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

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  377 ratings  ·  42 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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3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  377 ratings  ·  42 reviews


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James Wright
Sep 02, 2013 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 doe ...more
Jacob
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Massive respect to Ken Grossman and Sierra Nevada- he proves the American Dream is still out there for those who will work and sacrifice for it.
Bill
Aug 23, 2013 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
Oct 19, 2013 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.
Heather Keller
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Torture! Did he even have an editor?!
Susan
Aug 21, 2018 rated it liked it
If you like beer, you will probably like this book. A wee bit too long for my taste, but still an interesting tale of building a successful brewery. It was pretty interesting to see how e brewery started and how it has grown over 35 years. Unfortunately, the NC location was barely mentioned at the end of the book as it was still being built. Kenn Grossman is quite a man- very knowledgeable and mechanical. He seems to be a guy who succeeds at everything he does, but in a good way. I want a Sierra ...more
Tim
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great autobiographical story of building a business around passion and an engineering mentality. Ken achieved the geek Nirvana of producing something that largely sold itself, allowing him years to grow his business and managerial skills to what the business would ultimately demand.
JBooks
Jan 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
Sadly, this book is almost unreadable. This is mostly due to the very-clear fact that the author is a brewer and far from an author. Nearly every other single sentence starts with “I” or “we.”

I’m sure the story is fascinating, but not as it’s written.
Ashley Hite
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Story of the founding of one of the craft brew legends, Ken Grossman at Sierra Nevada. Interesting read about the beginning days of the brewery and how they become an industry leader. Must read for craft brew lovers.
John
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A dry but informative look at the beginnings of Sierra Nevada. A great look into the revolution of good beer on the West coast, and into what it takes to build an energy efficient brewery from scratch
David
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing story of entrepreneurship and general grit!
Erinp
Sep 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-clubs
This book was interesting enough if you love beer and Sierra Nevada. Not A+ writing but okay enough to read, if Beer is your thing of if its for a book club.
Raimondo Albarelli
So good I go back and read portions again
Koen
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
...more
John G.
Apr 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: beerituality
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
Lizz
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
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 brewi ...more
Bryan Boyd
Jan 11, 2014 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 a ...more
Tom Aguero
Sep 05, 2013 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 bac ...more
Matt Beckwith
Mar 18, 2014 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 heartbre ...more
Chris Dow
Oct 27, 2016 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!
Vojtech
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very interesting! I admit to not knowing anything about this brewery (or about '80s craft breweries for that matter) before digging into the book (right, audiobook). For me it worked from both a beer lover and geek perspectives and as an interesting business story. Fun fact: it turns out maintaining a production brewery without down time has a lot in common with running and maintaining software stacks :-). Definitely a recommendation and a good start in 2017!
Tommy Oles
Sep 28, 2013 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
Oct 31, 2014 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.
Ronald Smith
Oct 18, 2016 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.
Steve Cawelti
Sep 01, 2014 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.
Corey
Aug 06, 2014 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.
Jason
Jan 11, 2014 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.
Mo Coghlan
Apr 27, 2016 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
Feb 07, 2016 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.
J.M. Guillemette
Sep 19, 2016 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.
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