Sierra Nevada Beer Camp 12 Pack Review

The Beer Camp Across America Beer Festival is set to explode on San Diego in 12 days (7/20). In preparation for this event, Beer Alien is sampling the Beer Camp beers made by Sierra Nevada and 12 other breweries. For 12 nights leading up to the San Diego Beer Camp we will post a review of a new Beer Camp beer. There is no hiding our excitement for this Beer Festival. The scope is larger than most beer festivals out there. For beer-loving San Diego residents, the opportunity to try breweries not normally seen in the area is a rare treat that many will not miss. Beer Alien was fortunate enough to receive a Sierra Nevada Beer Camp 12 pack through our alien channels. (We can neither confirm nor deny any sightings in Chico.) Each 12 pack comes loaded with 10 bottles and 2 cans of the collaboration beers.

I am not fond of giving a numerical score to my beers since my tastes can, and often do, vary greatly from others. Instead, I do my best to capture the overall impression I received from each beer. I have seen a lot of negative reviews for the entire beer camp box and personally, I don’t see it that way. I rather enjoyed just about every beer in the beer camp box. I did not go into this endeavor expecting home runs but was happy to drink a number of solid tasting beers. I hope that these kind of projects will continue in the future. It gives the craft beer community a rare opportunity to showcase breweries in areas that you may not otherwise get a chance to try.

If you buy the Beer Camp Pack, enjoy it for what it is. The doorway to, hopefully, something much larger in the future.

Sierra Nevada / 3 Floyds Chico King Pale Ale – 12 Days to Beer Camp Across America in San Diego

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Chico King Pale Ale brewed in collaboration with 3 Floyds.
We took the approach of drinking the beer that was packaged first since it was the oldest. In our sampling, the Chico King Pale Ale was bottled on 5/15 which made it almost 2 months old at the time of tasting. Not a huge concern, but something to note. Bottled on 5/15. Grapefruity aroma with strong resin flavor. Followed by a mild finish. Some citrus coming through as well.
ABV: 6.5%   —   IBU: 45


Sierra Nevada / Bell’s Brewery Maillard’s Odyssey Imperial Dark Ale – 11 Days to Beer Camp Across America in San Diego

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp with Bells Brewery - Maillards-Ale
Bottled on 5/21, it was my second pull from the box of Beer Camp. Pours as dark as the center of a black hole but smells strongly of chocolate. Light mouthfeel with a slightly bitter finish. Much more satisfying than getting stuck in the gravitational pull of a black hole.Just what this alien needed a cold interstellar journey.

ABV: 8.5% — IBU: 40


Sierra Nevada / New Glarus Brewing There And Back English-Style Bitter – 10 Days to Beer Camp Across America in San Diego

Bottled on 5/22, it was my third pull from the box of Beer Camp. Named after a favorite saying for us interstellar travelers, I expected great things. It didn’t disappoint, but maybe my expectations were too high. Pours a beautiful amber with a modest head that dissipates quickly. Leaving only a thin film of bubbly protection on top of the beer. Wonderful fragrance that i wish i could place. FTL-lag can be a bitch. Great to drink and leaves me wishing there was a second or third in the box. Quite possibly my favorite thus far.
ABV: 5.6% — IBU: 40


Sierra Nevada / Firestone Walker Brewing Torpedo Pilsner Hoppy Pilsner – 9 Days to Beer Camp Across America in San Diego

Bottled on 5/29, it was my fourth pull from the box of Beer Camp. Pours a very light straw yellow with a strong hop aroma reminiscent of the outdoors. Very light on the tongue with a nice burst of zestiness on the finish. Does not linger, and for me that is a winning combination.
ABV: 5.2% — IBU: 45


Sierra Nevada / Ninkasi Brewing Double Latte Coffee Milk Stout – 8 Days to Beer Camp Across America in San Diego

Bottled on 5/30. This is the one I have been waiting for! Great pour with thick head. Strong hints of chocolate and coffee (duh). The head fell slowly. Creamy with lots of coffee. Tastes like a slightly boozy cup of cold coffee. I could see this replacing my morning cup of coffee on hot mornings. Let this thing warm up a little to really see it shine.
ABV: 7.6% — IBU: 60


Sierra Nevada / Russian River Brewing Yvan the Great Belgian-Style Blonde – 7 Days to Beer Camp Across America in San Diego

Bottled on 6/2. Poured with a white, fluffy head. Farmhouse aroma. Crisp, refreshing with a bit of funk that hangs around for awhile. A little bit of grass on the finish. Not bad. Note: it’s pronounced Yvonne.
ABV: 6.3% — IBU: 50


Sierra Nevada / Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits Electric Ray India Pale Lager – 6 Days to Beer Camp Across America in San Diego

Bottled on 6/3. Poured a very pleasing orange with minimal head. Very smooth. I think I prefer this over Ballast Point’s usual IPL. Would love to see this become a normally produced beer.
ABV: 8.5% — IBU: 70


Sierra Nevada / Oskar Blues Brewing CANfusion Rye Bock – 5 Days to Beer Camp Across America in San Diego

Canned on 6/3. My first Beer Camp can. Tempting to just drink it straight out of the can but consistency won out. Pours with great fluffy head, the kind you dream about. Softly citrusy. I would say I could drink many of these.
ABV: 7.2% — IBU: 45


Sierra Nevada / Allagash Brewing Myron’s Walk Belgium-Style Pale Ale – 4 Days to Beer Camp Across America in San Diego

Bottled on 6/3. Great pillow-like head. Great Belgian funk. Refreshing.
ABV: 5.3% — IBU: 38


Sierra Nevada / Cigar City Brewing Yonder Bock Tropical Maibock – 3 Days to Beer Camp Across America in San Diego

Canned on 6/4. Smells of crashing waves and palm trees (OK, maybe not but while I was drinking this one, I definitely had the impression of lounging on the beach). Nice, thick maltiness. Hints of tropical fruit. Surprisingly easy to drink at 7.7% y, something that even non-beer drinkers may like and appreciate.
ABV: 7.7% — IBU: 45


Sierra Nevada / Victory Brewing Alt Route AltBier – 2 Days to Beer Camp Across America in San Diego

Bottled on 6/4. An AltBier is definitely not a beer style I am familiar with but that will not stop me from trying. 🙂 The beer poured a deep red with a thin layer of white, bubbly head. It drank smoothly with very little bitterness. The glass went down entirely too easily, and too quickly.
ABV: 6.6% — IBU: 50

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About The Author


I started drinking Craft Beer in 2009 for the great diversity and quality. I continue drinking it because of the great Craft Beer community.

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4 Responses

  1. Brendon Booth

    You should also try the non-collaborative Sierra Nevada Beer Camp West Coast Double IPA. I need a chance to revisit the Beer Camp 12 pack. I drank them from the bottles/cans without taking the time to taste, and they were good, but the West Coast Double was the most impressive.

    • Michael BeerAlien

      Yeah, I had the opportunity to try that one also. It’s the beer originally sent to the breweries as an invitation to join BCAA. Them it showed up in store later. I prefer dark beers so I gravitated towards the Maillards Odyssey and the Double Latte. So far no beer had been bad which is a win in my book.

      In fact, my wife just picked me up another 24 pack. Woohoo.

      • Brendon Booth

        I work in a grocery store so I special-ordered 3 cases a couple months ago when I first saw the lineup. I figured I’d need about a 6 pack of all of them to REALLY get a good handle on what they put out.

      • Michael BeerAlien

        Ok. Now that’s the way to do it! There are a couple I could easily drink a 6 pack of.

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