Sierra Nevada Heads East – The Press Releases

Earlier today, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company announced it would be building an east coast location in North Carolina.

Three different press releases discussing the announcement made the rounds around the web and we got them all below.

The first, a letter from Sierra Nevada Founder Ken Grossman, explains the rational behind the Mills River, NC selection. The other two releases (produced by the brewery and Governor Bev Perdue’s office) explain some of the details of the project.

From Ken Grossman:

After a long and comprehensive search, I’m excited to announce our location for a second brewery, in the Henderson County town of Mills River, North Carolina.

Throughout the last 31 years, we have had the privilege to make bold, flavorful, and hop-forward beers — the kind of beer we have always loved to drink. Luckily, we’re not the only ones who drank it, and for most of the time we’ve been in existence, we have been scrambling to keep up with demand. For years, we’ve considered a second brewing location. The recent growth of craft beer in the eastern USA, combined with the environmental impact of shipping all the way across the country, made a second brewing location the most sustainable solution for us moving forward.

For the past several years, we’ve reviewed over 200 sites with painstaking detail and an exhaustive list of qualitative and quantitative considerations. In North Carolina, we were humbled by the community, its values and the outstanding craft beer culture in the area. Much of Sierra Nevada’s success stems from the hard work and dedication of our staff, along with the brewery culture that has grown up alongside the physical brewery. While we were making this decision, it was important for us to choose a location similar to our home in Chico, CA. Mills River and the Asheville area feel like a great fit for us; a close-knit community with outstanding quality of life, shared values and access to the outdoors.

Much like Chico, with its close proximity to many creeks, rivers and the Sierras, the location for our new brewery in North Carolina will be situated on property that borders the French Broad River, with the Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop. Of course, building a new brewery from the ground up is no small task, and we anticipate the construction to take between 18 and 24 months. Our East Coast brewery will be built with a sustainable and mindful approach and maintain the integrity of the property and beauty of the natural landscape.

Construction will take approximately two years, and when completed, we anticipate the new brewery to be close to 200,000 square feet, with an on-site pub & restaurant.

My son, Brian Grossman, and Stan Cooper will be leading operations of the North Carolina location, and a few key Chico staff will also be relocating to the new facility.

We thank you for sharing this adventure.

Ken Grossman

From the office of Gov. Bev Perdue:

MILLS RIVER, NC – Gov. Bev Perdue today joined executives from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., an independent, family-owned pioneer in craft brewing, in announcing that they will locate a brewing facility for the East Coast in Mills River as well as an onsite restaurant. The project was made possible in part by a $1.025 million grant from the One North Carolina Fund.

Gov. Perdue was joined by Sierra Nevada CEO Ken Grossman and other locals officials for the announcement in Henderson County.

The site of Sierra Nevada's new location

“We are proud that Sierra Nevada, with its tradition of innovation, stewardship and quality, chose to tap all the great things North Carolina had to offer,” said Gov. Perdue. “This announcement enhances a burgeoning craft beer industry in our state. The investment, jobs and brand recognition Sierra Nevada brings will be a boon to this region and help confirm North Carolina as a destination for innovation.”

North Carolina is home to more craft breweries than any Southern state — 21 brewpubs and 28 production breweries — with western North Carolina being particularly strong. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is one of America’s first craft breweries and helped to popularize the bold and flavorful beers that are the hallmarks of the craft beer industry. Founded in 1980, Sierra Nevada continues to be recognized for the use of only whole-cone hops and for the quality and craftsmanship of their products. Sierra Nevada currently employs in excess of 500 dedicated employees and is the second largest privately held brewery in the United States.

“After carefully looking at more than 200 sites east of the Mississippi, Sierra Nevada is pleased to locate our second brewery in Henderson County,” said Grossman. “We are very grateful to the officials in Mills River, Henderson County and the State of North Carolina whose time, effort and commitment were instrumental in making this happen. We are proud to be associated with the many fine breweries that call North Carolina home.”

According to Grossman, an expansion to the East Coast was a responsible decision. “The original brewery in Chico is reaching capacity, and the demand for our beer continues to increase,” he explained. “We felt the most responsible thing to do was to build a brewery on the other side of the country, to lessen our impact on the environment while continuing to place great craft beer into the hands of our consumers.”

Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual wage for the new jobs will be $41,526 plus benefits. The Henderson County average annual wage is $32,240.

The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. These grants also require and are contingent upon local matches.

“Sierra Nevada knows that North Carolina is a place where the business climate will help them grow and thrive,” said Sen. Tom Apodaca, of Hendersonville. “I’m sure my sons are looking forward to buying some of the first bottles brewed here.”

“This terrific news is a perfect example of leaders at the state and local level, and from different political parties, working together to bring jobs to the people of North Carolina,” said Rep. Chuck McGrady of Hendersonville.

North Carolina continues to have a top-ranked business climate. Through Gov. Perdue’s JobsNOW initiative, the state works aggressively to create jobs, train and retrain its workforce, and lay the foundation for a strong and sustainable economic future.

Through use of the One NC Fund, more than 60,000 jobs and $11 billion in investment have been created since 2001. Other partners that helped with this project include: the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, N. C. Department of Transportation, Henderson County, the Town of Mills River, Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development and the Golden LEAF Foundation.

For more information about Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. including job opportunities, please visit

Sierra NevadaFrom Sierra Nevada Brewing Company:

CHICO, CA. – Sierra Nevada BrewingCo. is pleased to announce that it has chosen a site in western North Carolina for the future home of an East Coast brewery. The site, approximately 90 acres in the Henderson County Town of Mills River— along the French Broad River, 12 miles south of Asheville — will be home to the new production facility, as well as a proposed restaurant and gift shop. “We are thrilled to have found an ideal location in western North Carolina for our second brewery,” says Ken Grossman, founder of Sierra Nevada. “The beer culture, water quality and quality of life are excellent. We feel lucky to be a part of this community.”
The new facility will add much needed capacity for Sierra Nevada, and will allow for the quick shipment of brewery-fresh beer to consumers in the east. The East Coast brewery will start with a capacity around 300,000 barrels, with room to grow. The added barrelage will accommodate wider production of the myriad of seasonal beers and bottled specialties Sierra Nevada has produced in recent years, as well as an expansion of the brewery’s well?known flagship product: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

Sierra Nevada began the search for a new location several years ago. The brewery looked at hundreds of potential sites, eventually narrowing the search down to a handful of locations. The list of criteria was long and included quantifiable factors such as ease of shipping and water quality, as well as quality of life issues for its employees. Sierra Nevada has a reputation for a laid-back brewery culture and a love of the outdoors, and the new facility will retain this same tone. The Asheville area offers Sierra Nevada Brewing the perfect confluence of community, recreation and craft beer culture.

Sierra Nevada’s eastern brewery site is expected to employ approximately 90 workers, with additional staff in the restaurant to follow. The brewery anticipates being operational by early 2014.

About Sierra Nevada:

Founded in 1980, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is one of America’s premier craft breweries, highly regarded for using only whole-cone hops and ingredients of the finest quality. Sierra Nevada has set the standard for artisan brewers worldwide as a winner of numerous awards for its extensive line of beers including the flagship Pale Ale, Torpedo, Porter, Stout, Kellerweis, four seasonal beers, Estate Ale, Harvest Ales, Ovila Abbey Ales and a host of draught-only specialties.