There And Back: English-Style Bitter (Beer Camp Across America) - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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There And Back: English-Style Bitter (Beer Camp Across America)There And Back: English-Style Bitter (Beer Camp Across America)

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1,261 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,261
Reviews: 187
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 10.38%
Wants: 10
Gots: 80 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: raynmoon on 07-03-2014

For beer folks, Chico, CA, and New Glarus, WI, are must-see capitals on the U.S. brewing map, but getting between the two is no simple feat. There and Back is named for the planes, trains, and zeal needed to connect them. This classic English-style Bitter is a complex yet easy-drinking mix of toasty malt and a fruity, herbal hop flavor.

New Glarus is fiercely loyal to its home state, growing to one of the largest breweries in the U.S. without selling a single drop outside of the borders of Wisconsin. With those local tastes in mind, New Glarus has perfected traditional German styles and invented masterful versions of complex and intense fruit beers featuring Wisconsin-grown ingredients.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,261 | Reviews: 187
Reviews by qcbrewer:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Hoptometrist
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%

Served from the bottle into a nonic glass.

A- Poured a clear orange color with off-white soapy head that left minimal lacing.

S- Pretty rich malty aroma full of bready notes, caramel, toffee, and white grape..

T- Rich bready notes, lots of white grape and bright citrusy notes, caramel, cream soda, and toffee.

M- Very smooth, prickly carbonation, dry, and medium body.

O- This is such a well-balanced, flavorful, and smooth English Ale. This one caught me by surprise, quite a treat.

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours an orange-amber color with a thick one finger white head that has fantastic retention. The head slowly fades over a long time to leave a light level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The nose of the beer is sweet and malty with tons of caramel and toffee sweetness as well as a good deal of a grainy and toasted bready malt smell. Along with these aromas comes some smells of a sweeter fruitiness as well as a bit of an earthy and piney hop smell.

Taste – The taste begins much drier then I would have anticipated from the smell with a toasted malt flavor along with just a bit of a more caramel sweet taste. The bit of sweetness that is present upfront fades as the taste advances with just a hint of a lighter butterscotch flavor taking its place. Joining the toasted malt flavor are some flavors of grain and a bit of a hay-like malty taste. Hop flavors are largely absent upfront, but as the taste advances some flavors of an earthy and herbal hop flavor come to the tongue. Along with a little bit of nut and a very light happening of some toffee, one is left with a malty and slightly dank hopped and sweetened flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the lower side for a brew of only 5.6 % abv. For the style and tastes of the brew, which consist of malty and dank hops, the thicker body and lower carbonation level are rather well fitting and make for a nice mouth coating feel.

Overall – A decent bitter overall, but really nothing all that fantastic.

Photo of oberon
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours into a nonic a clear brass color with a thinner but well sustained white head,hard to find the right adjective for the color so I came up with a light brass.herbal hops and toffee malt in the nose,the hops are bigger than the average English bitter.Hard toffee and mild caramel on the pale with a drying zesty herbal hop finish,again the hops a little bigger than the average of the style.A good quaffing bitter,could drink alot of these in a sitting.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In my pint glass this beer was an amber color with a small tan head.

Aroma of pine and citrus, with a bit of sweet fruit. A bit understated.

Same with the taste. Some grapefruit, some pine notes, some fruit, some caramel.

A light, easy-drinking beer.

This was OK. It was definitely my least favorite in Beer Camp.

Photo of Beaver13
3.11/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours slightly hazy copper orange with a big rocky off white head that retains well and laces the glass some.

The aroma is sweet nutty caramel malts with some fruit.

The flavor is sweet fruity caramel malt with some nuts and a dry grassy hop finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with slightly sharp carbonation.

Overall, a decent bitter, better than most.

Photo of barhoc11
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

I feel like the beer camp series isn't as bad as everyone thinks and I am somewhat of a harsh critic when it comes to my reviews.

This ESB is perfectly inline with a ESB, I am not sure what others were expecting but this is a very fine 'almost' sessionable ale. I love the fruitiness of the hops with the strong malt backbone. It's not the best beer in the world but it is fine for what it is.

Photo of bsp77
3.27/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Orangish amber with a head that completely disappeared after about 30 seconds. Looks dead.

Smell: At first I smelled dry biscuits and caramel, some tea, cherry and floral notes. After a couple minutes, I just smelled cherry and metal.

Taste: Biscuit, tea, caramel and cherry. Some spicy and floral notes. Pretty good taste, but a lingering cherry and metallic aftertaste dings it a little.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, dry finish but oddly tingly.

Overall: Not sure why they decided to make a standard ESB as their collaboration. That would be okay if this was a shining example of the style, but it's not.

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

Begins with an earthy, spicy nose floating on a rich British malt backbone. It pours brilliant coppery amber with a 1” white foam cap that provides rich lace. Big grainy malt initiates the palate with light spice, a hint of chocolate, caramel and vanilla over a subtle malty sweetness in the background that fades into a grain spiced dry finish. There and Back’s medium body and medium low carbonation make it an easy drinking session beer.

