Sierra Nevada Brewing Returns With a Successful 2nd Run of Beer Camp Across America Festival

The welcoming sign that greeted attendees at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)
The welcoming sign that greeted attendees at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)

Two years ago Sierra Nevada Brewing took on a very ambitious project when it released its Beer Camp Across America 12 Pack that featured 12 different beers all brewed with 12 highly respected breweries that collaborated with Sierra Nevada on each one. Then after the release of the variety 12-pack, Sierra Nevada hosted a 7 city Beer Camp Across America Festival that traveled from Chico, California to Mills River, North Carolina with five stops in between.

Fast-forward to 2016 and Sierra Nevada Brewing decided to bring back its traveling Beer Camp Across America Festival along with its variety 12-pack that features 31 breweries on 6 different beers. Along with the 12-pack, Sierra Nevada once again decided to hit the road and bring the Beer Camp Across America Festival back to the people. This go-round the traveling festival is making 6 stops across the country and this past weekend Sierra Nevada hosted its festival in Seattle at Lake Union Park on Saturday, June 11th.

Well situated beer tents at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)
Well situated beer tents at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)

Upon entering Lake Union Park that sits on the southern most shore of Lake Union, the sheer beauty made for one of the best settings of any beer festival. Looking to the north you see sailboats and seaplanes taking off and landing while turning to the southwest and the iconic Space Needle is in the distance. From a few locals we heard that this was the first time that alcohol has been allowed at Lake Union Park that sits to the west of the Museum of History & Industry.

Clouds overtaking the sky above Lake Union. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
Clouds overtaking the sky above Lake Union. (photo by Cat Stelzer)

The BCAA Festival opened up at Noon for Early Access ticket holders that allowed for an hour of enjoying the 90+ breweries from the Pacific Northwest pouring its beers alongside Sierra Nevada and its collaboration breweries. Then at 1:00pm the gates opened up for those with General Admission tickets. With 30 drink tickets in hand, BCAA made sure no one left thirsty. We would be surprised if anyone actually used all 30 drink tickets as this was Sierra Nevada’s way of making its festival an all inclusive affair.

Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)

Roaming around the festival was none other than Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman. We were fortunate enough to set aside some time to talk the one of the fathers of craft beer. When asked why Sierra Nevada decided to revive the festival that originally took place over a 7 city run two years ago in 2014, Ken jokingly said, “Well it took us this long to recover from the first one. We wanted to repeat the show since it was a lot of fun; we had a good time connecting with other brewers. We wanted to try to pick beercentric towns and fairly near where the collaborators were. We then looked at maps to find communities that had venues that would be big enough to do beer festivals at.”

When it came time to seek out the breweries that were going to be involved in the 2016 Beer Camp, this work began last year when Sierra Nevada found six partner brewers. Ken states, “It was very easy to find the brewers. We knew who we wanted to invite and they all accepted and they picked their group of friends that they wanted to work with so it went quite smoothly.”

Each of these six then chose four other breweries from its region that then joined up with Sierra Nevada to brew a special beer for the BCAA 12 pack. For the Pacific Northwest beer in the Beer Camp series the partner brewery was Bale Breaker Brewing and they invited Barley Brown’s Beer, Melvin Brewing, Black Raven Brewing, Odell Brewing to join them and Sierra Nevada to brew its contribution, Moxee-Moron Imperial Session IPA.

A pour of Moxee Moron at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
A pour of Moxee Moron at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)

Moxee-Moron was a fun take on a strong session beer. Moxee is a hop growing community where we buy a lot of hops from and it’s where Bale Breaker is located,” stated Ken. “So they obviously wanted to do something hoppy and wanted to do something that was drinkable but mid-weight as far as alcohol goes.”

The festival itself had a large crowd but the beer lines were very short as the layout of the festival was done quite well. There were 4 tents that were staggered throughout the park with a main stage that was home to the band Deep Sea Diver for part of the afternoon.

Jessica Dobson of Deep Sea Diver performing at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
Jessica Dobson of Deep Sea Diver performing at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)

BCAA Festival definitely lived up to the hype and offered some of the finest beers around. Along with the nice inviting atmosphere and a true Pacific Northwest weather forecast that saw everything from sun, to clouds to a drizzle to a rains shower, this all made for one memorable day. The beer selections from the 6 collaborations and the other breweries were outstanding. Many of the brewers were the ones pouring the beers and even Ken Grossman poured a few of his offerings from Sierra Nevada during the festival.

Ken Grossman pours a Sierra Nevada Barrel Aged Narwhal at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival. (photo by D.J. Paul)
Ken Grossman pours a Sierra Nevada Barrel Aged Narwhal at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival. (photo by D.J. Paul)

And if the beers were not enough to keep the craft beer fans happy there were plenty of food carts offering up some delicious treats. When in Seattle we highly recommend Biscuit Box in its modified Volkswagen Microbus.

The converted Volkswagen Bus into Biscuit Box at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)
The converted Volkswagen Bus into Biscuit Box at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)

While at the BCAA Festival we ran into many friendly faces including the fellas from Alesong Brewing & Blending, Tyler Brown from Barley Brown’s Beer, Kat Finn, Russ and Lexie from Green Dragon, Jeremy Lewis from Roscoe’s, The Bier Stein crew from Eugene, Dave Nunez from Old Ivy Brewery, Chris Nelson from GoodLife Brewing and Kendall and Kim Jones from our favorite Seattle beer website, WashingtonBeerBlog.com.

