For most legal drinkers, summer camp is a distant, sometimes damaging childhood memory. Or, if not a memory, it’s a borderline creepy thing you are doing. However, Sierra Nevada is allowing adults the opportunity to recreate those summer days without the scrutiny and suspicion of others in the form of a traveling beer festival. Added bonus: copious amounts of great beer to keep thirst quenched! Sure beats the snot out of juice boxes and games of red rover.
Beer lovers across the country are packing their bags for Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s Beer Camp Across America, an epic traveling beer festival that will take place later this summer.
“We’re about to open a second brewery in North Carolina, and while that’s exciting for us, it’s an even greater reason to celebrate the future of craft brewers everywhere,” explained Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada’s founder. “We’ve watched and learned from each other for decades, and together we’ve seen tastes change and craft’s momentum snowball. Beer Camp Across America is our way of reflecting on this—with thousands of brewers, fans and great beers. It should be pretty fun.”
Sierra Nevada has invited every craft brewery in the country (yep, all 2,800 of them) to attend and pour their beer on the 4,600 mile tour. Beer Camp Across America will feature seven stops—in cities with thriving craft beer cultures—moving geographically west to east. Each tour stop will feature that city’s local and surrounding regional brewers. The festivals will begin and end at Sierra Nevada’s two brewing locations, kicking off in Chico where it took root in 1980, and culminating in Mills River, NC for the grand opening of its East Coast brewery. The festival schedule is as follows:
- Sat, July 19th: Northwest Edition at Sierra Nevada Hop Field in Chico, CA, 12-5 p.m.
- Sun, July 20th: Southwest Edition at Embarcadero North in San Diego, CA, 1-6 p.m.
- Fri, July 25th: Rocky Mountain Edition at (venue TBD) in Denver, CO, 5-10 p.m.
- Sun, July 27th: Midwest Edition at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL, 12-5 p.m.
- Fri, August 1st: New England Edition at Thompson Point in Portland, ME, 5-10 p.m.
- Sat, August 2nd: Mid-Atlantic Edition at Penn Treaty Park in Philadelphia, PA, 12-5 p.m.
- Sun, August 3rd: Southeast Edition at the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Mills River, NC, 1-6 p.m.
Beer fans are quickly snatching up tickets for each of the seven events, which are on sale at www.SierraNevada.com/BeerCamp. Each venue is capped at only 5,000 campers and tickets are going for $65 a pop. That price includes a tasting glass and unlimited tastings (in most locations, see the website for full details). A designated driver ticket is available for $30. Each festival will feature up to two beers per participating brewery, food vendors, and live music by the MarchFourth Marching Band spectacle. Hundreds of breweries have already signed on, and more are joining the tour every day. Hear from some of them in the trailer organizers of the festival posted last month.
As part of the Beer Camp adventure, Sierra Nevada has made a collaborative 12-pack — 12 different beers, 12 different breweries, one box, the likes of which has never been done before! The Beer Camp Across America variety pack features collaborations with a dozen of the darlings of craft beer:
- Allagash Brewing Co, Portland, ME (Myron’s Walk Belgian-Style Pale Ale)
- Asheville Brewers Alliance, Asheville, NC (Tater Ridge Scottish Ale)
- Ballast Point Brewing Co, San Diego, CA (Electric Ray India Pale Lager)
- Bell’s Brewery, Kalamazoo, MI (Maillard’s Odyssey Imperial Dark Ale)
- Cigar City Brewing, Tampa, FL (Yonder Bock Tropical Maibock)
- Firestone Walker Brewing Co, Paso Robles, CA (Torpedo Pilsner)
- New Glarus Brewing Co, New Glarus, WI (There and Back English-Style Bitter)
- Ninkasi Brewing Co, Eugene, OR (Double Latte Coffee milk Stout)
- Oskar Blues Brewing Co, Longmont, CO & Brevard, NC (CANfusion Rye Bock)
- Russian River Brewing Co, Santa Rosa, CA (Yvan the Great Belgian-Style Blonde)
- Three Floyds Brewing, Munster, IN (Chico King Pale Ale)
- Victory Brewing Co, Downingtown, PA (Alt Route Altbier)
The mixed 12-pack is also the first ever to contain both bottles and cans, packing 10 bottles and 2 cans for thirsty patrons. The Beer Camp Across America 12-pack will go on sale this July through existing distribution networks, and can be yours for $24.99. These brewers, and their beers, will also join selective legs of the festival tour. Information about the breweries and the beers in the collaboration pack is available on Sierra Nevada’s website.
Sweetening the boozy tour with a touch of philanthropy, Sierra Nevada and participating breweries are donating earnings from both the festival tickets and the collaboration 12-pack back into the craft beer industry. Proceeds from the festivals will go to the state brewers guilds in the host state of the festival. Proceeds from the sales of the 12-pack will go to hop and barley research, with the idea that fostering the development of new types of hop varieties and barley crops will help fuel the continued expansion of new flavor experiences for the ever-expanding tastes of craft drinkers.
So pack your bags, don’t forget the sunscreen, and make your playlists for the road trip now. It’s summer time and the living is boozy. Camp will soon be in session.