewery tours were sold out and the Parking is problematic, it is a busy place.

I plan to return sometime.

If you are within about 120 miles with a car and have the time to make the detour this is worthwhile destination.

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Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, CA
100 out of 100 based on 303 ratings.