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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

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In the 1970s and 1980s, northern California became a hotbed of growth for brewing. The region’s dairies and wineries supplied equipment that brewers repurposed. Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco and New Albion Brewing Company in Sonoma, together with the library and brewing science program at the University of California, Davis, provided practical and intellectual inspiration. Simultaneously, the culinary ferment of California Cuisine cultivated consumers eager for innovation in the glass as well as on the plate.
In 1979, Ken Grossman and Paul Camusi founded Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, California. When the brewery’s Pale Ale debuted in 1981, many consumers rejected it as too bitter. Nevertheless, the beer initiated a craving for American Cascade hops and would become an icon of the early “craft” era. The label features illustrations of hops, barley, and the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Object Name
date made
place made
United States: California, Chico
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
printing ink (overall material)
overall: 3 in x 4 in; 7.62 cm x 10.16 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
See more items in
Work and Industry: Food Technology
Food: Transforming the American Table
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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