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Table of Contents

Hops and Dreams: The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. by Rob Burton
Two homebrewers open a microbrewery that achieves astonishing success



Chapter One

Beer History 101 and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

“The most perfect brewery on the planet”

“I’ve said it all when I’ve said Bud”

John Barleycorn, Pink Boots, and Pilgrimages

From Tesguino to Billy Beer

Chico Culture and Counterculture

Scenes from the Taproom, Part I

Chapter Two

The Making of a Dream and the Birth of a Beer: 1972-1980

Beer, Bikes, and a Volkswagen Bus

“A Cool Town”

Bikes or Beer?

Gilman Way and the First Batch of Beer: November 15, 1980

Scenes from the Taproom, Part II

Chapter Three

From Fledgling Microbrewery to Flagship Craft Brewery: 1981-1999

Early Marketing and Distribution in Chico

Bavarian Interlude

Bohemian Rhapsody

Key Endorsements (and Product Placement)

Move to 20th Street

Craft Brew Bubble

The buyout of Paul Camusi

Scenes from the Taproom, Part III

Chapter Four

In Pursuit of Hop Harmony: 2000-2010



The Big Room

Quality and Innovation

Sustainable Brewing

A Tragic Episode

Bold New Directions

Doctor Grossman, We Presume

Hop Harmony at Work: Chico Fest, 2009

Coming Full Circle: A Celebration of Craft Brew Pioneers

Scenes from the Taproom, Part IV

Chapter Five

Hop Harmony at Work: Sierra Nevada and the Triple P (People, Planet, Profit)

Narratives of Hope

When Gown Meets Town

The Triple P

Ten Defining Business Practices

Scenes from the Taproom, Part V


“A Long Strange Trip” 

Core Values

Sobering Truths

Hop(e)s and Dreams


A Timeline for Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

A Profile of the Beers: The Brewmaster, Steve Dresler, Speaks

The Brewery Tour

Interview with Head Chef Micheal Iles

Beer and Bikes

The Birth of a Dream: An Extract from Sierra Nevada’s 1979 Business Plan

Glossary of Terms

Works Cited


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