Ninkasi Goes to Camp

By Andy Sparhawk

What Jamie and Niko did on the their summer vacation

Having the esteemed pleasure to participate in Sierra Nevada Beer Camp, myself, I can tell you what a thrill it was to be able to collaborate on a beer at the Chico, Calif., brewery with some of my co-workers and other craft beery people from around the country. I am reminded of this excitement when I read this blog post from Ninkasi Brewing who also thrilled to brew with Sierra as part of Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Across America project.

Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp is where a group of lucky beer fans get to travel to the brewery for “a week of in-depth, hands-on learning.” To top it all off, participants brew a beer that will end up being available in their local markets. This time, Sierra reached out to their fellow craft brewers, including Ninkasi, to brew beers that would go into a Beer Camp variety pack.

Ninkasi Brewing’s founding brewer, Jamie Floyd, was inspired by Sierra Nevada while building his own brewing company. Floyd describes Sierra Nevada’s founder, Ken Grossman as, “self-made,” “committed to mastery,” “producing the highest quality beers with the most control,” and all in an “incredibly sustainable way.”

Beer Camp Across America participating breweries include:

  • Allagash Brewing Company | Portland, ME
  • Ballast Point Brewing Company | San Diego, CA
  • Bell’s Brewery, Inc. | Kalamazoo, MI
  • Cigar City Brewing, LLC | Tampa, FL
  • Firestone Walker Brewing Co. | Paso Robles, CA
  • New Glarus Brewing Company | New Glarus, WI
  • Oskar Blues Brewing Company | Longmont, CO
  • Russian River Brewing Company | Santa Rosa, CA
  • Three Floyds Brewing, LLC | Munster, IN
  • Victory Brewing Company | Downingtown, PA
  • Local brewing community | Asheville, NC

To read more about Ninkasi’s trip to Sierra Nevada, and to find out what type of beer they brewed for the 12-pack, check out Ninkasi Brewing’s blog entry, “Setting Up Camp at Sierra Nevada.”

Look for the collaboration 12-pack to hit stores in the summer of 2014.

Andy Sparhawk, the Brewers Association's craft beer program coordinator, is a Certified Cicerone® and BJCP Beer Judge. He lives in Arvada, Colorado where he is a homebrewer and avid craft beer enthusiast. On occasion, Andy is inspired to write on his experiences with craft beer, and if they are not too ridiculous, you might see the results here on

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