The Thirsty Beagle: Ranking the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across the World beers

Monday, June 5, 2017

Ranking the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across the World beers

I understand you may not have time to try all 12 of the beers in the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across the World 12-pack. Hey, that's what I'm here for.

I picked up the mix pack last Friday and worked my way through all 12 over the weekend. This year's Beer Camp edition featured collaborations with six overseas breweries and six here in the U.S.

I was super-excited to try these, but I have to say I came away with mixed feelings, with about only half of the beers landing in the "I'd have that again category." I'll have a bit more analysis, but first, let's get through how I ranked all the beers:

1. Dry-Hopped Barleywine Style Ale (Avery)

-Not a traditional barleywine -- it checks in at 9.4 percent ABV and 90 IBU -- but I found the combination of the malts and hops intriguing and even somewhat refreshing.

2. Ginger Lager (Surly)

-I did not expect to enjoy a lager so much more than I did some of the other beers in the set, but this was a terrific, full-flavored beer and one that would totally be a great poolside sipper.

3. Dunkel Weisse (Ayinger)

-For someone who would pick an IPA first, second, third and probably fourth, I have to tip my hat to this dunkel, which I thought was a terrific example of the style.

4. East Meets West IPA (Tree House)

-Solid IPA that checked all the boxes for me -- a nice blend of hoppiness and haze befitting of the style.

5. Hoppy Belgian-Style Golden (Duvel)

-Had to give Duvel its due on this one. I thought it was technically very well executed and offered a great blending of traditional Belgian yeast notes with a refreshing pop of hops.

6. West Coast-Style DIPA (Boneyard)

-This was a solid DIPA, although it didn't really hit any wow points for me.

7. Atlantic-Style Vintage Ale (Fuller's)

-I was expecting this beer might be a touch heavy, especially with the addition of plums, which struck me as a little oppressive in beer. But the plums actually played nicely.

8. White IPA with Yuzu (Kiuchi)

-This is where things started to go downhill just a bit for me. I felt like the witbier style and yuzu overpowered the base beer -- I wouldn't consider this an IPA, necessarily.

9. Campout Porter (Garage Project)

-Seemed like a solid base porter, but the addition of honey and vanilla did not work for me -- I felt like the honey super-charged the vanilla and left the beer a little too sweet.

10. Dry-Hopped Berliner-Style Weisse (Saint Arnold)

-This one seemed a little over the top, and I could not really clearly discern the dry hops.

11. Raspberry Sundae (The Bruery)

-With the fist few sips, I thought this was an interesting beer, but as the lactose aftertaste built up throughout the time I sipped the beer, I came to find it a little harder to enjoy. Would recommend this one for sharing, unless you have a thing for lactose.

12. Thai-Style Iced Tea (Mikkeller)

-Same as above -- the first few sips were really interesting, with an intriguing ice tea taste. But once your palate got adjusted and figured out what was going on, it became too much. I appreciate the risk and the desire to do something different, but this one was too sweet for me.

Overall, I enjoyed the chance to try all these different styles, and it definitely was interesting to see breweries pushing the boundaries. While there were a few I wouldn't have an interest in drinking again, I'm glad I tried the whole pack, if only because it gave me a chance to break free of the all-IPA-all-the-time rut I often find myself settling into.

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