Sierra Nevada to open beer tasting room on Fourth Street

The Sierra Nevada tasting room in Chico. Photo: Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada brewery in Chico. Photo: Sierra Nevada

Sierra Nevada, the craft brewing company known for its pale ale, is planning to open a tasting room on Fourth Street by the end of the year.

The Chico-based company will serve around 16 different types of beer in a 1,700-square-foot space in the Read Building at 2031 Fourth St., next door to Title Nine. There will be a long bar and a number of high tables. The emphasis will be on beer, not food.

“It will be a small, intimate tasting room,” said Sierra Nevada spokesman Ryan Arnold. “It will not be a place where you get a meal or lounge around. We want you to be next to the bar where you are engaged with the staff, learning about beer.”

Sierra Nevada makes a variety of beers, but only a small number of them are available in grocery stores, said Arnold. Its most well-known beer is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Other popular brands include Porter, Stout, and Celebration Ale.

Sierra Nevada production facility. Photo: Sierra Nevada

Sierra Nevada production facility. Photo: Sierra Nevada

But Sierra Nevada also makes numerous custom batches, either for beer festivals or private clients, and those beers can now only be found in the tasting room in Chico, said Arnold. Soon, Bay Area patrons will have a chance to try them.

“The tasting room is going to be an opportunity to showcase many of the specialty, more limited beers that we have,” said Arnold.

There are also plans for talks, events, even a little demonstration brewing, according to David Trachtenberg, the architect on the project, who also designed the Read Building. Food will be served, but it will be mostly bar food.

“It’s not meant to be a place where people spend the evening,” said Trachtenberg. “It’s meant to be an educational thing, an experiential thing. They want people to know they are in the center of craft brewing.”

Sierra Nevada will also sell beer to go. And patrons will be able to bring in a beer growler – basically a glass or ceramic jug  – to fill it up on the site, said Trachtenberg.

Sierra Nevada applied for a liquor license on Tuesday, and Grub Street SF was the first to report on the tasting room.

Trachtenberg said he will submit a permit application to the city this week. There will be a public hearing on the project. If everything goes smoothly, the tasting room may be open by August.

Sierra Nevada selected Berkeley because it is centrally located.

“Northern California has always been our home,” said Arnold. “We wanted to stick t0 the area. The Bay Area has a great craft beer culture so it’s a great place to showcase our beers with that community.”

There appears to be a beer renaissance of sorts happening in the East Bay. In recent months, a number of beer gardens have opened and a number are proposed. The Trappist Provisions opened at 6309 College Ave. in Rockridge a few months ago. Berkeley recently approved the application for The Rare Barrel, a sour beer brewery at 937 Carleton, near Juan’s Place.

The owners of The Hobnob Restaurant in Alameda announced recently that they planned to turn Casa Vino at Sacramento St. and 66th St. into Moxy Beer Garden with 14 craft beers on tap. Monarch Trading Co., which is set to take over the space held by Caffe Venezia, plans to emphasis craft beers (and wine) as well. A microbrewery and bar is in the works for the Lorin district. And the Albany Taproom on San Pablo Ave. opened on March 8 with 32 draft beers and cider and more than 100 bottles beers with a focus on small and local breweries.

Sierra Nevada’s tasting room joins beer purveyors Trumer Pils and Pyramid Brewery, both of which have been fixtures in west Berkeley for years.

City approves sour beer brewery for beer geeks [03.10.13]
Beer garden burger spot to open in south Berkeley [03.15.13]
Burgers and beer duo debut on Friday [03.07.13]

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  • Japhy Writer

    West Beerkeley

  • Just Sayin

    Is where it’s at-a-at-at!

  • Robertjm

    I’m trying to figure this location out. Is this the building that was put up where Sierra Designs used to be located (and across the street from the old Celia’s Mexican Food)??

  • L-Dog

    Yeah! I can’t wait. The specialty craft beers you can get at their Chico brewery are great, and they are a very environmentally sensitive company.

  • Chris J

    Yah, who doesn’t like beer? Well, glad to hear of this development.

  • Frances Dinkelspiel

    This is located right near Grocery Outlet and across the street from the Fourth and U apartment complex. Does that help?

  • dan

    Where was this Lorin district micro brewery announced?

  • A. Guest

    I think it’s directly across the street from the Apple store.

  • emraguso

    We’ll have a story on it tomorrow.

  • Japhy Writer

    I think it’s this building just south of the Grocery Outlet parking lot at Fourth and Addison:

  • Bill N

    Open by August would be great – just in time for the Sept and Oct summer weather!!! Great addition to 4th.

  • bgal4

    is that the old/original Sierra Designs shop?

  • Robertjm

    Not really. I haven’t been down there since I was laid off by Sierra Designs, when it closed the store.

  • Robertjm

    We were located at 2039 4th Street, and the building was town down when they built the stuff on the corner, which I why I don’t recognize that address.

  • dan_again
  • bgal4

    right, I forgot about the demolition, I was so used to seeing the unique building.

    are you one of the founders, I worked upstairs selling gear in 1982.

    I just got rid of my 1973 green teardrop backback. The one my son could wear as an extra in the Harvey Milk film, along with a Woolrich plaid shirt I still had in the closet.

  • AnthonySanchez

    I’ve found my satellite office.

    In all seriousness, this is the definition of good news.

  • ashberk18

    My favorite line from this doc: ”

    There are no other microbreweries or beer pubs within
    1,000 feet of the project site” I’d say so…


  • EBGuy

    You’re dating yourself… but you are correct sir (as Ed used to say). It’s in the Read Building. See

  • A. Guest

    Doesn’t the sake factory count as a brewery? And they have a tasting room…

  • PorcelinaGrout

    Good news! I will be visiting 4th street a LOT more often!

  • Steven Donaldson

    Yes, It’s going to be on premises brewing and will be located on Alcatraz just west of Adeline. It will also serve food.

  • Steven Donaldson

    This by the way, this is another one of the many new beer dispensaries opening in Berkeley/Albany– the Albany Tap room just opened across from Mallard on San Pablo, soon to open will be Eureka! a tap room and burger joint on Center just west of Shattuck. Then there’s the Rare Barrel, just approved on Carlton next to Juan’s Place and there will be an expansion of Tripple Rock in a new building (yet to break ground) right next door. Yes, Berkeley is becoming quit the beer place and I believe more coming…drink up all ye ale lovers!

  • 4eenie


  • serkes

    A block east of the building formerly used as the Southern Pacific Train Station – Formerly used as Xanadu (?) – now used as Brennan’s which was formerly located on the northeast corner of the block which used to have Celia’s on the southeast corner.

    Hope that helps!


    or … on 4th Street, just south the University overpass – east side of the street.

  • Completely_Serious

    “many new beer dispensaries”

    But Officer, I have a medical beer card!

  • Mbfarrel

    You left out the Potluck

  • ricog

    Welcome to the neighborhood. Better (and tastier!) than an empty storefront.

  • SimpBeerMan

    I love that idea a Berkeley Meical Beer Card…. I find it eseential therapy several times of week. Good for metal health, pysical and spirtual.

  • david trachtenberg

    Yes – the site just happens to be the same site that was formerly occupied by Sierra Designs. A happy coincidence.

  • 4eenie

    No food in this tasting room? None at all?

  • Frances Dinkelspiel

    There will be food. Bar food. It’s a place to drink and nibble rather than sit down for a meal.

  • 4eenie

    Glad to hear there will be something offered to eat. Thanks.