Sierra Nevada has hosted Beer Camp for a few years now. It's a beer lover's dream come true. You get a VIP tour of the brewery, the chance to brew a batch of beer at their facility, and your beer gets packaged up and distributed. Yes, you can buy your own beer at the store.
But attending Beer Camp isn't easy. It's usually invitation-only unless you join the occasional contest where you must submit a video entry pleading your case to attend.
I've never been invited (tear…) and I've never submitted a video (lazy…) so I was pretty pumped when I heard that Beer Camp was hitting the road for a seven-city tour. Fortunately Denver made the cut.
— Sierra Nevada Beer (@SierraNevada) July 26, 2014
Sierra Nevada is on the road with 12 of the best brewers in the country. I'm talking really, really good brewers. More on them below.
At each festival they are inviting local breweries to join them in pouring their beers. In Denver it made for a great combination. You have the “big” craft brewers like Sierra Nevada and Bell's side by side with tiny Colorado breweries. Some of them just opened a few weeks prior.
I have to agree with Jonathan that it was the best beer festival that nobody went to. Due to a couple other beer festivals, a music festival, and a pretty steep ticket price of $65, attendance was rather sparse.
Actually that made it a better experience for me since I'm used to pushing and shoving my way through crowds to get a pour.
Unfortunately I had to be somewhere so I missed the concert later in the night which I heard was impressive. Overall it stood out as one of the better beer festivals, and Lord knows there are a ton of beer festivals these days.
The Beer Camp Variety Pack
Riding sidecar to the traveling festival is the variety pack being released across the country. If you don't have a festival nearby, check your local beer shop to see if the 12-pack is in stock.
To be completely honest it is the best 12 pack I've purchased. 3 main reasons why:
- There are 12 different beers, not four bottles of three beers like most 12 packs.
- There are a bunch of breweries included that we don't normally get in Denver, like Bell's, New Glarus, and Three Floyd's.
- The beers are fantastic. Plus two of the selections are cans, which I always prefer.
OK onto the beers themselves. Here are all 12. It took me a while to get through them all. I must be getting old. I can't complain though as they were delicious. Here are pictures with a short review for each.
Firestone Walker Torpedo Pilsner
New Glarus There and Back Bitter
Asheville Brewers Alliance Tater Ridge Scotch Ale
Ballast Point Electric Ray IPA
Bell's Maillard's Odyssey Imperial Dark Ale
Ninkasi Double Latte Coffee Milk Stout
3 Floyds Chico King Pale Ale
Victory Alt Route Altbier
Russian River Yvan the Great
Cigar City Yonder Bock
Allagash Myron's Walk Belgian Pale Ale
Oskar Blues CANfusion Rye Bock
Like I said, this entire 12-pack is great. If I had to choose my favorites though this is how it would shake out:
- Maillard's Odyssey
- Yvan the Great
- Torpedo Pilsner
#3 could easily be There and Back depending on what I'm in the mood for.
There are only three more stops on the festival tour:
- Portland, ME on August 1st
- Philadelphia, PA on August 2nd
- Mills River, NC on August 3rd
If you can make it to one of those you won't regret it. If not, grab a 12-pack and enjoy.
Did you go to the Beer Camp festival or get the 12-pack? What did you think?