Review Date 4/7/2013
Let me tell you, you haven’t lived until you’ve gone to beer camp. I went to Oldenberg’s Beer Camp in Fort Mitchell, KY many moons ago. And while that brewery (sadly) is now defunct, others have taken up the banner of beer camp. One of them is Sierra Nevada Brewing of Chico, California. This Beer Camp is a little different, however, so it’s probably best to explain why.
Oldenberg’s camp was all about drinking beer, experiencing beer, learning about beer, and enjoying beer. Sierra Nevada’s camp has all that going for it too, but with one important difference: you get to make beer, too. It’s also a bit tougher to get into. To attend Oldenberg Beer Camp, one plunked down one’s hard earned cash and got to Fort Mitchell (just outside Cincinnati). Money won’t buy your way into Sierra Nevada’s camp. Instead, you have to go the Beer Camp Website and make a case as to why you should be selected as a Beer Camper.
Even if you don’t get to go, though, you can still enjoy the fruits of Beer Campers’ labors in the Sierra Nevada Best of Beer Camp 12-pack sampler. The sampler offers 3 bottles each of four different past beer camp favorites. Under consideration tonight: Sierra Nevada Beer Camp #29: Double IPA.
I actually enjoyed my three bottles spread out over a period of about a year and a half. The first bottle was popped shortly after I bought the 2011 sampler pack, and it was very tasty and resiny as I recall. I didn't take notes, but I did remark that it would be interesting after a year or so. And so I waited. About a year to be precise, and took the following notes:
Sierra Nevada Beer Camp 29 Double IPA pours to a cloudy orange amber color with a light and short lived head formation and an intensely resiny hop nose. I want to say that the hops have mellowed a bit since I first enjoyed this beer, and I wish I still had my tasting notes from way back then. The hops do seem more mellow at the fore, or at least the beer seems to have more chewy caramel. It’s more bready too.
That does not last long, though. The hops soon emerge and attack full force, very, very resiny and in the finish intensely bitter, puckeringly so. This is an amazing DIPA, and after a year and a half I think it’;s better than it was when fresh. One would expect no less from Sierra Nevada.
My final bottle went the way of the dinosaurs in early March 2013:
This beer is even better now than when I first bought the sampler. This is my last bottle, more bready at the fore but the hops are still amazingly resiny and puckeringly bitter in the finish. Wow!
All in all, this is a five star beer, one that only seems to get better with time. Would that I had more.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.