Interview with Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Attendees to events hosted by The Bay Institute and Aquarium of the Bay are treated to delicious selections from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, thanks to the generosity of founder Ken Grossman and his team. 

Grossman took time out of his busy schedule to chat with our team:

What first drew you to the Sierra Nevada Range? 
The same family friend who taught me how to homebrew, was also a mountaineer. He was active in the Sierra Club and introduced myself and some of the other neighborhood kids to the beauty of the High Sierra. 
 
How did you become a leader in the beer brewing renaissance of the 1980’s?
Back in the late 70’s / early 80’s, we were dissatisfied with the beer that was available at the time so we started doing our own thing. We had no idea at the time that this bold hoppy beer would take off, but here we are, 30 years later and we’re still doing what we do.
 
Your facility is renowned for being green. How difficult was it to build the solar infrastructure that powers your operation?
Our solar installation has been a multi-year project. We continue to add capacity as our brewery grows and we expect to grow the solar along with it. For us it was important to minimize our impact on the environment, this sustainable thinking is one of our core values so the decision was pretty easy.
 
Your work helping save salmon and our wild rivers is well-known. How do you see the future unfolding on this issue, and what kind of ongoing role do you see Sierra Nevada Brewing Company taking?
I’ve been involved with river restoration groups for almost 20 years, It is not an easy area to maintain focus on. We’re making some positive strides in regards to habitat improvement, but it is an uphill (upstream?) battle. We will continue to support wild rivers and work to preserve wild salmon habitats as much as we can.
 
What is your favorite moment of the day?
I live along Big Chico creek in the foothills of the Sierra so, for me, my favorite time of day is first thing in the morning. I love being able to walk out on the deck and look over the creek with my cup of coffee as I get ready to start the day!