Let’s go beer camping – part 3

I hope everyone has had a great summer and the chance to do some beer camping! As you all know Sierra Nevada released a super collaboration 12 pack this summer – Beer Camp Across America. The project created some great beers, many good beers and some mixed result beers. This post will be the final installment of my reviews. The format will be the official description of the collaboration beer from the Sierra Nevada website in quotes followed by my tasting notes.

Beer Camp Across America Twelve Pack
Beer Camp Across America Twelve Pack


Victory – Alt Route Altbier


Victory - Alt Route
Victory Alt Route


“Brewers are notorious for refusing to take the easy path. Instead, we lead with our hearts and pursue our passions no matter how difficult the road ahead. Alt Route is a tribute to this stubborn spirit that drove us to dodge the status quo and found breweries. Together we chased the siren song of beer with this revamped take on an antique beer style.
Like us, Victory is one of the few brewers with an allegiance to whole-cone hops. They do extensive work with hop flavor, especially focusing on clever and delicious single-hop beers highlighting the same hop grown in different regions. They too share our roots in home brewing and never lost their passion for working with new beers and styles solely for the joy of making something new.”

My tasting notes –

Alt Route pours out amber colored with a light tan head into a pint glass. The aroma is a nice blend of sweet malt and light citrus hops. The taste is a combination of light fruity hops and sweet malt. The mouthfeel is medium.

ABV 6.6%

IBUs 50


Bell’s – Maillard’s Odyssey Imperial Dark Ale


Bell's Maillard's Odyssey
Bell’s Maillard’s Odyssey


“Rich, dark, and roasty. That was the concept Bell’s beer guru John Mallett aimed for and, true to John’s vision, Maillard’s Odyssey is exactly that. Its name honors the Maillard reaction—the “browning” of sugars and amino acids—that creates the wonderful caramelized toffee-like and roasted flavors so abundant in this beer.
Bell’s has done a lot to raise the Midwest’s craft beer bona fides. They are masters of many beer styles from their portfolio of top-notch American stouts all the way through to the alpha acid assault of their Hopslam Ale. Bell’s constantly reinvents beer styles and refines recipes with artful mastery and an oddball slant.”


My tasting notes –

Maillard’s Odyssey pours out dark brown with a tan head into a goblet. The aroma is a rich blend of roasted malts and coffee. The taste is a great mixture of roasty malts, coffee and some chocolate notes. The mouthfeel is rich, malty and medium. This is a very good beer!

ABV 8.5%

IBUs 40


Russian River – Yvan the Great Belgian-style Blonde


Russian River Yvan the Great
Russian River Yvan the Great


“As longtime friends, Russian River brewmaster Vinnie Cilurzo and our own Brian Grossman are no strangers to brewing experiments. While looking for inspiration for this collaboration, Vinnie and Brian decided to honor the creations of legendary Belgian brewer Yvan De Baets with their own hop-forward American-Belgian mash-up.
From complex Belgian-inspired styles to American wild ales and hoppy Double IPA’s, Russian River always pushes boundaries while respecting technique and quality. Co-owners Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo are longtime friends of Sierra Nevada and they always have a six-pack of Pale Ale in their fridge at home.”


My tasting notes –

Yvan the Great pours out gold with a thin white head into a goblet. The aroma is primarily Belgian yeast with a light hop presence. The taste is a great blend of Belgian yeast, light malts and nice balancing hops. This is a great Belgian-American IPA!

ABV 6.3%

IBUs 50


New Glarus – There and Back English-style Bitter


New Glarus There and Back
New Glarus There and Back


“For beer folks, Chico, CA, and New Glarus, WI, are must-see capitals on the U.S. brewing map, but getting between the two is no simple feat. There and Back is named for the planes, trains, and zeal needed to connect them. This classic English-style Bitter is a complex yet easy-drinking mix of toasty malt and a fruity, herbal hop flavor.
New Glarus is fiercely loyal to its home state, growing to one of the largest breweries in the U.S. without selling a single drop outside of the borders of Wisconsin. With those local tastes in mind, New Glarus has perfected traditional German styles and invented masterful versions of complex and intense fruit beers featuring Wisconsin-grown ingredients.”


My tasting notes –

There and Back ESB pours out deep gold with a generous white head into a pint glass. The aroma is a combination of fruity hops with light malt notes. The flavor is a blend of the hops and malt. The ale has a bit of a bitter finish (IMHO). Maybe a different hops blend with the malt would have resulted in a smoother finish? Maybe I drank this beer after its prime?

ABV 5.6%

IBUs 40


Ashville Brewers Alliance – Tater Ridge Scottish Ale brewed with sweet potatoes

Tater Ridge Scottish Ale
Tater Ridge Scottish Ale


“The Asheville area is a brewing hotspot nestled in the mountains of North Carolina. Tater Ridge was brewed by something of a craft beer super group made up of members of the Asheville Brewers Alliance. We’re fortunate to call these passionate and talented brewers our neighbors, and we hope this unique ale will be the first of many collaborations to come.
We’ve made plenty of new friends in the nearly 30-strong Asheville Brewers Alliance (ABA) since we started brewing in North Carolina. Two of whom—John Stuart of Green Man Brewery and Luke Dickinson of Wicked Weed Brewing—led this collaboration recipe and work tirelessly to bring creativity and a deep-seated love of locally made craft beer to the Appalachian Mountains.”

My tasting notes –

Tater Ridge Scottish Ale pours out brown with a tan head into a goblet. There was something odd in the intial aroma (maybe something from the sweet potatoes or the Mosaic hops). The strange aroma seemed to disappear as the beer warmed. The taste was malty and roasty as I expected. The finish was slightly bitter. This wasn’t my favorite beer.

ABV 7.0%

IBUs 35


Allagash – Myron’s Walk Belgian-style Pale Ale

Allagash Myron's Walk
Allagash Myron’s Walk

“We named this beer in honor of Myron Avery, a founder of the Appalachian Trail, or the A.T., which starts near Sierra Nevada’s North Carolina brewery and ends near Allagash’s home in Maine. Both breweries have a tremendous love of the outdoors, and Avery and the A.T. are great reminders of the wild spirit of exploration that connects us both.
In 1995, Rob Tod started Allagash Brewing Company and since then, Portland, ME, has been a place of reverence in the Belgian brewing pantheon. Allagash adds their Belgian flair to variety of beer styles and are one of the few American breweries to use a traditional coolship for true spontaneous fermentations leading to seriously complex beers native to their coastal home.”


My tasting notes –

Myron’s Walk poured out gold with a white head into a goblet. The aroma was of Belgian yeast and light hops. The flavor was a nice blend of Belgian yeast, coriander, cloves, pepper and some citrusy hops (love Citra hops!). Enjoyable beer!

ABV 5.3%

IBUs 38

Beer Camp Across America has been the biggest collaboration event between craft brewers this year. I hope everyone tried this collection at home or at your local craft beer bar and maybe had the chance to attend one of the seven beer festivals scattered across the country. My favorites (in no particular order) were Electric Ray, Double Latte, Maillard’s Odyssey and Yvan the Great. Thanks to Dakota Beverage and Brandon May for bringing this collection to South Dakota! Thanks to Sierra Nevada for undertaking this project!


Dale (sodakbeer) modeling the Beer Camp Across America t-shirt
Selfie of Dale (sodakbeer) modeling the Beer Camp Across America t-shirt

Cheers and drink responsibly!