Photo of PSU_Mike
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a teku

A - Pours a copper color with a very aggressive head. 3 finger soapy-white head with decent retention.

S - First smell is a big whiff of nutty malts. I get some brown sugar/caramel notes next which finishes with a piney whiff.

T - Definitely a malt-forward beer. Roasted nuts, caramel, some figs, and a touch of pine.

M - HIghly active carbonation tickles the tongue. A low bitterness lingers briefly before finishing.

O - Fairly simple and straight-forward beer. Mostly in line with the style. Boring but easy to drink.

Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Groveland Tap in St. Paul, MN. 12 oz. serving in a chalice glass.

Appearance: Color is a deep brownish golden orange. Moderate amount of bubbles and about two fingers of off white head with decent retention. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing on the glass.

Smell: A toasty and juicy balanced aroma with good hints of citrus and nutty malt. Toasted malt with bready hints of toast, biscuit, caramel, toffee, nuts, and yeast. Sweet hints of sugar. Solid hop presence with citrus hints of orange marmalade and lemon. Subtle floral and herbal hop hints of grass and pine. A very solid toasty English Bitter aroma.

Taste: Like the smell hints at, a nicely toasty and juicy balance of malt and juicy hops. Toasted malt with notes of bready biscuit, toast, caramel, toffee, nuts, and yeast. Subtle notes of sugar sweetness. Good hop balance with some earthy and herbal notes of pine and grass. Juicy citrus hop notes of oranges and lemon zest. A very solid English style Bitter taste.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Crisp, creamy, and very smooth with a fairly drying finish.

Overall: A very solid take on the English ESB style. Good toasty and nutty malt presence with some good citrus hop esters.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Head dwindles rather quickly body is a deep copper hue with a beige off white head, forms fine speckled lacing around the sides of my nonic pint glass.

Aroma has earthy, vinous hop notes with caramel malts and raisins in the back end pretty interesting smell to it.

Malt base shines through in the flavor profile, rich complex vinous grape notes, herbal earthy bittering hops in this English style bitter. Gives off a nutty edge and beautiful malt base, rich with complexity really makes for a drinkable style of beer that New Glarus Brewing is known for.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied even flowing carbonation on the palate goes great with every approach in a nice big malt bill like this…even balance perfect match of hop and malt balance actually.

Overall, very impressive from start to finish, here’s to complexity I’m game for a beer like this anyday!

Photo of chinchill
3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle -- bottled on date 22 May 2014 -- served in a nonic glass.

Pours deep amber in color with a slight haze; very good, durable head and good lacing. Some rising carbonation bubbles.

Aroma: mainly a blend of malts with a touch of spicyl/fruity hops. Approaches 3.75.

Flavor: Malty but well balanced and matched blend of malts and hops. Pleasant lingering malty flavor. Near equal sweet/bitter balance.

Feel: medium body and medium, crisp but soft carbonation. Just right for style. Approaches 4.25

O: an excellent and easy drinking version of the style.

Photo of timontheroad
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark orange and hazy with a short head that faded pretty quickly. Aroma was sweet, bready malt, with some slight fruity notes. Taste was pretty malty up front, but lots of fruity orangish flavors as well. As it warmed, more citrus and fruity flavors came forward. This one is a little old, but has held its own over time.

Photo of Auraan
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Poured a nice clear amber body with fairly lively carbonation at first, which quickly died off and a fluffy white three-finger head that slowly receded. A nice looking bitter. Scents of sweetly floral hops, medium levels of fruity esters reminiscent of apple, a moderate presence of caramel, a lightly earthy herbal hop presence in the background, a touch of alcohol faintly discernible and light presence biscuity malt. Overall impression is a sweet, malty aroma with a nice balancing touch of fruity esters and hop aromas. Very pleasing and quite balanced. Flavor begins malty sweet with notes of caramel and slight toasted and nutty malts balanced by a nice moderate level of hop bitterness with an herbal and lightly citrusy character. This moves into a moderately bitter middle with notes of herbal and floral hop flavors and a medium-light level of fruity esters with a balancing pale and nutty malt backbone. Finish is dry with notes of toasted and nutty malt, herbal, earthy and zesty citrus fruit hops and a light presence of fruity esters with a touch of alcohol. Aftertaste is dry with notes of resinous hops, toasted and nutty malts. Mouthfeel is light bodied and smooth feeling with low carbonation adding to this impression. Overall this is a good English Bitter. It balances sweet, nutty and toasted malt flavors with a nice level of hop character and bitterness to create a moderately bitter, yet still balanced impression on the drinker. Its aroma is similarly balanced and the mouthfeel adds to impression of a balanced, quaffable session ale. A very nice beer and one of the best of the Beer Camp series.

Photo of azorie
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured the beer from bottle at 41F. I hard poured it into my standard old mug I used for ALL beer.

A: nice cooper to tan brown, nice thick head on 45 degree hard pour. None to very light lacing after the head dropped down to about 1/4 inch after 10 minutes or so. clear and I assume its been filtered?

