Beer Camp Across America Tasting

Written by on July 22, 2014 in The Beer Diaries

Beer Camp Across America 12 pack sampler unboxing and tasting:

Beer Camp Box

 

A peek inside:

Open Box

 

The greatly anticipated collaboration between 12 craft breweries around the country and Sierra Nevada is finally here.  If you missed the announcement you can read more here. Beer Camp Across America – we bought a case and tasted them all on a warm Texas afternoon. As we opened the case we were presented with a rare sight, 10 bottle tops and two cans.  At first we were excited about potential tallboys but quickly discovered the 12 oz cans were propped up on a piece of cardboard underneath.  The packaging for this sampler is well done.  It is also worth noting that of the 12 beers, none were IPAs. Here’s what our distinguished panel of tasters determined.  The beers are listed in the order that we tasted them.

 

1. Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, PA (Alt Route Altbier)

Alt Route

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Altbier from Victory is very smooth and light.  It has a reddish hue to it, with notes of caramel and toffee.

 

2. Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa, CA (Yvan the Great Belgian-Style Blonde)

Yvan the Great

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a strong Belgian quality to the nose.  The blonde grain bill comes through in the beginning of the sip but then shifts to a more bitter Belgian finish.

 

3. Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, ME (Myron’s Walk Belgian-Style Pale Ale)

Myrons Walk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coriander and apricots on the nose.  Not as much of a Belgian character to this as the Yvan the Great, but delivers a kiss of mango.  This is a very sessionable summer beer.

 

4. Three Floyds Brewing, Munster, IN (Chico King Pale Ale)

Chico King

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A lot of grain comes through on the nose of this beer.  Although a pale ale, the color is on the darker end.  A very malty profile accompanies the dark color with little hops.

 

5. New Glarus Brewing Company, New Glarus, WI (There and Back English-Style Bitter)

There and Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a great example of an ESB.  It is very smooth with a grassy sweetness to it.  It finishes dry and bitter rather quickly.  Very refreshing.

 

6. Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles, CA (Torpedo Pilsner)

Torpedo Pilsner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smells like a pilsner!  The Torpedo has a very clean profile and a light yellow color to it. The grain bill comes through in the flavor.  The finish is dry and clean.

 

7. Ballast Point Brewing Company, San Diego, CA (Electric Ray India Pale Lager)

Electric Ray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fruit and hops on the nose.  This beer is very malty for an India Pale Lager.  The hops aren’t the star of this which is a little disappointing.

 

8. Oskar Blues Brewing Company, Longmont, CO & Brevard, NC (CANfusion Rye Bock)

CANfusion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This rye bock is golden amber in color and has a floral nose.  There is a slight tartness to it and it’s a little biscuity.  Also props for being in a can.

 

9. Cigar City Brewing, Tampa, FL (Yonder Bock Tropical Maibock)

Yonder Bock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By far the coolest looking can or bottle in this sampler.  Tropical fruit on the nose with a little fruit punch.  Passion fruit and mango supported by a nice malt backbone.

 

10. Asheville Brewers Alliance, Asheville, NC (Tater Ridge Scottish Ale)

Tater Ridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The nose has notes of clove and farm.  There is a pleasant amount of spice and guava juice to this sweet beer.  Our tasters argued whether or not they could taste the sweet potato, but the Appalachian roots were very prevalent.

 

11. Ninkasi Brewing Company, Eugene, OR (Double Latte Coffee Milk Stout)

Double Latte

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s like drinking a cake.  Roasted coffee flavors in the beginning are balanced by the sweetness of the milk and dark chocolate flavors.  There is a hint of vanilla as well.

 

12. Bell’s Brewery, Kalamazoo, MI (Maillard’s Odyssey Imperial Dark Ale)

Maillards Odyssey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Imperial Dark Ale smells as strong as its name would imply.  This one is as dark as a stout.  Roasted vanilla and toffee bends to a bitter finish.

 

The 12 pack sampler release is timed with the beginning of the traveling beer festival from Chico, CA to Asheville, NC.  The first two have already taken place at the time of the writing of this article, but the next one will be in Denver, Colorado on July 25th.  Every brewery was invited to take part in one of the seven stops on the tour.  If you haven’t already secured your 12 pack you’ll have to go to one of the beer festivals to try these beers. Oh, and they made 24,000 for the entire market.  Cheers!

Image Credits Jason Youngblood 2014

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