Monday, December 14, 2009

BIG Plans for Sierra Nevada's 30th Anniversary

With their uber-hyped Life and Limb collaboration with Dogfish Head still trickling into certain markets, Sierra Nevada has decided once again to smack it's fans upside the head with some incredibly cool news for it's 30th anniversary in 2010: more collaborations with some of the pioneers of the craft brewing industry, with proceeds from said beers going to select charities. See below for more details in the official press release, but if you're looking for rumors about the beers, Brewed For Thought notes that the collaboration with Fritz Maytag of Anchor Brewing looks like it may be an Imperial Stout, the third beer may be brewed with both Charlie Papazian and Fred Eckhardt and the fourth may be a barrel-aged blend of existing Sierra Nevada beers. Again, these are all rumors, but they all sound pretty intriguing to me.

And now for the full release:

Four collaborations for Sierra Nevada's 30th.

Chico, CA (12/14/09)--Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. will mark 2010 with a yearlong celebration of the trailblazing brewers who helped transform America into the world's most exciting brewing nation. Next year is the 30th anniversary for the Chico-based brewery, and Sierra Nevada is teaming up with the founders of the movement to benefit select charities and beer drinkers across the country.

March of 2010 will see the first of four beers in a series of collaborative projects with America's craft-brewing pioneers: Fritz Maytag of Anchor Brewing; Jack McAuliffe, founder of New Albion Brewery; and authors, homebrewers, and beer advocates Fred Eckhardt, and Charlie Papazian. Together, this group is credited as 'the men who launched a thousand breweries;' and without them, our current day craft-beer-renaissance might never have happened.

"We wanted to pay tribute to the original pioneers who helped me and hundreds of others get started," said Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman. "Few people in the craft-brewing world have accomplished more than these guys, and we thought it might be fun to get the original crew together and make something special."

This project will begin where craft brewing started--Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco. Maytag bought the historic brewery in 1965, and his vision for American beer changed everything. In December 2009, these pioneers gathered at Anchor to catch up, reminisce about craft beer's beginnings, and share their vision for the project.

"I feel honored to sit at the table with these guys," said Grossman. "Without the help that these guys gave me in the early days, I never would have gotten started. Each of them has shaped craft beer in some meaningful way, and without them, who knows what American beer would be today?"

The beers will be released periodically throughout the year, starting with the first release in March, and continuing until Sierra Nevada's 30th Anniversary on November 15. These limited-release 750ml cage-and-cork bottles will be available at select retailers and beer-centric bars.

These beers will be much more than a tribute: Proceeds from the project will go to benefit select charities chosen by the four pioneers.

Sierra Nevada started in 1980 with a humble hand-built brewhouse and some interesting ideas about beer. Today it's America's longest-running craft startup, and boasts the number-one best-selling craft brand in the country--the legendary flagship, Pale Ale.

A lot has changed in the generation since Grossman first met these brewing pioneers. When Sierra Nevada first opened its doors, there were less than 50 breweries in the United States. Today, there are more than 1,500 craft breweries in operation, and American brewers lead the world in variety of styles, innovation, experimentation, and quality.

I'd get in line for these now if I could. This just sounds like an amazing project all around. How about that 30th Anniversary logo, by the way? Stunning.

Check back often for more details as they are released from the brewery...

Hopback, beer, Sierra Nevada, California, Dogfish Head, Life and Limb, collaboration, Fritz Maytag, Anchor Brewing, San Francisco, Charlie Papazian, Fred Eckhardt, Ken Grossman, Jack McAuliffe, New Albion