A craft brewery in California reached a milestone today, as reported in an article published by Investor’s Business Daily on September 11, 2013.
Sierra Nevada, the nation’s second largest craft brewery, reported annual production of 1 million barrels of beer, worth about $200 million in sales. Only Boston Beer, maker of all things Sam Adams, is larger in the craft beer field.
Founder Ken Grossman co- founded Sierra Nevada in California in 1980 and introduced the world to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale first, followed by a series of other beers covering common and not-so-common styles. Sierra Nevada is now a household name and the business has expanded beyond Grossman’s wildest dreams. Grossman was farming before Sierra Nevada was born and even spent time working in a bicycle shop that he once considered buying, but his heart was in suds.
“My wife and I discussed it. We agreed I’d probably regret it if I didn’t follow my dream. We made the tough decision to pass on the bike shop and build a brewery from the ground up”, Grossman said.
Early days at Sierra Nevada Brewing were not easy going. The company faced challenges on many fronts, among them the problem of competition. At the time, America was still awash in bland, mass- produced lagers and while Sierra Nevada offered an obviously superior product, it was priced much higher than the big brands at the time and was vastly different from the Budweisers and Millers of the world. Converting beer drinkers to this new brew was going to take effort, but Grossman and his crew persevered, growing the business into the nationwide craft beer phenomenon it is today.
Sierra Nevada is now in its 33rd year and is still going strong thanks to its emphasis on quality and its innovative and consistent portfolio of beer. Who among us doesn’t like the products in the Sierra Nevada product line? It is one of a handful of craft beer companies with such consistent quality and universal name recognition that most every craft beer drinker both recognizes each product and loves them all. No matter the occasion, nearly every partygoer is satisfied when Sierra Nevada is served.
With its number two position in the craft beer market solidly in its possession, Sierra Nevada Brewing is poised to continue its reign among America’s most influential craft beer companies. Next time you make a beer run, grab a bomber bottle or six pack of your favorite Sierra Nevada product and have a toast to Ken Grossman and his craft beer dream. He could have owned a bicycle company, but beer won out in the end and the American consumer cannot thank him enough.
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