Paul Camusi and Ken Grossman are planning on opening their Sierra Nevada Breweryin two to three months. The name comes from the brewery's location, at "The foothills of the Sierras." Their water is from wells fed by Sierra runoff. They are aiming production at 2,400 barrels of special ale, pale ale and stout a year by brewing two or three days a week.
Camusi and Grossman are former homebrewers who began to plan for Sierra Nevada Beer two years ago. They see a positive trend in attitudes towards a locally produced beer. Sierra Nevada beer will be similar to New Albion, though their recipe calls for more hops. Malt is obtained from a local maltster, Bauer-Switzer. Their investment so far is about $100,000 with homemade or redesigned equipment, some of which came from a dairy. Camusi advises potential brewers, "Build the brewery correctly, with proper sanitation. Be sure you have enough capital." Camusi and Grossman are running test batches now and expect Sierra Nevada Beer to sell for about $.95 a bottle.
Zymurgy contacted only five small breweries. There are others in operation around the country as well as in the planning stages in Santa Cruz, Eureka, California, Seattle, and Albuquerque. So far, the impact of small breweries on the majority of the beer-drinking public has been minuscule. The smaller breweries are providing a test market, one which may or may not cause a few of the larger brewers to take note. With no automation and homemade techniques, smaller breweries will probably remain small.