Butte College’s free tuition offer for 2018 jump-started by Sierra Nevada founders’ donation

By Alyssa Pereira, SFGATE Published 11:16 am, Wednesday, January 31, 2018 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-4', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 4', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); Photo: Sierra Nevada Brewing Image 1of/4 CaptionClose Image 1 of 4 Sierra Nevada Brewing offers a variety of daily themed tours at its headquarters in Chico. Sierra Nevada Brewing offers a variety of daily themed tours at its headquarters in Chico. Photo: Sierra Nevada Brewing Image 2 of 4 Drinking buddies: Sierra Nevada Brewing founder Ken Grossman (right) and son Brian, co-manager at the company’s Mills River, N.C., brewery. Drinking buddies: Sierra Nevada Brewing founder Ken Grossman (right) and son Brian, co-manager at the company’s Mills River, N.C., brewery. Photo: Courtesy Of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Image 3 of 4 Ken Grossman, founder/owner of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Ken Grossman, founder/owner of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Photo: Courtesy Image 4 of 4 Butte College's free tuition offer for 2018 jump-started by Sierra Nevada founders' donation 1 / 4 Back to Gallery Butte College in Chico has announced a new program beginning at the school in Fall 2018 allowing first-time, full-time students to go to their community college for free for two semesters. The new program, called The Butte College Promise Scholarship Program, is being funded by a mix of private and public funds, but was just "jump-started" by a substantial donation from Ken Grossman, the founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, and his wife Katie Gonser. Continue Reading

Sierra Nevada is taking its Beer Camp global, casting a wide net for craft brew lovers

Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp series is going global. The third edition of the brewery's 12-pack of collaboration beers searched far and wide for inspiration. The result is a variety assortment of brews from six international and six stateside brewers. The range of beer styles is as diverse as the geography of the participants, reflecting a booming worldwide market for craft beer. Sierra Nevada's collaborations include Copenhagen-based Mikkeller's Thai-Style Iced Tea Ale, to an East Meets West IPA from Tree House Brewing in Massachusetts, and Raspberry Sundae Ale with California's The Bruery. "The craft beer revolution has spread from the U.S. to pretty much every country in the world, and we thought 'let's invite brewers we know and respect around the globe as a celebration of craft brewing and the spirit of collaboration,'" Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada Brewing's founder and CEO, told CNBC recently. The task is not always easy, he told CNBC. "There a lot of very small brewers that maybe produce a few hundred kegs a year [and] are popping up around the country," said Grossman. "They're finding a few bars and restaurants who will support their branding, making it a little more challenging for more established brands to get on the shelf or get into the bar for a tap handle." Continue Reading

Sierra Nevada issues recall of select beers sold in 36 states

SAN FRANCISCO  — Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. announced a recall Sunday of certain 12-ounce bottles of its pale ales, IPA's and other beers after detecting a packaging flaw that could cause a piece of glass to break off into the bottle. In a statement Sunday, it said the recall applies to eight different types of its craft beers, including its popular Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, purchased in 36 states across the Midwest, the South and East Coast of the United States. The California-based company issued the voluntary recall after quality inspections at its Mills River, North Carolina, brewery detected a limited number of bottles made with a flaw "that may cause a small piece of glass to break off and possibly fall into the bottle, creating a risk of injury," the statement said. The affected beer has a package date that falls between Dec. 5, 2016, and Jan. 13, 2017 and a brewery code of "M'' — which stands of Mills River — printed directly on bottles and the packaging of cardboard cases. "We have decided to take this precaution to ensure the safety of our customers," Mike Bennett, chief supply chain officer, was quoted as saying. He said Sierra Nevada had not received any consumer reports of injuries, and it believed the concern could impact about 1 in every 10,000 — or .01 percent — of its bottles packaged during the five-week time period. Aside from its Pale Ale, the Sierra Nevada recall includes 12-ounce bottles of its Beer Camp Golden IPA, Sidecar Orange Pale Ale, Torpedo Extra IPA, Tropical Torpedo, Nooner, Hop Hunter and Otra Vez. The company has stopped distributing all affected beer and is working to have it removed from retails shelves, the statement said. Consumers were urged to check the company's website for details on the recall and not to drink any of the recalled beer, which would be fully refunded. The recall applies to the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Continue Reading

