Book Review: ‘Beyond the Pale – The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’ by Ken Grossman

*Written in 2015.

Having recently visited Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s new Mills River, NC facility, I picked up this book in the gift shop on the way out. After going on the brewery tour of one of my favorite companies in the world, I still wanted more intimate detail on the company and the birth of their now iconic products.

The book is essentially an autobiography by Ken Grossman, which covers his childhood and the path that led him to making one of the largest craft breweries in America and sparking a craft beer revolution.

The book was an enjoyable short read – well, roughly 250 pages or so. Grossman’s tale was engaging and informative. Especially if you are a big fan of not just his beers, but his company and his vision. This story is much bigger than Grossman and his company, it is about the genesis of a major craft beer renaissance in this country.

Sierra Nevada helped shape an entire industry that has grown exponentially since the first time Pale Ale rolled out of that small warehouse in Chico, CA. An industry that has gotten so big, major brewing companies like Budweiser spend millions of dollars in craft beer attack ads.

If you even remotely enjoy craft beer, this book is certainly worth a read. It gives a very intimate account of the love for something better than low calorie light pilsner swill. It reflects the love that goes into better beer and goes to show how this is a product crafted by meticulous passion. Something that truly represents Americana.

Rating: 8/10
Pairs well with: Asheville Beer: An Intoxicating History of Mountain Brewing by Anne Fitten Glenn, Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink by Randy Mosher, The Audacity of Hops: The History of America’s Craft Beer Revolution by Tom Acitelli