Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.


Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

1075 E 20th St
Chico, California, 95928
United States

(530) 893-3520 | map

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Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 336
Photo of 111213forlife
4.9/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I LOVE THIS! i want every birthday and special occasion to happen here. funeral too. i absolutely hate disneyland, but i called this place disneyland for beer loving adults. i went on the tour. it blew my mind. so much detail and so much information. i got to play in the hop bins! the story, the people, the beer, everything about this place just makes me happy and proud. i want to support this company, these people, this beer, and this place so that it can keep getting better and better. the things you will find on tap here can NOT be found anywhere else. the food is nicely paired, and the restaurant and patio are a great place to spend an afternoon. the gift shop will break your wallet. i try to come here at least every two months, but i am looking for ANY reason to go more often than that. i do appreciate their sustainable approach, and have said to myself, "well if sierra nevada can do it, i'm sure i can be more sustainable too." i am really looking forward to the east coast expansion, what sort of excitement do you think they'll come up with? i would encourage everybody to come here and see for themselves, but seriously, i like that it's not that crowded in chico... if you go at the right time.

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Photo of Morgoth
4.86/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I spent 15 years growing up in the Chico area.
Before turning 21 I heard legends of the awesomeness of Sierra Nevada, as a brewery and as a restaurant. My first beer (and yes, I actually waited until I was 21 to try) was a Pale Ale!
As a advocate and entrepreneur in the Sustainability industry I have been constantly been inspired and impressed with SN's M.O.
I can not speak highly enough of this company, or what they have done for my community. I promote SN wherever I go, and have increased sales in multiple states ;).
The way the treat their employees has been a model for my own management for years.
I admire this company greatly and cannot speak highly enough of them.

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Photo of GeorgeH
4.76/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Awesome place to visit. I took the tour and it was outstanding. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and personable. Tour was just the right amount of time. Seeing their facility is extremely impressive, and recently, has become very energy efficient. Tour ends with a large sampling of everything they are currently serving in the area, which is a much larger selection than you can get anywhere outside of Chico. I can't recommend this place enough. Sierra Nevada has been my go to beer when I'm unsure of what I want to drink. I know it will be outstanding every time. Go enjoy this place!

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Photo of willjschmidt
5/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

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Photo of QuakeAttack
4.3/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co has been on my bucket list for a long time. I have been drinking their beer for 25 years, but never found the chance to visit Chico and check out the brewery. When my second son wanted to check out CSU Chico, I scheduled a tour on a Friday afternoon.

The tour was a lot of fun. You get an introduction while having a taste of pale ale and checking out different types of malts. Afterwards, you go on a tour to check out the hops (get to smell them) and follow the complete process of making beer! In the end, they give you a sample of about eight different beers (varies depending on the time of year). We got to try barreled aged Big Foot. Awesome! The tour guide was friendly and knowledgeable.

Afterwards, we went to have dinner at the restaurant. Not sure if they take reservations, but if they do, get them. We had to wait an hour to get seated. The food was good and the atmosphere was laid back, but nice.

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Photo of Rand_ale_Thor
4.75/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

One of the best in the country. After seeing a few more breweries, it is amazing to me the size of this place. I love that they have top-notch food, and they always have a good selection. I will have to go back now that my palate has changed. Worth the visit.

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Photo of VegasBill
3.93/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

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Photo of SanFranJake
4.64/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I love this place more and more every time we go to Chico.
Always been a SNBC fan and was lucky enough to marry a woman who was raised in Chico, so "going home for a few days" is NEVER a bad thing.
Great beer served in the proper glass, great prices, even for growlers and just as many distributed beers available on tap as there are brewery exclusives, so a win-win! Bigfoot is on-tap always too.
So while you can get the Pale, Celebration Ale and Torpedo on-tap, they also have a bunch of not released beers like Barrel Aged Ovila Dubbel (Quad also available but in bottle only), Bigfoot and other specials.
Good gift shop as well.

