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.
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 .
Beer Geek Tour
Tickets available for September 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!
Trip in the Woods
Tickets available for August & September dates. Waitlist available for all sold out dates.
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.
Duration: 90 minutes | Ages 21+ | Cost: $15 | Reservation required | Tuesdays in August (August 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th) Long Pants & Close-Toed Shoes Required
Selecting a site and constructing our second home on the East Coast was a lengthy and challenging process; however, it gave us the unique opportunity to build our dream facility from the ground-up. Our Mills River, NC location is the culmination of careful planning, hard work and commitment to sustainability and excellence. To recognize our team’s effort and dedication, we sought to have our facility LEED-certified.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a third-party certification and rating system for green buildings and construction projects. In 2016, our Mills River site was awarded LEED Platinum, making us the first production brewery in the United States to achieve LEED’s highest honor.
This tour will focus on LEED’s point-based criteria and highlight some of the areas that helped us earn our platinum level: from construction materials and water efficiency to energy usage and indoor environmental quality.
We will cap off the tour of our award-winning facility with a guided tasting of some of our award-winning brews.
*This tour requires long pants and close-toed shoes. The tour route will be indoor/outdoor so please dress accordingly. This tour is intended to educate public groups about Sierra Nevada’s sustainability efforts and LEED certification. It is not meant as a how-to for businesses seeking LEED certification.
German Beer Night
Duration: 2 hours | Ages 12+ | Cost: $30 | Reservation required | September (September 8th, 11th, 18th, 25th)
Autumn is right around the corner and we’re already looking forward to Oktoberfest! As we prepare for the new season and the release of our seasonal Oktoberfest beer, we are hosting a night of education and a celebration of German beer culture.
The love story of Germany and its beer is centuries old. Germans are known around the world for their brewing tradition, beer quality, and technical perfection in the brewhouse.
At Sierra Nevada, we have always had a love and respect for the German brewing heritage. We get inspiration from the long-standing techniques and pay homage to those deep brewing roots by interpreting their unique and creative beer styles in our own ways. On this tour we will taste several of Sierra Nevada’s award-winning German-inspired beers, investigate German beer culture, and after checking out our beautiful brewhouse (German-made, of course!), we will end-up in our very own beer garden. Feel free to don your dirndl and lederhosen and we’ll provide the rest! Prost!
Guided Educational Tasting
Duration: 30 minutes | Ages 21+ | Cost: $12 | Same-day Ticket Sales* | Saturdays: 4:30pm, Sundays: 12:00pm & 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.
Duration: At your leisure | All ages | No reservation required | Sunday-Thursday: 11am-8pm, Friday-Saturday: 11am-9pm
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.