If you've been beer shopping lately you may have noticed Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp mixed 12-pack (10 bottles + 2 cans). The beers contained within come from 12 breweries across the U.S. that Sierra Nevada partnered with, all of which are probably familiar names even if they aren't generally available in your market.
The Beer Camp Across America tour starts this Saturday in Chico, Calif. with tour stops in seven cities. Portland wasn't chosen to be one of those cities (or anywhere in Oregon actually) but that didn't stop my favorite watering hole from getting in on the action. Last night The BeerMongers had a tap takeover in which they had all 12 of the beers available - and not just pouring from those 12-pks, oh, no, they were All. On. Tap.
I won't bore you with a blow by blow account of each beer but two of my favorites were Ninkasi Brewing Double Latte Coffee Milk Stout and Bell's Brewery Maillard's Odyssey Imperial Dark Ale. Ninkasi doesn't get a lot of love from me these days but they really hit it out of the park with this coffee beer. And Bell's, well I'm happy whenever I can get my hands on a beer from this upper Midwest mainstay and their Dark Ale was right up there with some of the best they make.
Two others I feel compelled to mention are Victory Brewing Alt Route Altbier and Asheville Brewers Alliance Tater Ridge Scottish Ale (made with sweet potatoes). Neither are styles I gravitate towards mostly because they tend to be too malty for me but both of these were nice beers that I'd happily order again.
If you get a chance to try these beers on tap, do it. Even if not, grab one of the 12-pks, a couple of friends and sample your way through all the offerings. I bet you find at least a couple you'll want more of.