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Photo of drewone
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of excalibur
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This is quite a place. Beautiful copper everywhere, hugh fermenation silos, impressively landscaped, solar panels covering the large parking lot and even an electric charging station for your car.

It wasn't too crowded for our late lunch in the fall, but there were still a number of people eating and enjoying the beer. And there is plenty to choose from, at least 15-20. We took a tour and it was great. It was a pleasure to see the creatitivity, cleanliness and attention to detail everywhere. I was very impressed, especially since I prefer supporting the smaller breweries. Sierra Nevada is the largest craft brewer in the US and is getting ready to open another brewery near Ashville, NC. But this place is excellent with plenty of beer styles to choose from and I will continue to buy them.

If you are near Chico you must visit this place. Not only is the beer excellent but so is the food. This is a quality brewery.

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Photo of DrunkenMonk
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Been here a couple times as I frequent the area visiting famiy. Plus I graduated from Chico State. Chiii Coooo!!

This place is top knotch. The dining room is huge with lots of room at the tables, plus a big bar. More restaurant than brewpub.

Great food, excellent beer. My fave is pale ale. And it pairs well with many of their dishes, like the sandwhich I ate.

The gift shop had the usual stuff, but it was set up as its own store away from the restaurant. The external windows on the brewery showcases the huge shiny copper tanks, which you can see as you drive by.

The garden at the adjacent corner lot is one of their garden/hops fields. And you can park right next to it.

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Photo of Zorro
4.3/5  rDev -4%
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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Photo of arizcards
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
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!

 1,485 characters

Photo of marshrat63
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I don't know why it took me so many years to get here but I can safely say it won't be long before I return. Didn't get a chance to do the tour but will be back for it next time. Food was very good although we were there during the late afternoon when they have a shortened menu during the 3-5 pm period. The beer quality was excellent as expected.

The atmosphere is very warm with lots of wood. Though it was crowded the noise level was acceptable for conversation.

This is a first class operation.

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Photo of colonelforbin
4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
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).

 1,484 characters

Photo of bradybeer
4.3/5  rDev -4%
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.

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Photo of kpattonunc
4.63/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Overall, an exceptional destination. A place I often bring visitors; everyone knows the beers. To take them to the brewery is always a plus. I also frequently take them to the gift shop to buy swag. The regularly have an interesting selection of various beers not distributed. Recently, the added the growler option which lets you take home a selection that you try in the pub. The food is excellent! Well worth the visit. Even though I live in town and frequently visit, I am always interesting in checking out the new draft selections as well as the new menu items.

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Photo of BigB415
4.13/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I decided to drive to Sierra Nevada from Davis pretty much the night before and I'm glad I did. Even though I couldn't find someone to go with because it was such short notice I still had a lot of fun. It was about a 2 hour drive and it was a nice drive up.

The brewery is really easy to find since it's about a minute from the highway. Parking was a little tough since there was a wedding going on but I still managed to find a spot in front. When you pull in first you drive by the restaurant then the office and then the gift shop/brewery. I wanted to do the 4pm tour but it was full so I managed to grab the last spot on the 5pm tour. I had to kill 2 hours so I went to the bar and had a beer.

3.75 for a 16 oz beer? oh ya! great price so I had a glass of the Old Chico since I have never had it and I'm not going to throw down $8.99 for a 6 pack of something I might like at my local store. I didn't have any of the food since I wasn't hungry. I got my beer and sat down in front of the kitchen and watched the chefs do their thing and I talked to the guy next to me for a good majority of the time I was there. I was wearing my Stone Brewing Company shirt which got a lot of comments but none harsh. There are no rival breweries just rival sport teams.

The tour was a lot of fun and very informative. I didn't realize the breweries property was that big. Every building on the property is used and is connected by a huge walkway. Our tour was almost an hour and a half long and the tour guide was very knowledgeable and very nice. She didn't seem uncomfortable leading 15 people around the brewery and trying to answer every question we had which was a lot. Before the tour I went on the self guided tour as well and saw a case with every beer and labels SN has made including all of the bigfoots lined up in the case.

