Estate Ale is one of the world’s only estate-made beers, brewed with 100% all-natural, hops and barley grown on-site at the brewery in Chico, CA.
Inspired by the renowned winemaking region of its Napa and Sonoma neighbors, Sierra Nevada is the first brewery to develop its own terroir. This beer is brewed with ingredients that reflect the flavors of the environment and the seasonal rhythms of nature.
The wine industry is fond of speaking about the individual flavor characteristics that it takes from its environment. This terroir is present in all growing things that are tended with passion and care. The environment that builds flavor is more than simply the soil or the climate: it is also the passion and commitment of the grower. Sierra Nevada’s location near the convergence of the mighty Cascade and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges—and its roots in the heart of California’s fertile Central Valley—offer an environment unique in the world. This volcanic backdrop and productive earth each lend character to the water, hops, barley, and yeast.
Estate Ale is the product of years of tending the soil, building an environment around the brewery, and even more years of planning. It began in 2003, with the planting of the first experimental hop yard in the field adjacent to the brewery. Over the years the field grew, and the hops along with it. The quality improved: the rhythm of planting, tending, and harvesting was established. In 2008, the brewery released Chico Estate Harvest Ale for the first time, utilizing the fresh-green flavors of these homegrown hops. The brewery was so pleased with the result that it decided to take it further than anyone else and produce a 100% estate-made beer.