If you didn’t know, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is much more than a company boasting some of the finest IPA’s in the galaxy. It’s a virtual ‘green’ planet unto itself.
Established in 1979 by home-brewers Ken Grossman and partner Paul Camusi, the expansive original brewery, located in Chico California, boasts a massive brewery, an impressive bottling and packaging facility, a two acre farm, the most high tech compost system known to man (Google Hot Rot,) enough solar panels to fuel Disneyland, a well tuned recycling station (Grossman is a sustainability-minded genius,) its own cattle, and last but not near least, it’s own award winning gastro pub, The Tap Room (opened in 1989).
The Tap Room’s Executive Chef Jed Amendola, a former landscape designer, finds the ongoing challenge of incorporating the famous beer in many of its recipes, both creative and challenging.
The Tap Room offers slightly upscale, refreshingly health oriented ‘pub grub,’ with something for everyone. What is truly mind boggling is the degree to which Chef Amendola and his team create such a vast portion of their menu from seed to table, from SNBC’s own resources.
‘Just about the only thing we don’t grow ourselves is tomatoes. We have cherries, peaches, beets, cucumbers, lettuce, butternut squash, you name it. We make all of our own bread everyday. Our charcuterie comes from SNBC’s own cattle. We even make our own krout and pickles, which are beginning to have a commercial success of their own. ‘ -Chef Amendola
Besides tomatoes, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. outsources their favorite local EVOO, California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil. In fact, the ever bustling Tap Room uses so much California Olive Ranch EVOO, the company created special large 55 gallon drums specifically for their use.
California Olive Ranch EVOO also has a strong connection to the land. Founded in 1998, and grown and crafted in California, C.O.R were the first company to take American olive oil to a whole new level.
While olives have grown in California for hundreds of years, C.O.R pioneered new ways of cultivating and harvesting olives in order to make their EVOO affordable. They also helped family farmers throughout Northern California develop previously unusable farm acreage into olive orchards.
Using sustainable production methods every step of the way, such as mulching fields with tree trimmings, reusing all water that enters their mill and using recyclable packaging, all California Olive Ranch Extra Virgins are certified extra virgin by the California Olive Council (COOC.)
Chef Amendola shared one of the aspects he really like about the California Olive Ranch is their ability to maintain a quality, local product while growing exponentially.
‘Having your product maintain the same quality and characteristics while the company is becoming more and more popular is hard to achieve and something C.O.R. has mastered.’ -Chef Amendola
Chef Amendola generously created a simply divine dessert Olive Oil Cake with Fresh Orange Glaze, (incorporating S.N.B.C’s Side Car Orange Pale Ale and California Olive Ranch Evoo), just for this CW Feature. A perfect addition to any Spring/Summer menu.
Olive Oil Cake with Fresh Orange Glaze
7 Oz. all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 eggs separated
1 ¼ C. sugar
1 C. almond milk
½ C. EVOO
4 teaspoons orange zest
Shift dry ingredients together. Whip egg yolks with ¼ c. sugar until smooth and silky. Whip egg whites with remaining sugar until stiff peaks form. Mix Almond milk, zest, and olive oil together. Combine that mix with dry ingredients and yolk mixture. Fold in whites a little at a time. Batter is ready to bake. Spray cake pan with nonstick spray. Spoon batter into pan, do not fill more than 2/3 of the way, cake will rise when baking. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Check with a toothpick to ensure doneness. If tooth pick comes out clean, the cake is done. Let cool for 10 minutes then poke holes in the cake with a skewer. Spoon some of the glaze over the top of the cake so it will soak into the holes. Let sit and absorb glaze for 10 minutes. The cake is ready to eat or store covered over night.
2 Oranges, juiced
1/c . orange juice
1 ½ C. sugar
½ C. Sidecar Orange Pale Ale
Combine all ingredients in a medium pot, bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Check to see if it will coat the back of a spoon.