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Chico, CA

Tours & Tastings

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Explore the roots of American craft beer. Follow us behind the scenes and into hallways rich with history and innovation.

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A Tour for Every Taste

There’s a lot going on at Sierra Nevada, so we’ve created numerous tours—different topics, lengths, and beer samplings.

You might rub hops in your hands, peer into brew kettles, stroll beneath fermenters, watch the bottling line, and take in our sea of solar panels. If you’re over 21*, a guided beer tasting might be in the mix. Choose your adventure. We can’t wait to show you around.

Our tours fill up quickly! We highly recommend making your reservations online, in advance.

Day-of standby lists for our tours are available in person at the Tour Desk. If there’s a no-show or cancellation, we’ll offer tickets to the standby list on a first-come, first-served basis.

*A valid ID is required for anyone who plans to enjoy a tasting.

Not seeing a tour that fits your needs? Wish you could create your own experience? Email our Tour Coordinator to set up your private tour: chicotours@sierranevada.com!

Chico, CA

Chico Brewery Tour

We’re taking you through the entire beer-making process in our Westside Brewhouse. We’ll share a lot, but we’ll keep things moving.

You’ll rub our aromatic, whole-cone hops in your palms; gaze in the window of our whirling mash tun; and stand under our 800-barrel fermentation tanks.

We’ll finish with an educational tasting of a few Sierra Nevada beers.

Book Chico Brewery Tour

Chico, CA

Estate Garden Tour

June is National Camping Month, and we’ll jump at the chance to celebrate the outdoors. Follow us outside, and we’ll show you how there’s much more brewing here than just our world-famous beer.

Both our Chico and Mills River facilities hold a Sanctuary certification from Audubon International, a renowned environmental education program. Here in Chico, our beautiful 3-acre garden grows many of the vegetables we serve in the Taproom (30,000 pounds in 2017!) and we’ve recently added bee and bat habitats .

Frolic among the flowers for an hour—cold can of beer in hand—while we share what inspires our agriculture adventures.

This tour concludes in our outdoor Hop Yard where you can continue your evening “al fresco” with more tasting, cornhole, giant jenga, or a good old-fashioned fireside chat with friends.

*Please note that this tour requires closed-toe shoes and will take place rain or shine. Protective weather gear is recommended.

Book Estate Garden Tour

Chico, CA

Heritage Tour

Our founder Ken Grossman started Sierra Nevada with a hand-built brewhouse and the odds stacked against him.  In 1980, that patchwork of pipes, pumps, and tanks began making beers that forever changed the course of American craft brewing.  Today, with breweries in Chico, California and Mills River, North Carolina, we keep pushing boundariesan adventure we can’t wait to share with you.

You’ll sample different kinds of malted barley, possibly get to sip some sugary wort before it moves to our fermentation tanks, and venture to our packaging facility.  We’ll explore our state-of-the-art production facility and recount the journey that led us from a small homebrew shop in California to becoming one of America’s top craft breweries—still 100% family owned, operated and argued over.

The tour concludes with a sampling from one of our fermentation tanks, as well as a full educational tasting of eight featured brews on tap.

*Closed-toe shoes are required

Book Heritage Tour

Chico, CA

Sustainability Tour

The summer weather’s too nice for us to stay inside!  Our sustainability tour covers much of the sunny brewery grounds, showcasing our alternative energy efforts and many of the initiatives based on our “reduce, reuse, recycle, rot” philosophy.  You’ll check out one of California’s largest privately owned solar installations (10,500+ panels!), our micro turbine technology, and the remarkable HotRot composter.  We’ll also discuss our recycling and conservation program that helps us divert 99.8% of our solid waste away from landfills.  There’s not much that beats walking through our lush garden, gazing at our beautiful hop field, and taking in the view with a cold can of Sierra Nevada.

*Sustainability tour season runs April-October. Private tours available year-round.  Please note that this tour requires closed-toe shoes and will take place rain or shine.  Protective weather gear is recommended.

