The largest celebration of craft beer in history comprised seven cities, hundreds of breweries and thousands of beer fans
After 4,800 whirlwind miles over two weeks (July 19–Aug. 3), Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. early this month finished Beer Camp Across America, a traveling beer festival that celebrated craft breweries and beer fans nationwide. Each stop on the unprecedented adventure featured local and regional breweries that together are helping craft beer thrive in every corner of the country. Sierra Nevada partnered with a different brewers guild in each city and will make a festival donation to those groups and their efforts to grow the craft beer industry.
Beer Camp Across America, the largest celebration of craft beer in history, by the numbers:
- Festival path: Chico, CA, at Sierra Nevada’s brewery; San Diego, CA; Denver, CO; Chicago, IL; Portland, ME; Philadelphia, PA; Mills River, NC, at Sierra Nevada’s brand new East Coast brewery
- Breweries: More than 700
- US states represented by a brewery: 40 (including the District of Columbia)
- Unique beers: More than 1,400
- Festival attendees: More than 22,000
- US states represented by attendees: 49
- Guild partners: California Craft Brewers Association, San Diego Brewers Guild, Colorado Brewers Guild, Illinois Craft Brewers Guild, Maine Brewers’ Guild, Brewers of Pennsylvania, North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild
- Donation to Guild partners: $70,000 total
- Donation to hops and barley research: $80,000 from Beer Camp Across America mixed 12-pack proceeds (see details below)
- Social media snapshot:
- More than 48,800,000 impressions on Twitter during the festival tour based on the hashtags #BeerCampTour and #BeerCamp (July 19–Aug. 3)
- More than 2,400 Instagram photos to date tagged with #BeerCampTour
- Tour bus breakdowns: Several close calls and one true sidelining—a mere 70 miles from the final festival in Mills River, NC
“Sixteen days on a bus could’ve worn us down, but everywhere we went, the enthusiasm for craft beer recharged us,” said Ken Grossman, founder of Sierra Nevada. “Beer Camp Across America was more exciting and encouraging than we could have imagined. Brewers and beer fans both are shaping a great future. It will be fun to watch our momentum continue.”
The final festival in Mills River, NC, served as the public debut of Sierra Nevada’s brand new brewery. It has since started limited public “Hard Had Tours” during the final phase of construction and by this fall will launch a full tour program.
“Western North Carolina has blown us away with their hospitality, and we had a special opportunity to truly say ‘thank you’ for the first time in a big way at Beer Camp Across America,” said Brian Grossman, son of Ken Grossman and co-manager of the Mills River brewery. “We had a few Asheville brewers on the bus with us for the entire tour, and that really drove it home for us: we’ve joined a heck of a community.”
In conjunction with the festivals, Sierra Nevada partnered with a dozen craft breweries to create 12 different beers for one Beer Camp Across America mixed 12-pack, a first in the craft beer world. A portion of proceeds from the 12-pack sales—an estimated $80,000—will go toward hops and barley research. The 12-pack, now nearly sold out nationwide, features the following collaboration beers:
Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, ME | Myron’s Walk Belgian-Style Pale Ale
Asheville Brewers Alliance, Asheville, NC | Tater Ridge Scottish Ale
Ballast Point Brewing Company, San Diego, CA | Electric Ray India Pale Lager
Bell’s Brewery, Inc., Kalamazoo, MI | Maillard’s Odyssey Imperial Dark Ale
Cigar City Brewing, LLC, Tampa, FL | Yonder Bock Tropical Maibock
Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, CA | Torpedo Pilsner
New Glarus Brewing Company, New Glarus, WI | There and Back English-Style Bitter
Ninkasi Brewing Company, Eugene, OR | Double Latte Coffee Milk Stout
Oskar Blues Brewery, Longmont, CO/Brevard, NC | CANfusion Rye Bock
Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa, CA | Yvan the Great Belgian-Style Blonde
3 Floyds Brewing Co., Munster, IN | Chico King Pale Ale
Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, PA | Alt Route Altbier
About Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Founded in 1980, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is one of America’s premier craft breweries, highly regarded for using only whole-cone hops and the finest quality ingredients. The pioneering spirit that launched Sierra Nevada spans more than three decades, with innovation emerging from both the brewhouse and sustainability initiatives. Sierra Nevada has set the standard for artisan brewers worldwide as a winner of numerous awards for its extensive line of beers including Pale Ale, Torpedo®, Porter, Stout, Kellerweis® and a host of seasonal, specialty and limited release beers. Learn more at www.sierranevada.com.
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Company: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Contact: Ryan Arnold