Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company (collab series) Beer Camp Across America

Let's Work Together...
I've recently discussed the popular advent of "collaboration" beers in other blog posts. Do two heads (or more) actually make a superior beer? I'm certain that many craft beers are actually "in-house collaborations", with multiple brewer employees having some input on the recipes. I've also taken enough brewery tours, and made enough homebrew of my own to get a small amount of insight into how the creative process works. However, the rapidly growing trend toward producing limited-edition, seasonal beers that share label space with multiple commercial breweries is fairly new and apparently very successful.

One series of collaboration beers that is creating a lot of buzz this week is Sierra Nevada Brewing Company's Beer Camp Across America 12 pack. Released in conjunction with the kick-off of Sierra Nevada's traveling beer festival, (Why you no come to Portland, Sierra Nevada? Don't be scared, homie.) the box contains 10 bottles and 2 cans of beers brewed in collaboration with 12 of the finest craft brewers in the nation. Here's the breakdown:

Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, ME | Myron’s Walk Belgian-Style Pale Ale
Asheville Brewers Alliance, Asheville, NC | Tater Ridge Scottish Ale
Ballast Point Brewing Company, San Diego, CA | Electric Ray India Pale Lager
Bell’s Brewery, Inc., Kalamazoo, MI | Maillard’s Odyssey Imperial Dark Ale
Cigar City Brewing, Tampa, FL | Yonder Bock Tropical Maibock (CAN)
Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles, CA | Torpedo Pilsner
New Glarus Brewing Company, New Glarus, WI | There and Back English-Style Bitter
Ninkasi Brewing Company, Eugene, OR | Double Latte Coffee Milk Stout
Oskar Blues Brewery, Longmont, CO/Brevard, NC | CANfusion Rye Bock (CAN)
Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa, CA | Yvan the Great Belgian-Style Blonde
3 Floyds Brewing Company, Munster, IN | Chico King Pale Ale
Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, PA | Alt Route Altbier

Is that a stellar, superstar line-up, or what? It's like if the Rolling Stones, Beatles and Elvis had all gone on tour together.

The 12 pack set me back almost $25. A bit pricey at more than two bucks a 12 ounce bottle (or can), but it's unlikely that these specialty brews will ever be produced again. I had to look around and put out a shout to my Twitter followers to locate the pack. You're probably not going to find it in the cold case at your neighborhood market, I'm just sayin'.

I've already had two of the beers--the canned ones. I was very impressed with the Cigar City Yonder Bock. I'm also looking forward to the offering of Oregon's own Ninkasi Brewing: Double Latte Coffee Milk Stout. Sounds amazing, but I need this 90+ heatwave to settle down before I go for the stout. 

I hoping that this trend continues. In the very least, this 12 pack will give beer geeks 12 new brews to check into Untappd. I'll be individually reviewing some of my favorites. Cheers, 'MURICA! YEAH!

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