Sierra Nevada Beer Camp box verdict:
Asheville Brewer’s Alliance Tater Ridge
Ninkasi Double Latte
Bell’s Maillard’s Odyssey
Oskar Blues CANfusion
Ballast Point Electric Ray
Cigar City Yonder Bock
Allagash Myron’s Walk
Victory Alt Route
Russian River Yvan the Great
New Glarus There and Back
Firestone Walker Torpedo Pilsner
3 Floyds Chico King
It was tough to rate these beers. It’s more of a general compass. I looked at the lineup and organized them into thirds; the top 4 being most-palatable, the middle 4 being pretty darn good, and the bottom 4 being decent drinking. The 4 within those thirds could move either way, up or down a spot. This is all tailored to my palate. Don’t give me shit because I didn’t like your favorite beer / brewery as much as you did.
The ones I was most surprised by were the Asheville Brewer’s Alliance collaboration, Bell’s collab, Ballast Point, and Victory. Those threw me off the most (in a positive way). I was expecting less from them, mostly because of the style choice, not because of the brewer.

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp box verdict:

  1. Asheville Brewer’s Alliance Tater Ridge
  2. Ninkasi Double Latte
  3. Bell’s Maillard’s Odyssey
  4. Oskar Blues CANfusion
  5. Ballast Point Electric Ray
  6. Cigar City Yonder Bock
  7. Allagash Myron’s Walk
  8. Victory Alt Route
  9. Russian River Yvan the Great
  10. New Glarus There and Back
  11. Firestone Walker Torpedo Pilsner
  12. 3 Floyds Chico King

It was tough to rate these beers. It’s more of a general compass. I looked at the lineup and organized them into thirds; the top 4 being most-palatable, the middle 4 being pretty darn good, and the bottom 4 being decent drinking. The 4 within those thirds could move either way, up or down a spot. This is all tailored to my palate. Don’t give me shit because I didn’t like your favorite beer / brewery as much as you did.

The ones I was most surprised by were the Asheville Brewer’s Alliance collaboration, Bell’s collab, Ballast Point, and Victory. Those threw me off the most (in a positive way). I was expecting less from them, mostly because of the style choice, not because of the brewer.

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Sierra Nevada / Ninkasi “Double Latte” Coffee Milk Stout: I’ve been saving this one for the finale. I have high expectations for this beer because I really like Ninkasi and I really like my stouts. Nice bouquet of lactose and cocoa powder in the nose blanketing medium-roast coffee and roasted  malt. Creamy. Lactose makes up much of the flavor profile with support from chocolate and coffee. Sweetness upfront with roasted malt falling on the backend with a lingering finish. Medium-plus creamy body with a fair amount of carbonation. Well balanced and highly palatable. One of my favorites from the box.

Sierra Nevada / Ninkasi “Double Latte” Coffee Milk Stout: I’ve been saving this one for the finale. I have high expectations for this beer because I really like Ninkasi and I really like my stouts. Nice bouquet of lactose and cocoa powder in the nose blanketing medium-roast coffee and roasted  malt. Creamy. Lactose makes up much of the flavor profile with support from chocolate and coffee. Sweetness upfront with roasted malt falling on the backend with a lingering finish. Medium-plus creamy body with a fair amount of carbonation. Well balanced and highly palatable. One of my favorites from the box.

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The (Non) Beer Bubble, Part Deux - Brewers Association

qhrumphf:

abeerpilgrim:

"In an approximately 200 million bbl US beer market, you can fit a lot of 800 bbl/year breweries. What if there were 5,000 breweries like that in the country? 10,000? Just for fun…

10,000 breweries

x 800 bbls/yr/brewery

= 8 million bbls/yr

or about 4% of the current US beer market

Now I’m not saying that we will reach 5,000 or 10,000 breweries. Rather, I’m pointing out (once again) that with so many small breweries, analysts should focus much less on the number of breweries and more on other factors”

Hmmm… are those 800bbl a year breweries actually profitable/sustainable? Or are they struggling to continually expand like everyone else? Without all these bright and sunny forecasts of never-ending growth and promise of riches would we still see thousands of people rushing to open up a break-even passion project “craft” brewery?

Interesting read.

I think the days of the big national beer brands is waning (and really has been for some time), and we’re on pace to return to the pre-Prohibition realm of many small local producers. And then the tides will change, and consolidation will happen again. One big never ending cycle.

I imagine what will happen is that it will become more challenging to have an immensely successful brewery, and we’ll have the same thing we do in every other industry, with small startups popping up and closing down.

