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Beyond the Pale: The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  244 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Personal tales of perseverance and beer making from the founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Beyond the Pale chronicles Ken Grossman's journey from hobbyist homebrewer to owner of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., one of the most successful craft breweries in the United States. From youthful adventures to pioneering craft brewer, Ken Grossman shares the trials and tribulations of ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 26th 2013 by Wiley (first published August 21st 2012)
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James Wright
Sep 02, 2013 James Wright rated it liked it
Ken Grossman's kind, gracious demeanor is evident from the early pages of this heartfelt, and honest account of the Sierra Nevada story. Ken shares how he and his partner, from the humblest of beginnings - with raw ambition, ingenuity and countless hours of hard work - took cobbled together equipment and transformed it into one the most respected breweries in the world. I've had the pleasure of meeting Ken and, while you would be hard-pressed to detect any evidence of his massive success; it ...more
Oct 02, 2014 Bill rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mark Slater, Glynn Kelly Phillips
Shelves: business
Living in Chico during many of the years chronicled in the book, I had personal recollections of many of the events covered in the book, and I found it interesting to see behind the curtain, so to speak, and learn the history behind them. If you have an interest in the craft brewing industry or in the struggles of a small business trying to make it's way in the world, you'll find it an interesting read.
Tarmo Tali
Nov 13, 2013 Tarmo Tali rated it really liked it
Ken Grossman is craft brewing god. Simple as that. Although book feels more engineered than told. He is not great storyteller but story of Sierra Nevada Brewing as seen by its founder is worth reading whichever way it's written down.
Chris Dow
Oct 27, 2016 Chris Dow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely fantastic story

If Ken Grossman had screwed anything else up, there's no WAY Sierra Nevada Brewing would have survived. Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained, and Grossman shows just how apt that saying can be with this book. As a brewer and lover of craft beer, I was TRULY fascinated the entire book. What an incredible story, and how brave does someone have to be to start a brewery when nothing like this has ever been successful before? A worthy read!
Ronald Smith
Oct 18, 2016 Ronald Smith rated it really liked it
The book started a bit slow with a synopsis of Mr. Grossman’s childhood. However, as the book progresses this background information makes sense. It’s a fascinating tale about one of the companies on the forefront of the craft beer renaissance. Grossman’s tenacity, creativity, and compassion have left their marks on this amazing beer company. A good read.
What you'll take away from this book first and foremost is that Ken Grossman is good guy with his heart in the right place. Passionate for beer and honest in business. I wish i had boss like Ken. I wish i worked at a brewer for that matter.

Ken might not be the best writer but this book is a pleasant and fairly easy read. Ken Grossman is of course the owner of Sierra Nevada brewing and one of a handful of true American Craft beer pioneers. The book is part autobiography and part history of histor
J.M. Guillemette
Sep 19, 2016 J.M. Guillemette rated it really liked it
Great book with a good amount of market information along with the history of the brewery. For an aspiring brewer like myself this books seems to almost talk you out of trying to start your own brewery. Lots of good beer for thought.
John G.
May 11, 2015 John G. rated it it was amazing
The best beer book I've ever read! Sierra Nevada holds a special place in my heart and I'm even more fiercely loyal after reading this. Their Pale Ale was the beer that really turned me on to craft beer, still remember where I was when I discovered the joys of craft beer. I bought this book at the Sierra Nevada east coast brewery in Mills River, North Carolina after touring their brewery and dining in their Taproom and restaurant. This book chronicles the history and struggles of their owner and ...more
May 26, 2015 Lizz added it
Shelves: read-in-2015
If you're looking for a book on the history and growth of a craft brewery, this one is comprehensive, which is both a good and bad thing. I'm not going to give this one a starred rating because I don't necessarily think it's fair: I'm so not this book's target demo and I only read this because a family member was recently hired at Sierra Nevada and I wanted to be able to talk to him about it. I don't drink alcohol either, which created another issue for me: Grossman talks extensively about ...more
Bryan Boyd
Apr 10, 2014 Bryan Boyd rated it really liked it
our country needs more entrepreneurs like Ken Grossman. our country also needs industries that provide a competitive nature allowing entrance and giving consumers lots of choice. after reading several books by owners of craft breweries, there is some commonality with them all being home brewers, however, each of them have contributed to their success in different ways. It seems to me that Ken Grossman was engrossed (no pun intended) in developing equipment and process technology to efficiently ...more
Tom Aguero
Sep 28, 2013 Tom Aguero rated it liked it
This is a good book, but not for everyone. I think the best audience on this is really people who are already brewing craft beer at small breweries as a profession and want to grow their company. Next to that would be home brewers looking to go pro or honestly any business people in any management capacity. This book is about running a business, that happens to make beer. Most beer drinkers will be bored to tears. However, this is a must have for any truly avid Sierra Nevada fans as it pulls ...more
Matt Beckwith
Mar 18, 2014 Matt Beckwith rated it it was amazing
After visiting the Sierra Nevada Brewery and Taproom in Chico a few weeks ago, I just had to read this. Grossman tells the story from before the beginning. After 34 years, his love for the art of brewing is apparent. Absolutely a great read! Being a beer fan but knowing almost nothing about the process of brewing, there were parts of the book that was too technical for me to grasp, but I really enjoyed that part. His story isn't a clean-cut, easy story of success, but one with plenty of ...more
Tommy Oles
Sep 28, 2013 Tommy Oles rated it really liked it
Ken's story goes down rather quickly and smoothly, just like one of his famed beers. His story, from early childhood to the present state and future of Sierra Nevada is not only interesting but there's a sense of real American ingenuity, tenacity and hardwork displayed through the pages. The story reads as if Ken is sharing with you over a pint in his brew pub. This book is surprisingly refreshing and even non beer drinkers should appreciate the tale that is Beyond the Pale.
Chuck McGrady
Nov 18, 2014 Chuck McGrady rated it really liked it
A good read written in a crisp style . . .

