Sierra Nevada – the large brewery with tiny tastings

Driving up to Oregon with no real plan, we had already made a pit stop in Yuba City. An hour and a half later, we made another stop: Sierra Nevada Brewery.

I have had Sierra Nevada beers before. But I honestly can’t remember whether or not I like the beers every time I see them on draft. So I usually opt for the Trumer Pilsner since it’s always an option, and I don’t want an IPA.

I always regret that decision. Trumer Pilsner is just not the type of pilsner I want in my life. And for some reason, I always fall victim to it when it’s the only pilsner option. When that happens, I usually think to myself, “maybe I would have preferred the Sierra Nevada”.  

The brewery is vast. I don’t know what I expected – it’s a large company – why wouldn’t the brewery be large?

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The large brewery is located in Chico, California. The last time I was in Chico was Cinco de Mayo 2006. My 20 year-old-self chased each shot of Jose with a margarita.

I later met a guy who claimed he was Nick Lachey’s cousin. We chatted on a dirty mattress used as a couch in a room at one of the many college parties that night.

The next thing I remember is waking up in my car with my best friend driving and making her pull over so I could pee.

She decided it was time to leave once I started showing a little too much interest in a guy who claimed to be the cousin of a member of a second-teir boy band I didn’t even like.

I was forever grateful.

Sierra Nevada has a huge list of beers. Again, I don’t know what I expected, but I was surprised.

For the first time in a long time I actually ordered a taster of four beers. Ranging from light colored to dark. This was a few weeks ago, so I don’t remember the order. But here is a picture:


I did appreciate the smaller taster size. Sometimes I don’t want to get drunk when I drink (I know, I’m so mature), so the smaller tasting allowed me to taste without catching a buzz.

We also ate since we hadn’t eaten anything at the Yuba City German Brewery, and still had a couple hours before reaching Oregon.

First Dish – pretzels and beer cheese. Quite possibly the best beer cheese I’ve had. And I’ve had beer cheese twice.

pretzels and beer cheese at sierra nevada brewery

Second Dish – squash-filled ravioli. I can’t remember the squash – I want to say summer, but I don’t know if that’s accurate. I don’t even know if that’s a ravioli filling. However, it had a sweet brown sugar sauce, and even though the portion was small, it was still filling.

raviolis at sierra nevada

But that may have been because I had pretzels and beer cheese prior.

Third Dish – doughnut ice cream sandwich. The waiter seemed really excited about this one. The doughnut was glazed without a hole in the middle and the ice cream was vanilla.

doughnut ice cream sandwich

The two most bland options of each of those dessert categories.

With that said, it was still delicious. And unlike cookies on ice cream, the doughnut stayed soft making it easy to eat – which is an important quality for me since I’m a messy 31-year-old eater. 

After the tasting and in the midst of the food, my studly boyfriend and I enjoyed a pint of beer. I had the Nooner Pilsner, which is a pilsner I want in my life and would gladly order whenever I see it on draft.

Nooner Pilsner sierra nevada

I recommend stopping by the Sierra Nevada Brewery if you too are on a road trip from Napa County to Oregon.  There are beers you can’t find in the store, and the menu is diverse without being overwhelming. You are guaranteed to drink and eat something you’ll enjoy. 

I give Sierra Nevada Brewery a Chico State Kitty.

Chico State Kitty

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