Ken Grossman, who owned a home brew shop in Chico, Calif., was among the first generation of craft brewers who started out as home brewers.
As Grossman recounts in his book, “Beyond the Pale: The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.” (Wiley, $24.95), he cobbled together recycled dairy equipment to launch Sierra Nevada in 1980, founding one of the first craft breweries in the U.S. And, of course, his boldly bitter Sierra Nevada Pale Ale helped define the American craft beer revolution. More than 30 years later, the revolution has grown into a major business. Sierra is the second-biggest craft brewer in the U.S., based on sales volume, and the company is set to open a second brewery early this year in Mills River, N.C., near Asheville.
The pattern of homebrewers becoming professional brewers and opening breweries hasn’t changed much since Grossman’s early days... [click headline for more]