Sierra Nevada

Sierra Nevada is a (very large) taproom, brewery, and restaurant in Mills River, just south of Asheville. 

I like to call it the “Disneyland for Adults.” 

I went with my brother and his girlfriend that were in town from Utah. 

When you first drive into Sierra Nevada, you feel like you’re driving into a vast private estate on the long windy road that leads up to the grand brewery itself. Eventually you’ll come upon the large parking lot - which is home to their “Tailgate Market”every Tuesday beginning in May, that features local goods and produce.

The entrance to the taproom is kinda to the left of the building, or - if you’re bringing the pups and want to sit outside - you can walk around the left side of the building to the back patio. Outside food service kinda varies depending on the season & weather. So, I suggest checking with one of the servers to get the full scoop on what’s available, once you arrive.  

We all decided to leave the Utah pups in the bed of the truck for a quick minute and eat inside, then fetch them after to join us for an after dinner drink. 

On that note - my brothers truck has a covered bed, which has an actual bed in it for the dogs, and the weather was cool enough, but not too cool ~ for their fur babies. 

Do not ever leave your doggies in the car on a hot day, if you do - I will find out where you live and haunt you in a perturbing and ghastly manner for all of eternity. 

While you enter the main entrance to the brewery - make sure you check out the the large copper silos, which make for a pretty good place to take a selfie. 

There is table seating, communal tables, and bar seating on the main level of the brewery - as well as the “high gravity lounge upstairs”.

I didn’t go up to the lounge upstairs; regular gravity is just fine for me - and I didn’t feel like running into any strange pancake creatures that can only survive in a high gravity environment. 

There’s a cute gift shop kinda near the host station/bar that sells beer, t-shirts, sweatshirts and what not. 

I wanted to go in but the sign said “beers welcome”, so I wasn’t quite sure if humans were welcome too - but didn’t want to risk it and then catch a charge because I wasn’t an IPA. 

Instead I stood outside and took a picture from afar, hoping that next time they wouldn’t be segregating based on IBU content. 

There were three seats left at the bar, so we sat there to enjoy our beers and food - a primo stop right under the large beer on tap menu. 

When you order a flight of beers, the bartender gives you a little card to write your choices down on - which makes it even more fun to make your selections. 

All of my beers were yummy - 

The BA Imperial Brown tasted like beer. 

The Lavender Saison was slightly sweet and light. 

The Narwhal was thick & chocolately. 

And, the 3 Become 1 tasted like bourbon. 

To eat, I had the Red Snapper

It was cooked superbly, with a slight crunchy texture - served on a bed of warm greens. The dish was packed full of flavorful spices, and had a slight pepper taste that was offset by the sweet potato purée. 

We were all really tempted to order a dessert when we found out they made their own ice cream. But then saw the “Smoked Narwhal Gingerbread Cake” on the menu and considered ordering that, as well. 

After much contemplation - my brothers girlfriend asked if the “blubber (in the dessert) was hot.” My brother (who was reading the menu), reported that “the blubber was (in fact) chilled”. (Side note; as popular as dolphin hunting is in Japan; we do *not* condone eating cetacea and thoroughly enjoyed all three seasons of Flipper.) 

On that note, we all finally decided to skip dessert and just order one more round of beers to enjoy outside by the fire pit with their Mormon dogs. 

This particular dog is a "conflicted Mormon" because we caught him sneaking a drink of my beer when I turned by back. We suspect he may be kicked out of his congregation once they realize he's a closet drinker. 

PS; Make sure you check out the Sierra Nevada Brewery Tour while you're there if you've got some extra time!

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