It’s an ambitious endeavor, but Sierra Nevada Brewing will celebrate the opening of its new Mills River, N.C. brewery with one of the largest collaborative undertakings the craft beer industry has ever witnessed.
The Chico, Calif.-based company announced Monday, plans to partner with 12 U.S. craft breweries on the creation of a ‘Beer Camp Across America’ variety 12-pack and multi-weekend beer festival tour.
“We want to highlight the success of craft beer, not just our own next step,” said Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada’s founder in a press statement. “Craft brewers are a close bunch, and we’ve all helped each other get to this point. This is a fun way to showcase even just a fraction of the talent that’s out there, and somehow 12 beers doesn’t feel like enough.”
Sierra Nevada regularly invites groups of fans and industry friends to its Chico facility for ‘Beer Camp,’ a two-day, hands-on brewing experience that includes beer education, recipe formulation and the opportunity to brew a batch of beer in the company’s 10-barrel pilot brewery. And, once a year, Sierra Nevada rewards three lucky groups of Beer Camp participants with placement in its “Best of Beer Camp” variety 12-pack.
The ‘Beer Camp Across America’ variety pack builds on the success of other Beer Camp releases and will feature 12 different beers crafted in collaboration with companies like Victory Brewing and Ninkasi Brewing, among others. To help celebrate the release of the variety pack, Sierra Nevada is also planning a multi-city beer festival tour that will showcase offerings from each of the participating breweries.
“We think of this project as a traveling Beer Camp,” Ryan Arnold, the company’s media liaison told Brewbound.com. “We envision brewers and owners, traveling from city to city on a bus together to run these festivals.”
The current Beer Camp variety 12-packs has a suggested retail price of $19.99 and Arnold said Sierra Nevada hasn’t determined what the price point for the ‘Beer Camp Across America’ pack will be. Recipe formulation and test brews will take place over the next nine months and Sierra Nevada hopes to release upwards of 75,000 cases of the special box set next summer.
“For a guy who began homebrewing in 1985, getting a ‘Hey, let’s brew together’ call from Ken Grossman is like some amazing dream,” said Bill Covaleski, the founder of Victory Brewing Company. “The pressure is on to make a beer worthy of this moment and we are stoked for the challenge.”
The list of partner breweries participating in the ‘Beer Camp Across America’ collaboration includes:
- Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, ME
- Ballast Point Brewing Company, San Diego, CA
- Bell’s Brewery, Inc., Kalamazoo, MI
- Cigar City Brewing, LLC, Tampa, FL
- Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, CA
- New Glarus Brewing Company, New Glarus, WI
- Ninkasi Brewing Company, Eugene, OR
- Oskar Blues Brewing Company, Longmont, CO
- Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa, CA
- Three Floyds Brewing, LLC, Munster, IN
- Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, PA
- Local brewing community in Asheville, NC