Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Hits Chicago

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Chicago’s Navy Pier played host to a few thousand craft beer lovers on Saturday as Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp hit the Windy City for its third stop along its eight-city summer tour.

The California-based brewery teamed up with 12 breweries — six domestic and six overseas — to collaborate on special pours just for the festival. Nearly one hundred other breweries also showcased their suds to festivalgoers who happily indulged while taking in the Pier’s view of Lake Michigan and Chicago’s skyline. The camp has five more stops, so be sure to check the schedule and see if it’s headed your way soon.

Too many to choose from, but here’s a few pours that reminded us why we love beer.

White Rascal — Avery Brewing Co. (Boulder, CO)

A Belgian-style brew with a twist — two types of orange peels and a hint of citrus. It’s no surprise it’s their best seller.

Campout Porter — Garage Project (Wellington, New Zealand)

This New Zealand-based brewery teamed up with Sierra Nevada to produce a pour that captures the summer camp theme. Think s’mores in liquid form with a touch of manuka honey. Kiwis, we see you.

Brew Monkey — Hopvine Brewing Co. (Aurora, IL)

A self-described “fooler,” this Belgian-style Trippel has an ABV of 9.67% hidden amongst spice and fruit notes.

Brau-Weisse (Hefenweizen) — Ayinger (Bavaria, Germany)

A sessionable wheat beer with fantastic lemon and vanilla flavors. Its honey color sparkles and its creamy head is a good excuse to hop a flight to Germany and meet the brewers yourself.

Hell or High Watermelon — 21st Amendment Brewery (San Francisco, CA)

In its pursuit for the perfect summer beer, 21st Amendment Brewery — its namesake a nod to the repeal of prohibition — admits there is “no obstacle too great…no fruit too gigantic.” So it rolled out this seasonal wheat made with real watermelons. Crisp and refreshing. Yes, this can count as your daily serving of fruit.

Doppelbock — Church Street Brewing Co. (Itasca, IL)

A dark pour with notes of caramel and a kick of prune and grape make this a versatile flavor good for the winter of a blistering hot day in the summer.

We talked to a few festivalgoers between drinks. A few of our favorite quotes.

“The weather’s great. The beers are good. I really love the concept of Sierra Neveda brought all of their collab stuff but then they really hit upon local and regional breweries to fill up the festival.”

Scott Pointon, Homebrewer, craft beer fanatic (Crest Hill, IL)

“It’s an excellent festival. Actually probably one of the best ones I’ve been to. They have a variety of breweries, the music is awesome and also the serving glass is awesome.

Chris Lehr, Homebrewer (Toledo, OH)

“There’re so many great beers out there. Once you have that first beer that is a little different than you’ve ever had before, it opens a Pandora’s box. Once you start exploring and you realize the possibility of beer you realize that it’s an endless journey. You got to try them all.”

Myles Hutto (Chicago, IL)