Origin – United States of America
Oh! And this one time… at band camp…. Now if you’re lucky enough to ever get along to Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp you might not find Jim, Finch, Stifler’s mum or even Michelle and her infamous flute, but what you’ll find will still blow your mind… pun intended 😉 Sierra Nevada’s first ever Beer Camp was hosted in 2008 at their brewery in the little town of Chico in Northern California. It was a two-day, hands-on beer experience for local bar owners who had the good fortune of joining together to brew a new beer from scratch. In that inaugural year, they produced an Imperial Pilsner which was labeled Sierra Super 7. Beer camp has since become a regular event which more recently has been made famous by the ‘Across America’ series, where Ken and his team have worked in collaboration with smaller brewers all over the US. Camp this year even took it one step further by teaming up with 6 international and 6 stateside craft brewers. It allowed some younger hipster brands that have followed in Sierra’s footsteps, the likes of Garage Project (NZ), Kuichi (Japan) and Tree House Brewing Co. (Massachusetts), to pick up some operational know-how and gain some amazing exposure. Beer Camp is now so popular that they run both a traveling festival across the US selling the collaborations and donating the profits to charity, and produce a seasonal label. And as you would expect from a Beer Camp tradition where no style or ingredient combination is off limits, this year’s seasonal label resulted in a citrus heavy, wheat malt driven golden IPA, in direct contrast to the traditional amber style. Given its name, not surprisingly it pours a brilliantly clear pale straw colour with a head formation that is ample and persisting. The nose is fresh and grassy with a good dose of pale malt aroma that seems to be an identifiable trademark for Sierra Nevada. In the mouth, the flavours dance between an upfront hit of sweet candied lemon and tropical fruits, a mid-palate of breaded malt and sharp and short finish of herbal hop bitterness. Unlike most IPA’s, it’s the wheat malt driven character that results in a refreshing light dry finish, rather than the trademark hop heavy aftertaste. So what do you pair such a unique IPA with? Can I be as crass as to suggest hot apple pie?