New Belgium, Odell among top craft breweries in 2015

Fort Collins hosted two of the top U.S. craft beer producers in 2015.The Boulder-based Brewers Association released its annual list of the top 50 American craft breweries based on volume of beer produced in 2015.New Belgium Brewing Co. remained fourth in the nation. Odell Brewing Co. moved up to 32nd after ranking 34th in 2014.New Belgium was founded by Jeff Lebesch and Kim Jordan, who opened the brewery in 1991 and initially brewed beer in the basement of their Fort Collins home. Odell was founded in 1989 by Doug, Wynne and Corkie Odell in a converted 1915 grain elevator.EAST COAST: New Belgium delays East Coast opening againA pair of Longmont breweries also made the 2015 list: Oskar Blues was 14th and Left Hand Brewing Co. finished 39th.Breckenridge Brewery of Littleton was 47th.D. G. Yuengling and Son, Inc. of Pennsylvania was the largest American craft beer producer of 2015. Sam Adams parent company Boston Beer Co. was second and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. of Chico, California, was third.New Belgium was also considered the eighth-largest overall U.S. brewery. Anheuser-Busch, which is based in St. Louis and has a brewery in Fort Collins, is the largest. Follow Jake Laxen on Twitter and Instagram @jacoblaxen POLL: What is your favorite brewery in Fort Collins? Weigh in via the poll below. If you don't see the poll, try refreshing your page. Mobile users, tap here. ODELL: Q&A with Wynne Odell You may also like:  CEO Kim Jordan talks New Belgium ethos Continue Reading

New Belgium sets grand opening for East Coast brewery

New Belgium Brewing Co. will begin pouring beers at its new West Asheville, North Carolina, brewery in February and offer public tours of the site in March, the company announced Wednesday.The brewery has set a grand opening date of Aug. 27, New Belgium spokeswoman Suzanne Hackett said Wednesday. Testing of the brewing equipment will begin soon with water run through the system, she said, and production of beer is still on track to begin this fall.FORT COLLINS: New Belgium expanding beer garden, adding clinic“This is a giant milestone,” she said. “We're getting very close” to completion of the project.The first beers to be produced in Asheville will be Fat Tire Amber Ale, 1554 Black Lager and Ranger IPA, she said.“Those three beers have different profiles and processes for brewing, and this will let us be sure that all the equipment will run,” she said.Construction continues on the brewery and the Liquid Center tasting room, located on the banks of the French Broad River in West Asheville. The tasting room will be 6,000 to 7,000 square feet and will include indoor and outdoor seating.New Belgium, headquartered in Fort Collins, is one of three national craft brewers to locate in Western North Carolina. Sierra Nevada has its brewery in Mills River near the Asheville Regional Airport, and Oskar Blues is located in Brevard. Buncombe County is home to 21 breweries. There are 42 around the mountains and more under construction or planned. Continue Reading

