01 March 2013

WILK Friday BeerBuzz - 1 Mar 2013 Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye w/Brian Grossman

WILKFridayBerbuzz14Back in 1979 a young man named Ken Grossman founded a small brewery in Chico CA.  Named after one of his favorite places to hike, Sierra Nevada Brewing started small, but has grown over the last 30-years to become one of the largest “small” breweries in the U.S…and they are poised to grow even larger in 2014 as they move to open their new Mills River, NC Brewery.

With Sierra Nevada making a big move to open an east coast facility, and with the impact I believe that will have on our local craft beer community, I thought this was a perfect time to welcome the 2nd generation of Grossman family brewers on to the show.  Today we welcomed Brian Grossman, son of founder Ken Grossman and general manager and brewer for the new Mills River NC Sierra Nevada facility to join us to talk Sierra Nevada beer.

Following in your father’s footsteps is not always easy, and with such big shoes to fill, Brian will have his hands full.  Add to that the complexity and size of the new Mills River facility and we know Brian will be a busy young man…so we thank Brian for taking the time to talk with us today.  With that in mind, we decided to sample a beer from both generations of Grossmans on the show today.
In just two years of existence, Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA has become a classic beer already.  This non-traditional Rye IPA brings forth some of the dry spiciness of the rye used in the malt bill but also a touch of citrus and fruit.  It has a dry almost peppery finish but a pleasing herbal and citrus note up front that combine to make it a very drinkable beer.
We also wanted to taste a Sierra Nevada classic brew, and one that dates back to 1983…so why not march out the classic Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine.  This beer is bold on so many levels from malty to hoppy, and at almost 10% ABV and almost 100 IBU, this is the beer that has single-handedly defined what an American Barleywine should be.  Try this beer and if you can resist drinking all of it…be sure to cellar some too.  As Sierra Nevada says this beer has “supreme cellerability.”  And if that’s not enough, it’s also exciting to see a special Barrel-aged Bigfoot being released in limited quantities to celebrate Sierra Nevada’s 30th Anniversary.  It may not be easy to find, but it will be well worth the search.

It was a ton of fun talking to Brian and a lot of fun getting his insider Sierra Nevada info.  I mean who knew that Torpedo IPA in just a few years on the market has become the number 1 selling IPA in the U.S.  Who knew it sells almost as many units as SN Pale Ale….and who knew that there is more than one Torpedo-Hop-Infusion devices!

It was even more exciting to get to hear about the Sierra Nevada Mills River facility.  It’s clear that this facility will be a very special place in the craft beer world, thanks in part to Brian’s involvement and hard work.  I’m excited to see what will come next for the east coast when Sierra Nevada opens in North Carolina so stay tuned….and of course between now and the anticipated Fall 2014 opening, I will continue to shamelessly beg Brian to be invited to Beer Camp!

Thank you to Brian Grossman from Sierra Nevada, Nancy, John & Joe for yet another

fun Friday.

The Friday BeerBuzz…bringing good beers and good people together.  As always you can check out the video on-line at the WILK Friday BeerBuzz page by clicking HERE.

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