Book Sustainability Tour

Chico, CA

Backstage Pass Tour

You want to see the nitty-gritty, the cloaked inner workings?  We’ll explore the brewing process from underground in our Westside Brewhouse basementa hidden world rarely seen—wander through our gigantic beer warehouse, and pedal out to the garden on our Time Machine Beer Bike built by our friends at Red Hot Metal.  Your behind-the-scenes journey includes a tasting of rare beer from our Pilot Brewhouse Cellar, as well as a few of our taps in the tasting room.

*Closed-toe shoes are required

Book Backstage Pass Tour

Chico, CA

Hop Head Tour

Heavy on hops, that was always the brewery plan.  We’ve showcased these magnificent botanicals since the beginning, helping pioneer the American-style IPA that’s become a vast playground for craft brewers everywhere.

On the Hop Head Tour, we’ll dive into the evolution of craft beer’s most popular style—the India Pale Aleand how it came to reign supreme among beer drinkers.

We’ll explore our massive hop freezersa sea of lupulin aromathe copper-clad brewhouses, and the seemingly never-ending fermentation cellars.  You’ll have the chance to sample various IPAs fresh off our fermentation tanks before finishing with a guided sampling of a few beers in our tasting room.

Are your taste buds ready for the hoppy, immersive brewing adventure?

*Closed-toe shoes are required. A warm layer is recommended during the colder months.

Book Hop Head Tour

Chico, CA

Beer Geek Tour

Prepare yourself for a 3.5-hour journey into the depths of what makes Sierra Nevada tick.  The Beer Geek Tour will take you through every nook and cranny of our production facility, so we’re keeping the groups small and the experience BIG!

We’ll talk craft beer and raw materials before inviting you to gawk at the traditional German control board in our Eastside Brewhouse; venture through our vast cellars where you’ll sample brews right from the tanks; and have the opportunity to walk our packaging floor for an up-close look at our bottling and canning process.  We’ll even send you home with an exclusive Beer Geek T-shirt and a Sierra Nevada growler to fill with some of the tasty beer that you’re now an expert on!

*Closed-toe shoes are required.  A warm layer is recommended during the colder months.

Book Beer Geek Tour

Chico, CA

Guided Educational Tasting

Don’t have 45 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. We’ll walk you through a sampling of eight of our beers, discussing each one’s style and story, as well as what sets our beer apart.

 

Book Guided Educational Tasting

Chico, CA

Self-guided Tour

If you’d like to go at your own pace or are accompanied by children under 12 years old, we invite you to head upstairs to the Mezzanine and check out some awesome antique brewing equipment, an expansive bottle collection, and don’t forget the West Brewhouse Catwalk! Plaques along the route will tell the story of the shining pipes and tanks you’ll see along the way.

* Mezzanine is subject to close for some special events. Feel free to call us at 530-899-4776 to make sure this option is available for your visit.

Chico, CA

Bigfoot Vertical Tasting

CAUTION: Bigfoot Sighting! Casual beer explorers beware!

This special tasting focuses on the history of the unique Barleywine beer style and includes a “vertical tasting”a year-by-year comparisonof our Bigfoot Barleywine Ale, celebrating it’s 36th year in production.

We’ve been aging this beast of a beer in our temperature-controlled cellar for up to eight years, letting the flavors grow, mature and get tangled. You’ll sample a Bigfoot flight that includes a sneak preview of the 2020 batch alongside a few older vintages. We’ll explore the ingredients that make Bigfoot a legend and finish off the tasting with a special barrel-aged version.

Come join us for this vertical-taste adventure before it disappears back into the woods!  Cheers!

*Bigfoot Veritcal Tasting offered in January only. 

Book Bigfoot Vertical Tasting
Chico Brewery

More To Do

Chico, CA

Taproom

Drop in for a happy hour or post up for dinner with the family. Choose from 21 beers on tap, and try a dish made with seasonal, local ingredients—like produce right from our 2-acre Estate Garden.

Visit the Taproom

Chico, CA

Brewery Events

Make it a night of live music and cold beer at our Big Room, and there’s always a festival, beer dinner, or other great party around the corner.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

June 8, 2019

Beer Camp Mills River

Get ready for Beer Camp, Mills River! The Epic Adult Day Camp Returns!   Get ready for Beer Camp, Mills River! It’s back with even more…

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