Monday, January 27, 2014

How I arrived at my destination: Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp

Guest post by Aaron Beaulieu.

It all started years ago when my youthful lips first encountered the taste of a delicious craft beer. Fast-forward to 2012 when my brewing partner and friend, John Lovegrove, entered a contest for Sierra Nevada’s Beer camp. John ended up winning a spot and brewed Bloodshot; an Imperial Red Ale that was featured in Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp variety packs this past summer. I had never heard of the Beer Camp competition until John submitted his video. John convinced me to submit my own video, so when the contest rolled around again this year, I decided to give it a shot.

So what is Beer Camp? Beer Camp is similar to most camps e.g. summer camp, space camp, etc., in that you're doing activities related to the camp name, however this camp is setup by the legendary Sierra Nevada Brewing. With the addition of hops, malts, delicious beers, awesome people and Sierra Nevada’s brewery practically at your hands, it’s much better than any other camp out there.

You’re probably asking yourself, how can I go to Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp? Contestants are asked to submit a two-minute video explaining why they deserve to go to Beer Camp. The video cannot contain any other competitors swag and you cannot bash on the competitors products. You must also be weary of what copyrighted material you use and also be sure to not include any nudity, foul material or children in your videos. Once these rules are abided by, you simply go to Sierra Beercamp and upload your masterpiece. The contest begins in early August and runs until early October. Twenty or so contestants are selected to go each year as the breweries staff chooses ten, while the other ten are chosen by popular vote.

My video, “But Wait, There’s More” placed first in the popular vote. I dressed up as the late pitchman Billy Mays and pitched one of my favorite Sierra Nevada beers. I got the idea from realizing that no one else had done the man justice on pitching such an amazing beer, for such an amazing company. I wrote up my script, picked up some makeup, acquired an outfit from Goodwill, and with the assistance of my father’s 30-year-old VHS camera, put my acting skills to work. The contest itself was a real challenge as I was up against some amazing videos and homebrewers alike. I myself and many of the other contestants spent hours planning, editing, marketing and networking our videos in order to get into Beer Camp. It’s hard work but the payoff is truly an experience of a lifetime.

Tune in tomorrow for the remainder of  "The Beercamp Experience."