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Sierra Nevada Brewing Company: Ken Grossman

Maren Bruin for NPR

Ken Grossman was experimenting with beer before he was old enough to buy it.

As a high school student in the late 1960s, he bought his first home brewing kit and mixed the ingredients in a bucket, hiding his early batches from his mother.

About ten years later, before most Americans knew what craft beer was, Ken decided to build a brewery in Chico, California.

With $50,000, a few piles of scrap metal and some hand-me-down dairy tanks, Ken and his partner built Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, and crafted a beer with a distinctive, hoppy bitterness.

Today, as the third largest craft brewer in the U.S., Sierra Nevada Brewing Company – like so many other businesses – faces unprecedented challenges due to the Coronavirus crisis.

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