2014 saw the opening of the much anticipated Sierra Nevada Brewery in Mills River. The addition of this highly-popular brewery seemed almost second nature to the culture of the area. With its sustainable operation plan, preservation focused building and laid-back aura, the fact that Sierra Nevada entered into the community seamelssly was no surprise.
Though Sierra Nevada is a beer powerhouse, one of the goals of the company was to integrate and become involved in the community in which it inhabits. Sierra Nevada has done that through joining the Asheville Brewers Alliance and making helping to ensure that they are doing their part in helping smaller scale breweries when there is a need. Sierra Nevada has preserved much of the land it owns in Mills River by keeping it wild and undeveloped apart from a trail system with river access.
The Mills River facility has the ability to brew all seasonal and year-round Sierra Nevada beers and even some North Carolina exclusive flavors. Visitors can take a guided tour of the facility where the entire beer brewing process is explained including visiting the Hops room, fermentation vessels and viewing the bottling and packaging line from above. If the guided tours are booked, as is a common occurrence if you do not plan at least a month in advance, visitors can take a self-guided tour and read the history of the brewery as well as viewing the previously mentioned rooms from above. There is a tasting room that guided tour guests visit at the end of their tour, but if have no fear, with a variety of Sierra Nevada beers on tap, if you visit the Tap Room and Restaurant you can taste to your heart's content.