But the overall industry isn’t going anywhere. That’s my take.

Poignant arguments. If anyone is looking to open a brewery to become the next Stone, don’t. It’s not likely to happen (anytime soon). If you concentrate on brewing good beer, you could go far with a local market. If you want to become reputable, you need to be creative and talented enough to brew something different.

You need to stand out if you ever want to make a name for yourself. On top of needing excellent recipes, you gotta pay attention to your market, the overall market, marketing your product, trends, quality of ingredients, consistency, branding and bottle art… there’s a lot that goes into making a good beer. There’s a reason why people travel across the country and wait 5+ hours in a line to taste Pliny the Younger or brave riotous crowds on what was Hunahpu's Day.

 

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Sierra Nevada / 3 Floyds “Chico King” Pale Ale: Can’t say I’ve had the pleasure of trying a 3 Floyds beer. I hear nothing but great things from them, so I was interested in trying this collaboration. The aroma reads notes of pale malt with grassy, earthy, floral, piney hops. Echoes of orange citrus and caramel malt. The flavor profile isn’t too far off the nose. Predominantly biscuity, pale malt on the front end with hop bitterness falling mid to back palate. Floral pine notes. Lingering caramel malt and yeasty character. Palatable. They weren’t trying to reinvent the wheel with this one, but did well at executing a collaboration with a brewery who dominates the market with their Pale Ale.

Sierra Nevada / 3 Floyds “Chico King” Pale Ale: Can’t say I’ve had the pleasure of trying a 3 Floyds beer. I hear nothing but great things from them, so I was interested in trying this collaboration. The aroma reads notes of pale malt with grassy, earthy, floral, piney hops. Echoes of orange citrus and caramel malt. The flavor profile isn’t too far off the nose. Predominantly biscuity, pale malt on the front end with hop bitterness falling mid to back palate. Floral pine notes. Lingering caramel malt and yeasty character. Palatable. They weren’t trying to reinvent the wheel with this one, but did well at executing a collaboration with a brewery who dominates the market with their Pale Ale.

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Sierra Nevada / Bell’s “Maillard’s Odyssey” Imperial Dark Ale: With only a few bottles left, my camping trip is almost over. I haven’t had much from Bell’s, but what I have had I’ve enjoyed. This imperial dark ale has a big medium-roasted coffee aroma. Roasted malt with echoes of, what I perceive to be, lactose and chocolate reminiscent of a milk stout. On the palate I get a lot of that roasted malt. Prominent chocolatey sweetness on the front of the palate with a lingering roast on the backend. Subtle biscuity notes with minimal coffee. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Very palatable. This one definitely took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting much from “Imperial Dark Ale”, but this is pretty tasty. It’s like a stout / altbier crossover.

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Sierra Nevada / Russian River “Yvan the Great” Belgian-Style Blonde: I’m always interested in trying what RR puts out. There’s still a few I’ve been wanting to try but haven’t had the opportunity, like Beatification and Frambois for a Cure. Picking up notes of lemongrass, bread and clove in the aroma. Plenty of Belgian yeast characteristics with echoes of banana. Flavor very similar to the aroma. Zesty on the palate with more fruity esters. Peppery. Floral. Front-loaded malt characteristics with a bitter, hoppy backend that lingers. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Lots of depth to this beer. Very palatable.

Sierra Nevada / Russian River “Yvan the Great” Belgian-Style Blonde: I’m always interested in trying what RR puts out. There’s still a few I’ve been wanting to try but haven’t had the opportunity, like Beatification and Frambois for a Cure. Picking up notes of lemongrass, bread and clove in the aroma. Plenty of Belgian yeast characteristics with echoes of banana. Flavor very similar to the aroma. Zesty on the palate with more fruity esters. Peppery. Floral. Front-loaded malt characteristics with a bitter, hoppy backend that lingers. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Lots of depth to this beer. Very palatable.

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Sierra Nevada / Allagash “Myron’s Walk” Belgian-Style Pale Ale: I’m a fan of Allagash. They make one of my favorite beers, Curieux. I can’t say I’ve ever been disappointed by one of their beers. The nose is loaded with lemon and orange zest, pine and a Belgian yeastiness backed by coriander. Slightly bready, pale malt characteristics on the palate. The spice really comes through followed by the citrus / piney-hop bitterness. Medium body well built on a sturdy foundation of Belgian yeast. Lively mouthfeel with a  subtle lingering finish. Highly palatable.

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