From 1980 to 1982 in Chico, California, it was a struggle for the good folks at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. The craft beer revolution had yet to foment and marketing something like a fruity Pale Ale was a tricky challenge.
But as is noted on the company’s Wikipedia page and again today via a piece in UK’s The Independent, everything changed when the San Francisco Chronicle gave the company some solid press coverage at the two-year mark:
“That was a shot in the arm,” says founder Ken Grossman. “From then on we were pretty successful.” Central to that success was the quality of the Pale Ale, which was one of the first beers to be made with floral, citrusy Cascade hops. The recipe has stayed virtually the same ever since – and while it now tastes a little tame compared to some of the big-flavoured West Coast pale ales on the market, it remains the beer that introduced much of the world to the flavours of the American craft revolution.
With a second North Carolina brewery location set to open in 2014, the fortunes of Sierra Nevada now greatly outshine those of the Chronicle. So perhaps in this 30th year anniversary of the article, the company can somehow return the favor. Like maybe throw in a free 24-pack for any new Chronicle print subscriber.