Doug Coombs and Matt Van Wyk pouring Alesong Brewing & Blending Beers for the first time outside of Eugene at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)
Doug Coombs and Matt Van Wyk pouring Alesong Brewing & Blending Beers for the first time outside of Eugene at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)

Now with half of the BCAA Festival stops complete there are three more in the coming two weeks. This weekend there will be stops in San Francisco, CA and Boston, MA on June 18 and then the final stop on June 25 in Los Angeles. “I am going to San Francisco and then to Long Beach the week after. My son is on the east coast stops. Milwaukee today and Boston next week,” stated Ken.

The various beer tents at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
The various beer tents at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)

Now in its 36th year, Sierra Nevada is a brewery that continues to be as relevant as it has ever been. The brewery continues to offer up a portfolio of beers that range in style from its iconic Pale Ale to some of the most sought after barrel aged beers. Staying in front of the consumer is important for Sierra Nevada. “Doing stuff like this but also trying to connect with the consumer,” states Ken. “We are still brewing a very wide range of beers. We’ve added unique styles like Gose with a beer called Otra Vez. We try to stay part of the whole culture of what is happening in craft beer.”

Will there be another Beer Camp series in the coming years? “We think probably but don’t have any firm plans as of yet. We will certainly be talking about it,” said Ken with a smile on his face.

Here are more photos from the Seattle stop of Beer Camp Across America Festival.

Glassware is all ready to go at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
Glassware is all ready to go at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
The scenic view of Lake Union from its namesake park while at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
The scenic view of Lake Union from its namesake park while at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
The VIP Hour at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle saw many craft beer fans enjoying the limited lines for the tasty craft beers. (photo by D.J. Paul)
The VIP Hour at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle saw many craft beer fans enjoying the limited lines for the tasty craft beers. (photo by D.J. Paul)
Zan McColloch-Lussier of The Pike Brewing Co. pouring beer at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
Zan McColloch-Lussier of The Pike Brewing Co. pouring beer at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
This is one massive food truck, Maximus:Minimus BBQ truck at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)
This is one massive food truck, Maximus:Minimus BBQ truck at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)
The main stage at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
The main stage at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
The new 2016 version of the Sierra Nevada Brewing Beer Camp Across America bus was a bit smaller than the one used in 2014. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
The new 2016 version of the Sierra Nevada Brewing Beer Camp Across America bus was a bit smaller than the one used in 2014. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
Space Needle IPA from Pike Brewing with its namesake in the background at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
Space Needle IPA from Pike Brewing with its namesake in the background at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
Taking in the scenic Seattle skyline and its iconic Space Needle alongside the Beer Camp Photo Booth at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
Taking in the scenic Seattle skyline and its iconic Space Needle alongside the Beer Camp Photo Booth at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
Terence Sullivan, longtime Sierra Nevada brewer, pouring a Sierra Nevada Barrel Aged Narwhal at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)
Terence Sullivan, longtime Sierra Nevada brewer, pouring a Sierra Nevada Barrel Aged Narwhal at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)
Served a tasty 2x4 from Melvin Brewing at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)
Served a tasty 2×4 from Melvin Brewing at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)
Seattle's Space Needle hovering under the clouds. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
Seattle’s Space Needle hovering under the clouds. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
Kevin from Bale Breaker Brewing serving a Raging Ditch Dry-Hopped Blonde at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)
Kevin from Bale Breaker Brewing serving a Raging Ditch Dry-Hopped Blonde at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)
Sierra Nevada's Ken Grossmand and Brewpublic's D.J. Paul at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
Sierra Nevada’s Ken Grossmand and Brewpublic’s D.J. Paul at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
Double Jeremy's with Jeremy Lewis of Roscoe's and Jeremy Tofte of Melvin Brewing at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)
Double Jeremy’s with Jeremy Lewis of Roscoe’s and Jeremy Tofte of Melvin Brewing at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)
Russ and Lexie from Portland's Green Dragon with Kat Finn, Portland Sierra Nevada Representative at Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)
Russ and Lexie from Portland’s Green Dragon with Kat Finn, Portland Sierra Nevada Representative at Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)
Ken Grossman pours a Sierra Nevada Barrel Aged Narwhal at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival. (photo by D.J. Paul)
Ken Grossman pours a Sierra Nevada Barrel Aged Narwhal at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival. (photo by D.J. Paul)
Doug Coombs and Matt Van Wyk of Alesong Brewing & Blending at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
Doug Coombs and Matt Van Wyk of Alesong Brewing & Blending at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
Clouds and then rain roll in towards the end of Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)
Clouds and then rain roll in towards the end of Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)
Dave Nunez from Old Ivy pouring his great beers from Chris Spollen at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)
Dave Nunez from Old Ivy pouring his great beers from Chris Spollen at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)
Deep Sea Diver performing at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
Deep Sea Diver performing at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
Beer Camp Photo Booth with the Space Needle in the distance at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)
Beer Camp Photo Booth with the Space Needle in the distance at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by D.J. Paul)
Alesong Strawberry Gose at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
Alesong Strawberry Gose at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
A beer on the dock of Lake Union at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
A beer on the dock of Lake Union at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
A head on view of Maximus:Minimus BBQ Truck that has morphed into a giant pig at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)
A head on view of Maximus:Minimus BBQ Truck that has morphed into a giant pig at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America Festival in Seattle. (photo by Cat Stelzer)

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