Sierra Nevada Hosts Annual Beer Camp

Dec 7, 2013 3:14 PM

It's something that beer fanatics around the country look forward to every year. Sierra Nevada's annual Beer Camp is happening this week where people will get to brew their very own beer and learn the tricks of the trade. They come from near and far, all from different walks of life, but one thing beer camp participants all have in common is their love for beer. This is the 4th year Beer Camp has been open to the public. Sierra Nevada hosts roughly 20 camps a year, but they are usually invitation only and are accessible to people within the beer industry. 24 people were chosen from online video submissions, some from as far away as Alaska, New York and even Washington D.C. The group is split in two and each one will get to brew their very own beer.

Sierra Nevada Communications Manager Ryan Arnold says, "They'll learn a little about the water that goes into the beer, they'll handle the malted barley that gives you the sugars that ultimately turns into alcohol and they'll get their hands on the hops that give bitterness and aroma and flavor. They'll see that through from beginning to end."

The two groups collaborate to figure out the alcohol level, color, and type of beer they want to brew. This year, campers are testing out two kinds of beer that have never been attempted at beer camp: a honey rye ale and a double IPA infused with cedar. Some are more experienced brewers than others and there are even a few that hope to pursue a career making their own beer. Perry Yates, a home brewer that traveled from Washington D.C. says one element that stood out to him was the massive amounts of beer that the brewery is able to make on a daily basis.

“The scale has been the most impressive part and that's the thing I'm going to take with me later is knowing how to scale up and where to scale up. It’s a really important skill for home brewing," he says.

Kyler Serfass is a stay at home dad and made the trip with his wife and one year old daughter. He hopes to one day open his own brewery.

"I’m a home brewer trying to go pro. There's no better way to learn about what to do, how to do it right than to come here and see these guys making awesome beer," he says.

Ultimately, it's all about getting to taste the finished product and reap the rewards of their work. Participants will get to take the beer they've brewed back to their hometown and it will also be served in the Sierra Nevada taproom next year.


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