Sierra Nevada brews Estate Homegrown Ale from the ground up

by Terry B on January 5, 2011

The subject of my latest USA Character Approved Blog post is a beer that borrows a page the winemaking playbook.


For years, beer marketers have tried to tell us water made the difference. Pure Rocky Mountain spring water. Artesian wells. Now one brewery is betting the difference is in the dirt. Pioneering California microbrewery Sierra Nevada has apparently learned a thing or two from all its winery neighbors. They’ve introduced Estate Homegrown Ale, brewed from organic hops and barley grown on the grounds of their brewery.

French winemakers have espoused the idea of terroir for centuries—the view that the soil, the climate and the seasons all have an effect on the flavor and character of the wine produced. More recently, California winemakers have embraced the idea, becoming more careful stewards of the land and choosing to grow grapes best suited to the terroir of their estates.

Now Sierra Nevada has become one of the first breweries to bring terroir to brewing beer, creating a farm around their brewery to carefully control the hops and barley that make up the flavor of their limited edition Estate Homegrown Ale. To learn more about their commitment to farm-to-bottle brewing and what the land brings to their beer, check out my latest post on the USA Character Approved Blog.


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