Chalk up another one for the “good guys over at Sierra Nevada” file, as the beloved Chico, CA brewery has found another way to help its local community—by dedicating its brewery lab toward the production of materials to aid in COVID-19 testing.
The Sierra Nevada lab is particularly advanced for the beer world, belonging to one of the nation’s biggest craft brewers, and regularly manufactures preservative mediums that are used for performing quality tests on beer. During this crisis, however, it has turned its attention over to manufacturing “viral transport medium,” otherwise known as VTM—a solution that is used to preserve COVID-19 tests during transport, to ensure their accuracy when analyzed. Like so many other materials related to both testing and prevention, VTM is in short supply right now, so the production of VTM at Sierra Nevada will allow the Chico-based Enloe Medical Center to increase the rate of its COVID-19 testing. The arrangement was first struck during conversations between brewery president Ken Grossman and leadership at the Enloe Medical Center, as the brewery inquired into how it might assist.
“We are extremely grateful to local businesses like Sierra Nevada, that selflessly set aside their own business needs to help address this national health crisis,” said Mike Wiltermood, CEO and President of the Enloe Medical Center. “Their support to increase the availability of local testing is one more example of how local business leaders support community health.”
Sierra Nevada, meanwhile, put out the following statement from Vice President Sierra Grossman: “We’re so pleased that we have the equipment and expertise to help supply tools for testing. This is an unprecedented situation that affects all of us, and we are honored to reach beyond our industry to help our community. We’re so grateful for the dedicated and committed healthcare workers at the front of this crisis and are proud to help them in any way that we can.”
This is just the latest in a series of headline-making moves to support its local community the brewery has made in recent years, most notably when it raised millions of dollars for those whose homes were destroyed by wildfires in 2018. Once again, we find ourselves saying thank you to Sierra Nevada for stepping up at a time when people need them.