Beer Birthday: Ken Grossman

Today is the 62nd birthday of Ken Grossman, who founded Sierra Nevada Brewing in 1980. It would be hard to say too much about just how much Ken has done and continues to do for the craft beer industry, while at the same time being wildly successful. Join me in wishing Ken a very happy birthday.

Ken with two of his children, Brian and Sierra, both of whom work for the company. I took this in 2007 for an article I did for American Brewer on passing breweries from one generation to the next.

At the Craft Brewers Conference in 2007, John Harris, from Full Sail, Ken’s daughter Sierra, Ken, and Garret Oliver, from Brooklyn Brewery.

“Inside the Brewers Studio” at the 2006 GABF with Jim Koch of Boston Beer Co., Ken, Charlie Papazian, founder of what is now the Brewers Association, and moderator Tom Dalldorf of the Celebrator.

Ken and Sam Calagione at the Life & Limb beer dinner in 2009.

Ken and Jeremy Cowan, from Shmaltz Brewing, at GABF a couple of years ago.

Ken and Pete Slosberg, signing books at GABF a couple of years ago.


  1. says

    Thanks for the heads up about Ken’s birthday!!!

    You were at the Life & Limb dinner on Sunday? So was I, but must have missed you! Damn it … you must have been with Jesse (beer and nosh). I missed out on meeting him as well.

    We will have to meet up in or around the city some time for beers!


  2. The Professor says

    Add my Happy Birthday wishes to Ken, as well as thanks for the consistently great range of products made at SN.
    In an industry rapidly becoming glutted with products of sometimes dubious quality that so often does not live up to the hype, it’s great and satisfying to see one of the great pioneer micros growing, thriving and maintaining the very high standards they started with so many years ago. Here’s to many more years for both Ken and SN.

  3. Chris Darby says

    Thank you and Happy Birthday Ken. I am happy to say I have a VERY fresh case of Celebration in my fridge here in Southern Vermont. Good quality beer can travel long distances! Keep up the good work supporting the cause.

  4. beerman49 says

    Fabulous products for 30+ yrs – can’t wait to do a road trip to Asheville to see the new plant & taste some “localized” concoctions that I’m sure they’ll do once it’s been running for a year. Ken’s done it very well from the git-go – may his success continue for a long time!

  5. Judy Ashworth says

    I met Ken in 1984 when I visited his brewery in Chico. I went there to see if I could possibly get his beers on draft at my pub, Lyon’s Brewery. Thus started the conversion of my “Bud” bar to the first multi-tap craft beer pub in Northern California! So many things to thank Ken Grossman for being a huge part of creating the Craft Beer world! Hoppy Beerthday Ken!!!

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