Yvan the Great: Belgian-Style Blonde. A collaborative brew of Sierra Nevada and Russian River

Yvan the Great: Belgian-Style Blonde. A collaborative brew of Sierra Nevada and Russian River

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America 12 packs were recently released and will not be around much longer. If you have not yet picked one up, I suggest you do so. It is an absurd collaboration 12 pack like no other.

Sierra Nevada invited twelve of the most exciting breweries in the country and made one beer alongside each brewer from their respected brewery. The collaborating breweries are Allagash, Ballast Point, Bell’s, Cigar City, Firestone Walker, New Glarus, Ninkasi, Oskar Blues, Russian River, 3 Floyds and Victory, plus a beer from the Asheville Brewers Alliance.

To celebrate the creation of such an amazing project, Sierra Nevada and the collaborating brewers have decided to board a bus together and take a tour across America. Earlier this week I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes chatting with Brian Grossman before he gets on the bus. Brian is the son of Ken Grossman, founder of Sierra Nevada. Ken, Brian and the collaborating brewers are getting ready to kick off a seven city traveling beer festival that will begin at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Hop Field in Chico on Saturday, July 19, from 12pm to 5pm. The tour will then go to San Diego, Denver, Chicago, Portland, Maine, and Philadelphia before ending the two weeks of festivities at the newly built Sierra Nevada brewery in Mills River, North Carolina on Sunday August 3.

Grossman told me that he expects chaos and a lot of jam-packed fun. “If you’re going to be stuck on a stinky bus with people for up to three weeks, they might as well be people you like,” he said, when asked about sharing a bus with the brewers.

With so many great breweries across the country, Grossman admitted that choosing the twelve was very difficult. “The twelve were chosen because they do something unique and help push the bar forward,” he said. He acknowledged that personal reasons played a part in the selection process. Grossman mentioned his great friendship with Vinnie Cilurzo, owner of Russian River Brewing Co., as an example. He told me that Vinnie got ordained so that he could marry Brian and his wife.

“I always knew I would be a part of the family business. As a boy the brewery was my playground. I actually learned how to ride a bike in the parking lot. In a way the brewery is still my playground,” said Grossman when discussing his childhood. He continued telling me that his father worked so much that his mother would take Brian to the brewery to visit the Sierra Nevada founder. “I remember that no matter how busy my dad was, he would stop working and spend time with us when we would visit.”

When the bus gets to North Carolina, Ken and Brian Grossman will be celebrating the grand opening of the second brewery with a bus full of friends and a community that seems excited to have them there.

Watch the Beer Camp Across America Beer Trailer here or below.

– Peter Lopez