Biggest 50 U.S. craft breweries in 2014: Four in NoCo

The Brewers Association on Tuesday released its 2014 list of the largest 50 U.S. craft breweries by beer sales volume.Topping the list was Pottsville, Pennsylvania-based D.G. Yuengling and Son, Inc., followed by Boston Beer Co. and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. at No. 3.Yuengling, the oldest family-owned brewery in the U.S., was new to the list of craft breweries recognized by the Brewers Association; it knocked New Belgium Brewing Co. from its No. 3 position in 2013 to No. 4 in 2014.Last year, the Boulder-based Brewers Association changed its definition of craft beer to include those breweries using both "traditional" and "innovative" ingredients. The previous definition excluded beers made with cereal — rice or corn — adjuncts, and Yuengling uses corn grits in its Traditional and Light Lagers.Without Yuengling, the top three overall producing U.S. breweries in 2014 remained Anheuser-Busch Inc., Miller Coors and Los Angeles-based Pabst Brewing Co.Four Northern Colorado breweries made the list of the largest craft breweries, including New Belgium.Longmont-based Oskar Blues Brewery came in at No. 24, Fort Collins-based Odell Brewing Co. came in at No. 34 and Longmont's Left Hand Brewing Company sits at No. 40. Their positions were largely unchanged from the 2013 list.New Belgium grew 19.3 percent from 2013 to 2014, selling 945,367 barrels last year. Odell grew 28 percent from 2013 to 2014, bringing its sales up to 99,517 barrels.Elsewhere in Colorado, Denver-based Breckenridge Brewery rounded out the list at No. 50. Continue Reading

Sierra Nevada ‘beer camp’ recruits Bayou Teche

Ask most any serious beer drinker what their dream vacation would be and they’d answer “To be given a name tag that I can hang around my neck that would allow me to drink as much free craft beer as I wanted for three days.”Bayou Teche Brewing was recently selected to collaborate with four other southern craft breweries at the brand spanking new Sierra Nevada brewery near Asheville, North Carolina. We were invited to contribute to Sierra Nevada’s project called “Beer Camp.” Inspired by rock ‘n’ roll super groups, the legendary brewery teams up with 30 other talented breweries divided into six regional super groups.Sierra Nevada, along with these bands of brewers, will create an all-new mixed pack of beers that showcases the art, spirit and attitude of American craft beer – and then release the collaborative beers in 12 packs. Besides Bayou Teche, the other southern breweries were Funky Buddha from Florida, Austin Beer Works from Texas, Creature Comforts from Georgia, and Wicked Weed from North Carolina.Those are four of the most exciting and imaginative breweries set in the South. And Sierra Nevada has long been known as crafters of some of the best beers brewed in America, and perfectionists for quality both in their ingredients and processes.I arrived at my hotel, and checked in. Along with my room key I was given a Sierra Nevada name tag and lanyard. “Don’t lose this,” said the young lady at the desk, “because while you are at the brewery you can show this at any of the bars at Sierra Nevada and you’ll get a free beer.”She was not lying – and there are a lot of beer bars in and outside of the new brewery. And Sierra Nevada brews a LOT of different beers. I, however, only have one liver.The nice folks at Sierra Nevada sent a bus to pick all of us up. It was still pretty top-secret which breweries were selected, so when I got on the bus and saw a veritable who’s Continue Reading

Nashville craft breweries shift to canned beer

Cans are quickly becoming the new norm when it comes to craft beer.Brewers in Nashville’s burgeoning craft beer industry are eschewing a long-held stereotype: Good beer comes in bottles.Instead, some of Music City’s most popular IPAs, lagers and stouts are on store shelves in cans, part of a national trend set into motion in the past few years,“There have been advances in canning technology, both in terms of equipment and the actual package, to allow for high quality beer to be served from a package that has in the past been associated with poor quality beer,” said Carl Meier, owner The Black Abbey Brewing Co.Black Abbey released three of its brews in cans in March: The Rose, The Champion and 5 Points IPA.Canned beer jumped from 2 percent of total U.S. craft volume in 2011 to 10 percent of total craft volume in 2014, according to data from the Brewers Association. The association predicts that will continue to rise as more breweries choose canning over bottling.Russ Phillips, founder of the website CraftCans.com, said the “canned beer revolution” slowly started gaining steam in 2009, when he estimated only about 40 craft breweries in the U.S. sold canned brews.Today, Phillips said there are hundreds of breweries selling canned beer. CraftCans.com once kept an updated database of all the American craft breweries with canned beer, but Phillips said the figure grows so rapidly now that it’s hard to keep track.“Any sort of stigma has flip-flopped from, ‘Why are you putting your beer in cans,’ to, ‘Why aren’t you putting your beer in cans?’ ” Phillips said.Canned beer earned a bad reputation decades ago because aluminum cans didn’t have a protective coating to separate the liquid from the can, leading to a metallic taste, said Wesley Keegan, owner of TailGate Beer. Cans today have a lining to prevent that issue.Canned beer is preferred by many breweries now because Continue Reading

