Sierra Nevada 'Best of Beer Camp' Double IPA

Sierra Nevada’s ‘Beer Camp’ sounds like a seriously cool thing to be a part of. Basically it’s a Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket type experience - but for American beer geeks. People submit video entries explaining why they should win a ticket to Beer Camp and Sierra Nevada select a lucky few, who then go along to the brewery (based in Chico California) for a few days, and see the ins and outs of what makes great craft beer. But that’s not the best bit. Winners also get the chance to help formulate a new beer, and in a "no-holds-barred, bare-knuckle battle of wits" a new beer is decided upon amongst the participants of ‘Beer Camp’.

The resulting
‘Best of Beer Camp’ beers are fairly rare even in the US, but in the UK are almost impossible to come by, with only ten kegs of the three beers produced making it across the pond. The three Beer Camp beers hitting the UK this year are: Juniper Black Ale 8%, Double IPA 8.5% and California Common 6.5%.

Luckily for beer lovers in Leeds, Mr Foleys has got a hold of one of each. The Juniper Black Ale was the first beer up and it came and went before I had a chance to try it (although
Leigh and Ghostie both loved it), so I made a point of making sure I tried the next beer to hit the bar – the Double IPA.

Sierra Nevada ‘Best of Beer Camp’ Double IPA

The aroma is soft pine and pink grapefruit, very clean, vividly bright orange colour, with a tight, thin white head.

The flavour is absolutely huge with an instant hit of super bitter hops, which give you loads of bitter orange, pink grapefruit and a hefty whack of pine resin. There's a nice marmalade sweetness in the middle then the finish is dry and harsh (but not in a bad way) with more pine, and an almost tongue stripping final hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is light but slick from the high amount of hop oils in the brew, it tastes and feels jam packed full of American hops.

It hides it's hefty 8.5% ABV pretty well but in the aftertaste there is a definite boozy quality, a bit like Cointreau, but it's a pleasant mellow alcohol hum rather than a big boozy kick .

This is a seriously full on, dry, bitter, yet just sweet enough, true American Double IPA. What an absolute gem of a beer for Mr. foleys to get in, and one which I’m so happy I got a chance to try.


The Double IPA was almost finished when I tried it last night so unless you get there super quick after work tonight you might not get a chance to give it a go, but if it’s finished then be sure to try the California Common, I’m sure it’ll be another must-try beer.


p.s. 'California Common' is a 'Steam beer', the most famous of which is Anchor Steam. A bit like a lager but brewed at a temperature more akin to ale brewing, these beers have a fruity character that lagers dont really get. The name comes from the fact when tapped the kegs gave off 'steam' from very high levels of carbonation. However because Anchor have copyright on the term 'Steam Beer' the term 'California Common' has been adopted by other breweries which produce the style.

5 comments:

  1. I Managed to get a swift half of the DIPA, it was delicious, but I couldn't help but think it was a little like the bottle of Cannonball I had the night before.... not that that's a bad thing mind ;)

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  2. It's a great beer. I don't think it's like cannonball though, cannonball is much fruitier and more mango and passionfruit edged whereas this is very pine resin and bitter orange led. Plus its much more severe than cannonball IMO

    Any chance of a reciprocal link on your black ale post?

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