Sierra Nevada – Beer Camp – Chico King Pale Ale & Coffee Milk Stout Ale

So here’s a report from Beer Camp…yeah yeah, I know, “What happens at beer camp stays at beer camp”….oh wait, that’s deer camp….but anyway….

I had the fortune of being able to try two of Sierra Nevada Brewing’s “Beer Camp” beers, a special case of one-offs they made to showcase some of their talent and to bring some local as well as far-away flavors to their fans. First I had their Coffee Milk Stout Ale, which is kind of an oxymoron. How can you have a stout ale, exactly? That’s technically two different beers. An ale is medium body and a stout is heavy and dark. Regardless of their creativity, this one was really good. Coffee is my “other woman” besides beer, so combining the pair is, well, kind of what fantasies are made of….but I digress. Sierra did an awesome job on this one, creating a super smooth brew with a perfect coffee flavor, combined with some light sweetness from the added lactose.
Beer Camp- Truth in Advertising

Beer Camp- Truth in Advertising

Chico King Pale Ale was described on the bottle as having “plenty of bright, fruit-forward, resinous hop varietals atop a robust malt body,” and boy are they telling the truth here. I’ve never read a label and then actually experienced what they described so precisely. Their choice in hops is a pleasant mix of citrus-heavy as well as other stone-fruit and apple-ish varieties, plus the malt profile is a perfect compliment to balance the fruit. Neither overpowered the other, but both came through independently while still complementing each other. I could definitely add this to my list of sessionable beers without question…if I can find more….

<>Beer Man

Beer Camp- Great Beverage for Card Playing :-)

Beer Camp

Kona Brewing Golden Ale- a not-so – Hawaiian beer

Kona Brewing Golden Ale. Meh. It was a beer. Definitely not anything special, it was almost watered-down tasting.

Kona Brewing is a company supposedly brewing in Hawaii. They have three other locations listed on thier bottles, including Portsmouth, NH. I seem to recall reading that Red Hook Brewery does some of the brewing for Kona, using ingredients local to New England, yet somehow it is being passed off as “Hawaiian.” I’ve had another of their brews a few years ago, thinking “Oh cool, a beer from Hawaii!” Wrong. That’s when I found out it wasn’t necessarily Hawaiian….oh well.

Beer Man

Super Kitty!

Super Kitty. I’ve never seen such a great name for a beer. Too bad the beer isn’t so super. An ale aged with honey and oak chips, it is quite sweet for something that is traditionally a brew on the dry side. I think being aged in some sort of tank, likely stainless, with oak chips added makes for a less woody taste, as I’ve found some of the oak barrel aged beers come off like you’re chewing through an oak stave instead of drinking a beer.

Super Kitty

Super Kitty (photo credit: Winey Woman)

OK, now that I’ve completely turned you off to trying this one, let me focus on the good part, because it does have one. Super Kitty is well-rounded, even if a little sweet. This sweetness cuts though some of the bitterness that usually accompanies an oak-aged beer, which is a nice change. I’ve got three more bottles of S-K awaiting my glass, so hopefully my feelings on this one change. Hudson Brewing has come up with a unique offering, and I’ll certainly seek out more of their beer in the future.

<>Beer Man