A stand-out among the numerous memorable experiences at last summer's e in Asheville, NC had to be the epic tour, tasting and picnic at Sierra Nevada's massive new facility located in Mills River, NC.
Dressed in a traditional Bavarian jacket, Sierra Nevada owner/founder Ken Grossman met our tour bus in the parking lot and shook every blogger's hand before leading us through his sparkling new brewery. Ken worked tirelessly to make sure that this facility came out as close to perfection as possible, and pride oozed from his pores during his tour.
After the brewery visit, Ken led the substantial group of beer bloggers down a nature trail behind the brewery to a green festival site located on the river. We were met with an oompah band, German food buffet, a tent pouring Sierra Nevada's remarkable Oktoberfest lager, and a handful of guest German brewers, also in traditional garb.
Sierra Nevada looks to explore the roots of Germany’s fest beers each year by teaming up with a different German brewery in the production of a traditional Oktoberfest lager. This year, Ken chose the award-winning Brauhaus Riegele of Augsburg, Germany for the collaboration. Sierra Nevada's website explains, "Together we created an authentic Oktoberfest beer, true to the roots of the festival, that’s deep golden in color and rich with complex malt flavor from the use of traditional German Steffi barley."
The blogger group could have stayed at Sierra Nevada for the rest of the evening, nibbling sausages and sipping the luscious Oktoberfest beer. Everyone was extremely impressed. Be certain to try the beer this fall.