Brewery Tours

The exterior of our 200-barrel brewhouse.
Copper cladding pays homage to traditional brewhouse kettles.
Our 1600-barrel fermentation tanks shimmer in the sun.
One of nine canopies in our parking lot solar array.
Pale Ale cruises down the packaging line.

Explore our brewery nestled in the Appalachians.

We brewed our first batch of beer in 1980 in Chico, California, the lush forests of North Carolina far from our mind. Over three decades, folks tried our bold beers and deemed them fit for friends across the country. In time a second brewery became the wisest, most sustainable way to send fresh beer to the farthest reaches. Today you can venture inside our Mills River brewery to trace our history as a craft beer pioneer and see first-hand our drive to make flavorful beer the status quo. Cruise up our wooded driveway, park under a solar-panel canopy, and head behind the scenes with us.

Our tours fill up quickly! You must make reservations online for all tours except the Guided Tasting and the self-guided Visitor Corridor. Click below to check availability and book your tour. Please feel free to contact our Tour Desk before your visit if you have any questions about our tour programs or policies. 

 

Brewhouse Tour

Duration: 90 minutes | Ages 12+ only | Complimentary | Reservation required

Our brew kettles, now copper-clad and striking, are a far cry from our original repurposed dairy tanks. The whole-cone hops we use for beer’s aroma and flavor, today shipped to us in 200-pound bales, our founder Ken Grossman originally got in one-pound chunks. You’ll peer into those kettles, smell those hops, and get even more hands-on as you navigate the entire beer-making process. (Ever tried wort? Think of it as pre-beer.) If you’re over 21 years old, we’ll lead you through an educational tasting of Sierra Nevada beers right next to our open fermenters .

Book Brewhouse Tour

 

Beer Geek Tour

Sold out through April. Tickets available for May dates. Waitlist option available for all sold out dates.  

Duration: 3 hours | Ages 21+ | Cost: $45 | Reservation required | Mondays & Thursdays only | Long Pants & Close-Toed Shoes Required

Get ready for an intimate, 3-hour tour into the depths of what makes Sierra Nevada tick. This tour is ideal for beer lovers who already have basic beer knowledge and are looking for a behind-the-scenes look and taste of our facility. We’re keeping the group small (5 new best friends for you!) and the experience big.

We’ll talk ingredients and beer history before inviting you into our 200-barrel production brewhouse. We’ll wander into our hop cooler, take in the aromas, and scope out our cellar where you’ll sample beer right from the tanks. We’ll venture through our packaging floor and then you’ll —what’s that? You’re already convinced? Excellent. Prepare for a few surprises along the way and a Sierra Nevada experience like no other!

Book Beer Geek Tour

 

Trip in the Woods

Duration: 2 hours | Ages 12+ only | Cost: $15 | Reservation required | Mondays/Wednesdays/Saturdays: 10:30am, Sundays: 11:30am

We love exploring. From the West Coast to the East Coast; from mountain biking to paddling rivers; from Pale Ale to Barrel-Aged Narwhal and every state, story and style in between. We know you have an adventurous spirit as well, so we’d love for you to join us on a Trip in the Woods!

This specialty tour will feature a guided nature walk exploring the beautiful, forested property we call home. On this 1.5-mile, moderate hike you will learn about the natural resources that surround us: The French Broad River, native plants and trees, sunshine and all that North Carolina rain! We will tell you how we harness and protect these resources and about our long history of making great beer while minimizing our impact on the environment. Along the way we’ll cover some steep and uneven terrain and maybe even see some local wildlife! We’ve heard tales of Bigfoot sightings in these woods … After an exhilarating hike, our tour will wrap up with a sampling of a few of our award-winning brews.

If you joined us last year, expect an improved, loop trail along with a few new stops. Grab your hiking shoes, and get ready for a beer adventure!

*The loop trail features moderate elevation change. Sturdy hiking shoes and comfortable clothing are recommended. Water will be provided, but you may wish to pack sunscreen, bug spray, sunglasses and/or rain gear. Those with allergies should note that the group will hike near our beehives. Please keep an eye on the forecast and plan accordingly for your own comfort. In the event of heavy rain, the tour may be canceled. Refunds or tickets for a future tour will be provided if the tour is canceled. Otherwise, refunds can be issued with at least 48 hours’ notice. We love dogs and babies, but they aren’t allowed to tag along for this adventure.

Book Trip in the Woods

 

Pilot System Tour

Duration: 1 hour | Ages 12+ only | Cost: $20 | Reservation required

We love that our fans can drink a Pale Ale in every state and 19 countries around the world (and counting!) That said, we know one of the best things about visiting the brewery is the opportunity to try beers that are only available at the source.

These beers—including one-time-only “heartbreakers” and “audition” styles that become repeat favorites—are brewed on our 20-barrel Kaspar Schulz pilot brewing system. Those shiny, copper-clad vessels in the Taproom aren’t just for show! This system is almost entirely self-sufficient (with its own cellar and keg line) and gives our brewers the chance to flex their creative muscles. Brewing is as much an art as it is a science and we want to take you directly into the studio.

Join us for a tour of the pilot operation and a taste of these unique beers. We will send you off with a growler (empty) that you can choose to fill with an old standby or a new favorite.

Book Pilot System Tour

 

Guided Educational Tasting

Duration: 30 minutes | Ages 21+ | Cost: $12 | Same-day Ticket Sales* | Saturday, April 22nd: 4:30pm, Sunday, April 23rd: 12pm & 4:30pm

Don’t have 90 minutes to take a tour with us? Care more about how a beer tastes than about how it is made? Consider joining us for a 30 minute, guided, educational tasting!

One of our knowledgeable guides will walk you through a sampling of eight of our beers. We will discuss beer styles and their history as well as what makes Sierra Nevada’s beer unique. We’ll provide the paper and pens for tasting notes, you bring an adventurous palate and a thirst (for beer and knowledge)!

*Tickets can be purchased in-person at the Tour Desk on the day of the tasting. They are offered on first-come, first-served basis.

 

Visitor Corridor 

Duration: At your leisure | All ages | No reservation required | Monday-Thursday: 11am-7pm, Friday-Saturday: 11am-8pm, Sunday: 12pm-7pm

Groups not your thing? We get it. For those who prefer to wander solo, our Brewery has been designed with guests in mind! Our upstairs Visitor Corridor includes a raised mezzanine for bird’s-eye views of our copper-clad brewhouse, a real-time look at fermenting beer and a visit to our warehouse and packaging hall.