Beer Camp Across America 2014: Part One

Beer Camp Across America 2014: Brewed in Chico, CA half

Brewed by: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

In collaboration with the following breweries:

  • Firestone Walker Brewing Co.: Torpedo Pilsner Hoppy Pilsner
  • Ballast Point Brewing Company: Electric Ray India Pale Lager
  • New Glarus Brewing Company: There And Back English Style Bitter
  • Cigar City Brewing, Llc: Yonder Bock Tropical Maibock
  • Oskar Blues Brewery: Canfusion Rye Bock
  • Ninkasi Brewing Company: Double Latte Milk Coffee Stout

Brewer’s Notes

Beer Camp Across America is a tribute to the art, and sometimes absurd ambition, of American craft beer. This unprecedented variety pack is a celebration of our collective spirit: 12 different collaboration beers brewed alongside 12 exceptional brewers, together showcasing the sense of pride and passion shared by craft brewers nationwide.

Beer Camp Across America 2014 Images

Beer Camp Across America 2014 — Part One: The Chico, CA Half

Besides the usual favorites, Beer Camp Across America was our most anticipated release of the year.

We always look forward to the Beer Camp variety pack every summer, but in 2014, it got taken to a whole new level. Sierra Nevada collaborated with a who’s who list of fellow brewers, to create a variety pack of 12 uniquely crafted beers.

One problem with this business model was there’s only one of each beer per 12 pack. Luckily Costco sold a special case edition, giving us one each for a few bucks cheaper…

With this box set, we got exposed to some styles we don’t typically run into all the time, like Maibock, Rye Bock, Scottish Ale, and Altbier.

For review purposes, we weren’t sure how to divide things up, so we went with where the beer was brewed: the Chico, CA half, and the Mills River, NC half.

By the end of the session, we weren’t as impressed as we hoped to be. It left us looking forward to day two (Beer Camp Across America 2014: Part Two).

The Tasting(s)

We tasted these as a 6 beer flight, in order from lightest style, to darkest.

  • Torpedo Pilsner: 2.5/5

    2.5 Stars

    Style / Variation: Pilsner

    A lager brewed with Firestone Walker, and the famed Hop Torpedo. Unfortunately Firestone’s Pivo Hoppy Pilsner packed more of a hop punch, but no surprise since these were mellow NZ hops. A thirst quencher, good for summer, but nothing too exciting.

  • Electric Ray: 3/5

    3 Stars

    Style / Variation: India Pale Lager (IPL)

    Ballast Point loves putting their own spin on experimental lagers in their tasting room in San Diego. This was an India Pale Lager, and another Hop Torpedo project. Seemed very much inline to a pale ale, with traces of berry and citrus.

  • There and Back: 2.5/5

    2.5 Stars

    Style / Variation: English Style Bitter

    Medium bodied, and somewhat malty. There was a slight bitterness, followed by a mild citrus finish. This ale was pretty average.

  • Yonder Bock: 3/5

    3 Stars

    Style / Variation: Tropical Maibock

    A Maibock is a Helles Bock, Heller Bock, or Frühlingsstarkier (spring strong beer). Cigar City loves to collaborate with West Coast brewers, which is fine with us. Yonder Bock had a very smooth finish, and you definitely got the German roots leading up to it.

  • CANfusion: 3/5


    Style / Variation: Rye Bock

    Two dark lagers in a row — the last one was a Maibock, this one a Rye Bock. We had never drank a rye lager before. The rye made for a spicy, yet sweet accent in the finish. It was something different, and we enjoyed it.

  • Double Latte: 3.5/5

    3.5 Stars

    Style / Variation: Double Latte Milk Coffee Stout

    The best of the Chico half of the box. A lighter bodied stout that featured ample roast and a sweet finish. It really did remind us of an iced mocha coffee.

The Power Rankings

Ranked in order by score, with overall enjoyment as the tie-breaker:

  1. Double Latte
  2. Electric Ray
  3. Yonder Bock
  4. Confusion
  5. There and Back
  6. Torpedo Pilsner

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