I bought a t shirt and a pint glass in the gift shop. The gift shop people were helpful with helping me find my size. My only complaint about the place is the t shirt price which was 17 dollars but that's not surprising since most t shirts usually cost much.

Next time I go I'm getting some food and some of the special beer they only release at the brewery.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of deepchi
3.08/5  rDev -31.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2

This place gets alot of hype, however I beg to differ. They do indeed make some great beer but their food really is bad. First they try to be a upscale restaurant with an upscale menu, but the quality is inferior. Second, if you want some decent brewery type food they fall way short. The choices are limited and the quality sucks. On one road trip in Ca. and Oregon, we went to 6 different Brew Pubs in 7days including Sierra Nevada. The food at Sierra Nevada was second to worst. If you go there alot, it gets really boring. Also the bartenders also frequently seem disinterested. Bottom line, great beer, lousy food. Another problem is, it is way too crowded with ridiculous wait times for seating.

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Photo of climax
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This is a big place with a lot to see. The tour informed me it was the 6th largest brewery in the country in terms of production. The tour is informative and intuitive, come early it fills up quickly (15 person limit). Free stuff up the wazoo, posters and coasters.

The restaurant/bar is large, lots of tables. Everything is clean and visually appealing. Our waitress was knowledgeable and friendly. It seemed like all of the servers were beer savvy, at least somewhat. Our food was excellent, as well as the beer. The beer selection was large, most of the typical SV selections with half a dozen brewery exclusives.

The prices were really very good. The beer was cheap from the tap and most were available in three sizes. If you take the tour, everything from the gift shop is half off, and there's a number of intriguing goodies. The drive from Sacramento isn't the most exciting, but it will be made again. Had a great experience.

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Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
4.8/5  rDev +7.1%
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...

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Photo of Swamper
4.9/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Top notch. I've been blessed to have friends and family attend school in Chico. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is always a stop when I'm up there. The facility is truly what all craft breweries should aspire to be! The tours are fantastic, the history, tradition and love of it all are inspiring. The beer and food although not "fancy" are exactly what they should be. The Big Room? forgetaboutit! If you have the opportunity to see a show there DO NOT MISS IT! If you have a chance just go, stop by the gift shop too for gods sakes, very cool stuff. Wow, I need to go visit my cousin or something... Chico here I come!

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Photo of dragonWhale
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Would Sierra Nevada be Mecca or Medina for the craft beer movement? Thoughts? Maybe it is Jerusalem. The f'in point is, if you haven't been, the excitement is palpable. Very few places can get that just on who they are, not necessarily what beers they might have on tap at some moment. History and struggle in that place, and what looks now like a dynasty. I raise my glass!
It helps to be doing collegiate science work, and it helps to have been in contact with Steve a long time beforehand, but we were absolutely treated like royalty there. The poor foolish college kids from Oly got showed a valuable lesson in hospitality at the good ole Sierra Nevada homestead.
Estate hops, grain, beef, whatever else they do. Can't beat that cool shit. Bunch of taps, some really good stuff on. Wish there'd been a better beer camp beer on draft when we were there. It was ok, but seeing the list now, it's all curses!
Great tour of the brewery, it is a beautiful place for the working man. Food was pretty good. Just go there.

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Photo of jmadrigal2
5/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I have been to Sierra Nevada many times and have always left happy. The atmosphere is great because of the classy decor. The quality has always been top notch. Service is always great, the staff always nice and helpful. The selection changes but they always have quite a few beers on tap. You can pick up a 13 beer sampler that is fun. The food is great as well. I have eaten here many times and loved everything I have eaten. The value is OK although I think the growlers are a bit pricey. All in all a great place that you should check out if you love beer.

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Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, CA
3.89 out of 5 based on 110,721 ratings.
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