Last week Mountain Sports International and Sierra Nevada Brewery invited a group of athletes from The Freeskiing World Tour and The North Face Masters to Beer Camp! On the skiing side of things it was myself, Jess McMillan, Crystal Wright, Griffin Post, Mark Phillipini and Dylan Crossman. For the snowboard side of things there was Maria Debari, Shannon Yates, Mary Bodington, Ralph Backstrom and Aaron Robinson.
The night we arrived the group was welcomed by Sierra Nevada with a dinner in their brew pub. The food was amazing and the beer was even better. The best part was the selection. The brew pub had different types of beer that you wouldn't be able to find anywhere else!
The following morning we headed just west of downtown Chico to the local state park. Brian the owners son lead us on a mountain bike ride through some sweet single track. Our rental bikes were not exactly top of the line so riding was a little interesting at times. I believe we only had two minor crashes and a few flats. Not too bad for a large group of people on less than desirable rental bikes.
Of course at the end of the ride there was beer waiting for us! Also a sweet swimming spot. I've never seen such smooth volcanic rock before. It made exiting the cold water a little tricky, but still a great time.
Next was lunch back at the brew pub.
Yes, there was plenty of beer there too!
Soon after we headed out on a tour of the brewery. It was pretty interesting to see all that was involved in the process of making beer. I had no idea it was so complicated. Between quality control, brewing, bottling, research and everything else involved, like staying GREEN! It's quite an interesting process.
With our visitor badges and safety glasses on we heading into see the process.
Terrance, along with a few others from Sierra Nevada showed us all that was involved. It was a visual, aeromatic and information overload.
We learned about Hops!
Quality controll and taste of course! As well as experiencing probably the freshest beer I will ever taste.
The bottling process along was a huge process. Machines for filling, testing the quality of the glass,
filling the boxes with bottles.
Labeling… and then some.
If the wasn't impressive alone. We learned that they are also one of the greenest companies in the world. With there own organic garden for the brew pub and the states first giant compost machine.
This machine is from New Zealand and it not only speeds up the compost process but allows you to compost things you wouldn't normally be able to in your back yard compost pile.
All this education, would'nt of been complete with out a few nights on the town of Chico. Chico, home to a big party school was a good time. On thirsty thursday, of course we rode downtown on this twelve person ride…
And then we all tied a few on and well the rest I guess you should of been there to see for yourself!
Thanks to MSI and The Freeskiing World Tour and The North Face Masters awesome beer sponsor Sierra Nevada we all had a great time at BEER CAMP!