Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is celebrating the official start of brewing at its new Mills River, N.C., facility with the release of Rain Check Spiced Stout, a specialty beer brewed for western North Carolina and several surrounding states. Rain Check was inspired by the tropical flavors often found in other favorite foul-weather drinks — fresh ginger, brown sugar, molasses and tangy lime.
“It’s exciting to have some fun with the new brewery and to make a beer for our neighbors,” said Brian Grossman, co-manager of the Mills River brewery and son of Sierra Nevada Founder Ken Grossman. “Getting this place up and online has been a long and challenging project, but now we can focus our energy on making great beer and delivering it to our East Coast drinkers fresher, faster and with less of an impact on the environment.”
In February, Sierra Nevada began producing limited amounts of test run beer, focusing on “flavor matching” its legendary Torpedo Extra IPA and flagship Pale Ale, ensuring batches brewed in North Carolina exactly match batches brewed in California. In conjunction with the limited release of Rain Check, Sierra Nevada is ramping up production of Torpedo and Pale Ale to fulfill growing eastern demand.
Rain Check is the first specialty beer brewed at the new facility and marks the first of many original beers Sierra Nevada will create with the tastes of the local western North Carolina community in mind. Rain Check with be available in packs of four 12-ounce bottles and on draft in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia starting in mid-June.
Sierra Nevada will host a grand opening celebration at the Mills River brewery on August 3, which will be the finale of its seven-city Beer Camp Across America traveling beer festival. Sierra Nevada invited roughly 300 local and regional brewers to pour their beers at the Mills River festival.