Sierra Nevada’s new Mills River brewery site shaping up to be ‘recreational haven’


Copper brew kettles in Chico. The Sierra Nevada location will also have copper kettles shipped from Germany. Photo by Kelly Cubbin/Blue Ridge Now

From Blue Ridge Now, reporter Gary Glancy shares more of his travels to Chico, Calif. This time, Glancy reports on possibilities for Sierra Nevada’s new brewery location in Mills River, a location that might include walking trails, a large outdoor music venue and boat access on the French Broad River.

From Blue Ridge Now:

Still, the Sierra Nevada complex at Ferncliff Industrial Park will have its own uniqueness, thanks to the beautiful and varied landscape. The company recently purchased an additional 80 acres of property, giving Sierra Nevada now 184 of the park’s 262 acres on which to craft not just beer but a recreational haven for its customers.

Two weeks ago, landscape architect Glenn Walters of the Asheville-based firm Design Workshop was in Chico meeting with Sierra Nevada officials on a master plan site design at Ferncliff. Ideas range from walking trails to a large outdoor music venue to boat access on the French Broad River, with preservation of native vegetation remaining a top priority.

“They’re really going about it in an extraordinary way,” Walters said, ”and for us it’s the project of a lifetime. They are so open to all the creative opportunities there (at Ferncliff), and so we are able to explore things that have been on our mind for a while.”

Brian Grossman said that initially the company will utilize only what it needs — about 25 acres — to get the operation off the ground. But eventually much of the property, including a mile of riverfront, will evolve to accommodate the ultimate customer experience.

“The idea would be people being able to access the property in a number of ways,” he said. “We’re big fans of human-powered sports, and kayaking seems to be a big thing over there (in Western North Carolina) as well. That was one of the big things when we got off the plane the first time, we saw all the bike racks and kayaks on everyone’s cars and we thought, ‘These are our people.’”

Full article here.