Tours & Tastings

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.

When we brewed our first batch of beer in 1980 in Chico, California, the lush forests of North Carolina were far from our mind. Over the last four decades, our thirst to brew quality, flavorful beer led us across the country and around the globe. In 2012, we broke ground on our second production location in order to send the freshest beer possible to our friends and fans all over the world.

Come visit our sprawling East Coast home in Mills River, North Carolina and see first-hand how determination and a pioneering spirit can lead to incredible adventures.

Our tours fill up quickly. You must make reservations online for all tours except the Guided Tastings 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.

 

Brewery Tour - Mills River, NC

Duration: 45 minutes | Ages 12+ only | Complimentary | Reservation required

On this 45-minute tour of our production facility, we will navigate the entire beer-making process: from raw ingredients through fermentation and packaging.

You will rub our aromatic, whole-cone hops in your palms, gaze in the window of our whirling mash tun and sip some sugary wort before it moves into our fermentation tanks. We will venture to our packaging facility and whet your thirst before finishing with an educational tasting of a few Sierra Nevada beers.

Book Brewery Tour

 

Heritage Tour

Duration: 90 minutes | Ages 12+ only | $12.00 | Reservation required

In 1980, Ken Grossman founded Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in a 3,000 square foot, rented, metal warehouse. We started with a love for American hops and a simple goal: brew the beer we wanted to drink. Today, our breweries in Chico, California and Mills River, North Carolina carry on this ambition and we want to share this story, adventure and beer with you.

On this 90-minute tour, we will explore our pioneering production facilities and the journey that led us from a small homebrew shop in California to becoming one of America’s premier craft breweries. We will end our tour with a full, educational tasting of some of our year-round and seasonal brews.

Book Heritage Tour

 

Trip in the Woods – After Dark

Duration: 2 hours | Ages 12+ only | Cost: $15 | Reservation required | Saturdays @ 6:00pm: October 27th, November 3rd & November 17th

For a limited time, we are offering a special evening addition of our popular hiking tour.

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, sunset hike, our tour will wrap up with a sampling of a few of our award-winning brews.

Grab your hiking shoes and your headlamp, and get ready for a beer adventure!

*The loop trail features moderate elevation change. Sturdy hiking shoes and comfortable, warm clothing are recommended. Water will be provided, but you may wish to pack a flashlight, bug spray and 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 – After Dark

 

Hop Head Tour

Duration: 1.5 hours | Ages 21+ only | Cost: $30 | Reservation required | Tuesdays & Fridays in October & November | Long Pants & Close-Toed Shoes Required

The Hop Head Tour is back by popular demand!

We’re famous for our heavy-handed use of whole-cone hops. Learn how our passion for the “green gold” took shape with a one-of-a-kind look into the hop-forward halls of Sierra Nevada.

For a limited time, join us for a special brewery tour celebrating crisp, hoppy goodness in our aromatic hop room, copper-clad brewhouse and more! We will dive into the evolution of craft beer’s most popular style, and we’ll explore the storied history of how India Pale Ales took over the palates of beer drinkers everywhere. Along the way, we’ll wander the ins-and-outs of our varied, flavorful portfolio of IPAs.

Ready your brain and your taste buds for an immersive IPA adventure that you won’t soon forget!

Book Hop Head Tour

 

Beer Geek Tour

Duration: 3 hours | Ages 21+ only | 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 & Sundays at 10:30am

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.

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

 

Guided Educational Tasting

Duration: 30 minutes | Ages 21+ | Cost: $12 | Same-day Ticket Sales* | Weekends in November

Don’t have time 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.

 

Guided Barrel Tasting

Duration: 30 minutes | Ages 21+ | Cost: $10 | Same-day Ticket Sales* | Saturdays in November 

Step inside the dark ambiance of our Barrel Room and inhale the aromas of beer and wood. One of our knowledgeable guides will walk you through a sampling of four barrel-aged beers. Along with three 1 oz. samples of our Trip in the Woods barrel-aged series, you will taste a sample directly from a barrel.

This limited-time experience is not one to be missed!

*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 | 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.