In addition to the 7 main Sierra Nevada Beer Camp stops this summer, there was a special one thrown in at El Bait Shop in Des Moines, Iowa on July 26, 2014. The others are true beer fests with dozens upon dozens of brewers pouring their wares. The Beer Camp stop at El Bait Shop featured a sampling glass, 12 five ounce pours of each of this year's Beer Camp releases, one pint of a standard Sierra Nevada beer, and a meal served out in the parking lot.
What is Sierra Nevada Beer Camp? Their 2014 Beer Camp Across America is a special release (Sierra Nevada Brewing is in Chico, California). They invited breweries all across America to join in a collaboration brew with them and/or join them on their Beer Camp Tour as their bus makes its way to the site of their new brewery in Mills River, North Carolina. The corresponding beer release features a mixed 12 pack of twelve unique beers, two in cans.
El Bait Shop was open for regular business too, and the Beer Campers were given tickets to exchange for their beers, with several pouring inside and the rest pouring outside at two separate stations. When the camp first got underway, there was a bit of a wait to get samples, but things smoothed out and it was later a breeze. The beers were excellent and there was an interesting crowd. As always, I get wrapped up in enjoying the moment and then never have any decent pictures for my blog, despite my best intentions. It was busy without being overly crowded or packed, and my wife and I had a great time joining a picnic table outside with three fun and interesting women who were at the fest together.
The food was very good, there was a whole hog sliced in half and roasted in two sections. This was served along with fresh corn on the cob literally dipped in butter, baked beans and potato salad. There was more than enough food and it was announced that anyone who wanted could have seconds. I got some more of that delicious roast hog.
Apparently the Beer Camp tour bus was supposed to stop at El Bait Shop. The Camp started at four, we left at about ten, and the bus was not there. Does anyone know if it ever came?
I am putting up my notes on all of the Beer Camp beers as I make my way through the 12 pack that I found in Minneapolis. Suffice it to say that if you run into the mixed 12 pack, don't pass it up.