This Friday, August 1st, Maine’s own Allagash Brewing Company will join over 119 craft brewers from all over the region to pour their creations at the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America, New England Edition. Touted as the biggest beer event in Maine’s history, the Beer Camp is a celebration of Sierra Nevada’s opening of a second brewery in Asheville, North Carolina.
Twelve craft breweries were selected to collaborate on creating unique brews with the Sierra Nevada brew crew, and those beers will be marketed nationally in a special mixed pack. Allagash, chosen from the over 200 breweries in New England, will debut its beer this week. Ryan Arnold, spokesman for Sierra Nevada, explained how the breweries were chosen: “There was no great science to picking our collaboration partners for the Beer Camp Across America mixed pack, though it didn’t make whittling it down to a dozen any less difficult. We aimed for a group of brewing talent that was spread throughout the country and varied in size, specialties and age. We’ve known the crew at Allagash for a while, and they have simply nailed the Belgian style.”
Dee Dee Germain is the Creative Manager at Allagash. “We wanted to name the beer something that was relevant to Maine’s connection to Asheville, North Carolina. Myron Avery was instrumental in setting up and establishing the Appalachian Trail, or A.T. and you can literally walk the Trail from Maine to Asheville, so we decided to call our beer, “Myron’s Walk.” Both breweries value the outdoors, and this captures that common trait.””
“Collaboration on the recipe took place via email, going back and forth, tweaking it until it was just right. Our crew went to California and brewed it on their pilot system, then traveled to North Carolina and brewed the beer that became the final version. Some of us hiked Avery Peak in Maine and brought the beer with us.”
Myron’s Walk is a Belgian-style pale ale combining the best
of our two breweries. It features intense citrusy flavor and a
complex aroma from the use of fruity and resinous whole-cone
Citra and Mosaic hops offset by the complex spicy character
of Allagash’s house Belgian yeast strain.
Although Allagash was the only Maine brewery to be chosen for collaboration, all of the over fifty-five Maine craft brewers will benefit. Sierra Nevada will donate a portion of the proceeds from Friday’s Beer Camp to hops and barley research and a portion to the Maine Brewers Guild, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting the craft beer industry in Maine. Guild Director Sean Sullivan weighed in, saying, “We hope people come to this event: weather is supposed to be perfect, seventies and sunny with high tide at the venue, Thompson Point, close to the bus and train station. They’ve worked hard to get everything ready.”
Sullivan also invited beer camp attendees to a block party to be held the night before, on July 31st, at Sebago Brewing in the Old Port. Starting at 6 p.m., all twelve of the collaboration beers will be poured, as well as some other brews. “Guild President Heather Sanborn of Rising Tide and I went to Sierra Nevada’s brewery out in Chico, California, and together with the six other Guild leaders from the other collaborator states we created what we call “Guildy Pleasure IPA.” This beer will only be poured at the beer camp festivals and Thursday night, so it’s a rare opportunity.”’
Entrance to the block party is free, and the Maine Brewers’ Guild will also be raffling off tickets to the Beer Camp Across America Festival and other prizes at the block party event.
For more information, check out the website at www.beercamp.sierranevada.com.
Kate Cone is the author of What’s Brewing in New England (Down East Books, 1997) and is updating the book for 2015 publication. She’ll be at the Beer Camp with bells on. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @kateconewrites.