Grass Valley is seeking a brewpub, joining Auburn, Nevada City and Truckee

Grass Valley is actively seeking a tenant and location for a brewpub, and the historic downtown is a top contender, our magazine has learned. A brewpub, with craft beer brewed on site, would offer a needed economic boost, creating jobs and drawing visitors and locals.

Grass Valley’s quest for a brewpub comes amid a craft beer boom in the foothills, well documented in our magazine: ol’ Republic Brewing Co. and now Three Forks Bakery and Brewing Co. in Nevada City; Knee Deep Brewing’s new expansion in Auburn; Auburn Ale House, Loomis Basin Brewing Co. in Loomis, Tahoe Mountain Brewery in Tahoe City and Fifty Fifty Brewing Co. in Truckee, among others.

For an “Ale Trail” map to our region, visit our new website customized for smartphones. Our region also is home to nationally known beer experts, including Tom Dalldorf of Celebrator Beer News; Charlie Bamforth of the UC Davis Master Brewers Program and Tom McCormick, executive director of the California Craft Brewers Association, as we wrote in our summer issue. Ol’ Republic’s beer won a “Best of Show” award at the California State Fair.

“What about micro-brew pubs? Nevada City has two, Grass Valley is seeking a tenant and location for one,” writes Chamber Co-CEO Keith Davies in his weekly letter on August 1. “If we had 5-6 between the two cities combined with our wineries/tasting rooms we would be providing fun adult attractions for guests with leisure money to spend in our community,” writes Davies.

Grass Valley also has a cluster of tasting rooms, including Smith Vineyard, Avanguardia, Sierra Starr, Lucchesi and 151 Union Square. Visit our magazine’s walking map of Grass Valley wine tasting rooms.

Grand hotel but financing “TBD”

In his letter, Davies also reiterates his own plan for a luxury resort hotel in western Nevada County, first reported here. “A potential major attraction and much needed addition to western Nevada County’s guest room count would be a four/five-star resort hotel and convention center — a true Sierra Nevada Grande Hotel — built responsibly and sustainably with indigenous materials evocative of our region’s heritage and history.

“The goal is a full-service operation, preferably with more than 250 guest rooms, ballrooms, convention meeting rooms, restaurants, swimming pools, tennis courts, health & wellness spa, and a grand lawn for weddings. ”

He offered no details for financing, however.

Davis also outlined other ideas for western Nevada County — some of which have been widely discussed or are in the works:

•”Establishing a major performing arts center and outdoor entertainment venue — a 4-5,000-seat amphitheater in the pines  is something that should be pursued. We need a venue whose size and technical resources will attract (and support) major entertainment and, in the process, attract tens of thousands of visitors a year to western Nevada County.”

Our magazine has long advocated for a “mini-Mondavi” performing arts center, along with many others. “Our Sierra FoodWineArt magazine is willing to make a financial commitment to any project,” as we wrote in an editorial in January 2013. “We’ll donate the proceeds from any one of our issues to any approved plan to build a ‘Mini Mondavi.’ We think it’s important to the area’s future.”

•”And while we’re at it, we need to attract mobile visitors — specifically, men and women who travel by RV,” the Greater Grass Valley Chamber wrote.

In fact, our magazine knows of a campground for tents and small trailers that is in works in our area; some details have leaked out on Facebook. We would support that.

•”We believe it is time for a professionally designed, first-rate, interactive history museum honoring the people and events that not only helped shape this county, but also helped shape the state and nation,” was another idea.

Our magazine has varying views on tourism-related projects that are proposed or in the works in Nevada County, but we are glad to see a more active dialogue going.

The visibility is on the rise, with Nevada City winning national honors as one of America’s “cool small towns.” U.S. Paralympic gold medalist Evan Strong also recently has drawn attention to our region for world-class outdoor activities. Read “Why the Sierra and its foothills are a world-class destination.”

Other cities are embarking on their own strategy to boost tourism and economic development. Auburn, for example, is continuing to brand itself as the “endurance capital of the world.” It hosts events such as the Tevis Cup, a 100-mile, one-day trail ride from Squaw Valley to Auburn. It is on August 8.

(Photo: SierraCulture.com)

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