Sierra Nevada launched exactly that back in 2008, inviting fans from across the country to its Chico, Calif., brewery for a two-day Beer Camp. What started as a monthly occurrence is now held almost weekly.
Under the direction of Steve Grossman (brother of Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman), participants taste beers, learn about the brewing process, shovel malts and hops, work the bottling line, and create a unique group beer.
And, every year, the brewery picks four of these experimental ales for its Beer Camp Variety 12-Packs – three bottles each of four different styles.
From 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Taste of Tops will tap all four beers in the 2012 variety pack – an oatmeal stout, imperial red, imperial pilsner and floral IPA – as well as some other Sierra Nevada offering.
They’ll also be videotaping auditions for an upcoming beer camp.