Sierra Nevada, the second-largest craft brewing company in the country, is thinking big with a small-scale new addition: a nanobrewery. The Chico, CA, brewery has added a 20-gallon nanobrewery with six small fermenters for experimental batches on a small scale.
The nanobrewery will allow Sierra Nevada’s research and development department the freedom for more experimentation with less risk of messing up a larger batch; for comparison, its next-biggest system is 10 barrels, or 310 gallons.
So far, the team has tried out dry-hop levels to explore a range of citrus flavors, and it also hopes to start brewing with local Chico fruits, according to the brewery’s blog. The emphasis is also on education, as it will also allow employees and visitors to get involved and brew a batch, and harkens back to when the brewery’s founder, Ken Grossman, was home brewing in a garage on a small system himself.