National Beer Day: Village Idiot named best New Jersey brewery

The people have spoken.Throughout March, the Asbury Park Press and app.com asked readers to name their favorite craft brewery in New Jersey.Starting with an initial Sudsy 16, and then narrowed down to a final Frothy Four, the inaugural Malt Madness tournament saw thousands of votes cast.But in the end, as they say, there can be only one. Ultimately, it was Village Idiot Brewing Co. of Mount Holly that came out on top. YOUR TURN: Do you agree? Is Village Idiot the best Jersey brewery? Why or why not? 'Like' us on Facebook and tell us in the comments. Owner Vince Masciandaro, discussing Village Idiot’s appeal, said that with his beers he strives to strike a balance between the classics and playful innovation.“I try to do a lot of traditional styles,” he said. “I always have some traditional things on tap, and I try to make really good representations of the styles of beers.“And what I do also (is) we have 12 taps in the brewery, and I like to do a little experimentation with a bunch of other taps. I have a banana bread beer, which people like. I do a peanut butter porter, a chocolate oatmeal stout, a coffee cream ale. There is a lot of different experimentation that goes on.”There’s a certain freedom that comes from the small scale of Village Idiot’s operation.Each batch of beer the brewery creates is only 11/2 barrels, or 46.5 gallons.Therefore, Masciandaro explained, “I have a lot of flexibility. I can be nimble and change selections. I think that’s what people like about the brewery also: Any time you come into my place, you’re not going to find the same 12 beers on tap. There’s always something new on tap.”Masciandaro started home-brewing his own beer alongside his father back in 1988, when he was still living at home with his parents.“Over the years I picked up recipes, developed recipes, started getting into craft beer and trying to duplicate the craft beers,” he Continue Reading

Yuengling is now America’s top craft brewery

An inexpensive, pale lager favored in many a blue-collar gin mill, Yuengling may not be the first name that springs to mind when one thinks of craft beer. But thanks to changes in the Brewers Association’s guidelines, the Pennsylvania brew not only falls under the craft umbrella, Yuengling has replaced Sam Adams producer Boston Beer Company as the top-selling craft brewer in the United States. Under the Brewers Association’s old rules, a craft brewery had to be independently owned, produce 6 million barrels or fewer annually, and make it made an all-malt flagship beer. Yuengling, the oldest operating brewery in the U.S., uses corn in its beer. The trade organization lifted the all-barley requirement in 2014, opening the door for Yuengling, August Schell Brewing Company and Narragansett Brewing Company to get the craft designation. It’s a distinction that some craft beer quaffers find hard to swallow. “I’ve tried most of Yuengling’s products and they’re usually anywhere from ‘meh’ to ‘okay,’ so I’m not sure I consider them to be a true craft brewery,” Chad Polenz wrote in the Albany Times Union’s “Beer Nut” blog. The guideline tweak occurred because the previous criteria excluded companies that “were clearly traditional in every sense of the word,” Bart Watson, the trade group’s chief economist, told the Daily News. It was also changed to reflect the time-honored practices of different brewers. “Many regional American styles have long incorporated ingredients like corn, and as brewers continue to innovate, we're seeing new ingredients being used by local independent brewers," Watson added. But some critics argue that Yuengling’s brews don’t measure up to true craft beers because of their ingredients. “(They) are not as flavorful as the vast majority of small batch, locally brewed craft beers, Continue Reading