Reading about Sierra Nevada's history makes one marvel that the company thrived, but apparently Ken Grossman can jury-rig most anything and the focus on consistent quality paid off. In fact, it trumped the lack of focus on marketing.

With Sierra Nevada opening up in Mills River, NC, this is a book a lot of potential Sierra Nevada employees and neighbors should read.
Nathan Eckman
Mar 20, 2014 Nathan Eckman rated it liked it
By no means was this an elequent read. Beer fans and those interested in starting a brewery or cult endowed business will get a glimpse into Sierra Nevada's beginnings and the number of maechanical, logistical, and legal obstacles Ken endured to cultivate an American icon in craft beer.

If you enjoy one of Sierra's brews, knowing the story behind it will amplify your appreciation for their fearlessly crafted beers.
Steve Cawelti
Sep 13, 2014 Steve Cawelti rated it really liked it
A fairly quick read on the history of one of the best breweries in California. Ken Grossman does a more than adequate job of walking the reader through the process of starting and then growing an independent brewery in the 80s, 90s, 00s and beyond. He talks about the highs and lows, with brief mention of the impact on his family. But all the way around, a major success story.
Aug 30, 2014 Corey rated it really liked it
This was a good read about how they got their start doing what they do when so many others were not doing it and lasted. I only wish they talked more about their NC brewery but it wasn't really open yet when it was written and i m sure he wasn't going to write about the plans... any beer geek should read.
Jul 20, 2016 Mo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cicerone-study
Fantastic story about starting a brewery in the pre-craft beer revolution time period. Amazing guidance for anyone wanting to start a brewery and engaging story for those who want to know the origin of the Pale Ale style.
Sean Maxwell
Apr 27, 2016 Sean Maxwell rated it really liked it
Great insight into the history of Sierra Nevada and the craft beer renaissance that began in the US in the early 1980s. Definitely read this book if you are interested in craft beer, planning to brew or are running a startup brewery.
Jan 24, 2014 Jason rated it it was amazing
Beyond the Pale was an excellent read. Anyone who has any interest in craft beer should read this. You will grow to appreciate the complexity of making beer and you will also gain even more respect for Sierra Nevada.
John Kilpatrick
Dec 11, 2015 John Kilpatrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Craft beer from brainchild to multiple breweries

A good read for entrepreneurs, craft beer aficionados and people who appreciate hard work. Kudos to all who helped make Sierra Nevada the company it is today!
Amanda Eckler
Jan 06, 2014 Amanda Eckler rated it liked it
A fun read - not incredibly well-edited and some of the technical descriptions drag on a bit, but it was inspiring to learn about how the brewery started and how much it has grown in 30 years.
Jul 16, 2014 Jferguson78 rated it liked it
A good autobiographical version of Ken Grossman and the evolution of Sierra Nevada...however I'm just not that into non-fiction books.
Sep 30, 2014 Kevin rated it liked it
Shelves: audible
Great story. Wanders a bit in last third. But it's great to hear the startup story of a true pioneer.
Charles Thibos
May 26, 2016 Charles Thibos rated it really liked it
Great book, the author has been in the trenches as few people today have who are so quick to resent others success.
Feb 27, 2014 Josh rated it liked it
A great book for anyone interested in brewing, business and of course sierra nevada. Not particularly well written but even after having read other books on the company I enjoyed Ken's insights etc
Dec 06, 2015 DrMissy rated it really liked it
Interesting documentary about the blood, sweat and money that went into Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.
Jun 25, 2015 Ron rated it really liked it
WOW!!.. It is not often one gets a chance to read about a "BREW GOD". Not many of us are capable of his dedication and energy. Now it is time for a beer.
Andrew Helms
Jan 07, 2014 Andrew Helms rated it liked it
Not amazingly written, but an interesting story with some good insights on the joys and challenges of brewing beer and starting a business
Jeff Conner
Apr 06, 2015 Jeff Conner rated it really liked it
Mostly a very good read, even if parts of it seemed a little scattered. Seemed like there was a rush to finish it; I would have liked to hear more details of the more recent 'history'
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