S: very nice toffee and bread or biscuits malt, lots of hops hit you. Does not smell boozy, and the yeast all seems to have been absorbed into the beer. I will say the hops is strong but not too strong. so far seems to be on target.

T: so here as always is where things shake out. its a bitter which is a PA, this one is fine, but the hops are a tad off for a true English bitter, but hey who cares about style anymore?
tastes really refreshing, but strong hop forward taste through the whole range of tastes. and after tastes. You get the strong malt, bread, yeast backbone. hop forward, but that is the type of beer it is. its a simple beer, not complex,. there is the hops bingo strong yea, a tad much for me, yea. malt yea its there and water.

m: low carbonation, light body, medium to thin texture, astringent.

Overall: I liked it and it was a decent version of a bitter, pale ale. would I seek it out, nope.
then you factor in the price of the thing. ouchies over 2 bucks a bottle, no thanks...once is enough.

$25 for 12 bottles

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In a samuel smith pint glass.

A- has a cloudy, amber colored body with hues of blonde. Faint carbonation. There's a massive, foamy white head and tons of lace. 4.25

S- floral, sweet, bread and biscuits, a touch of bitterness. Not very potent aromas any of them. 3.5

T- sweet and earthy, bread on the finish, caramel and hops start to emerge eventually. 3.5

M- medium bitterness, creamy but viscous, there's a notable lack of carbonation. The finish is bitter and feels wet almost. 3.5

Overall, a drinkable beer but it doesn't shine in any way. I'd say it's a three and a half type of beer.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.54/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours an orange copper color with am off-white finger's worth of head. Sub-par retention, resulting in a broken layer of surface suds. Lacing is nearly non-existent, with a rare spot here and there.

Smell - Some bready malt and faint fruitiness.. and that's about it.

Taste - Bread, red apple, hints of citrus. Caramel undertone. If I'm being short here, it's because there's not a whole lot of prominent flavors going on, but that's not atypical of the style. Nice balance, in the least.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with lively carbonation. Really smooth, almost buttery texture. Goes down nicely.

Overall - Yeah, it's okay. Even for an English Bitter, it's nothing special. Goose Island's Honker's Ale is much better, in this reviewer's opinion.

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle from Beer Camp box poured into Teku

A- Deep copper with lacy off white head
S- Smells like BMC??? That yeasties and malty american standard smell
T- At least it tastes a little better than BMC. Plain malt and bitter-bitter hops (yes, I know it's an English Bitter sytle)
M- Meh - nothing exciting... kind of standard Sierra Nevada IPA feel

O- Not very pumped on this one

Photo of secondtooth
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich amber with ample, bursting head of creamy white carbonation. Lace is big and loopy.

Aroma is toasted malts, with a creamy feel. Very nice!

Taste is smooth and malty, with a distinctive bitter hops finish. There's some grapefruit on the tongue t the finish, but this is predominantly a malt-based brew, heavy on the toasty grains. A well-done and enjoyable collision of both breweries' distinctive styles.

Photo of Roguer
3.79/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Red and copper ale topped with a snow-white head. Decent retention, and tons of nice lacing.

Huge malty aroma: caramel and toffee; dark fruit; floral hops.

Flavor matches what you'd expect, with a crisp, refreshing flavor. Caramel and toffee do the heavy lifting, while being very balanced with a bit dose of bitterness. Tons of sweet caramel and biscuit on the finish.

Bright, light, and drinkable. Slightly sticky finish.

This is a pretty good take on the style. It's both bitter and malty, and is very drinkable.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%

Pours a finger of head on a clear straw colored body.
The aroma is mild lemon, dried apricot, and wet grains.
The taste is fruity sweet upfront, lemon bitter follows. Nice balance, tends sweet overall.
The texture is sticky.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%

On tap at Bx Beer Depot. Served in a taster.

Appearance - Amber body. Small white head with a medium collar.

Smell - Fruity and estery. A bit of earthy spicy English hop. Caramel malt.

Taste - It's really fruity. Surprisingly so. Caramel malt with a little bit of sweetness. Earthy english hops give it some bitterness. Almost a creamy finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Maybe medium heavy. Medium carbonation.

Overall - The fruitiness is odd for the style, but everything else is pretty good.

Photo of sjones5045
3.2/5  rDev -12.6%

A very unremarkable beer. Not much to smell and not much to taste. Fizzy water beer. Not a bad, but certainly not a good beer. So far I think I want to call my parents and be picked up from Beer Camp early.

Photo of HalfFull
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a wine glass and a straggler from the Beer Camp mix-o-case so has a few months on it. Pours a deep golden/orange with a finger of just off white soapy foam with good retention. Nicely carbonated and perhaps a bit robust for the style and mostly clear.

Aroma of noble hops and a bit of expected dated malts. Touch bready and with a light apple fruit note. Taste follows with a hint of lemon and a notable but balanced bitterness. Finish is fairly dry with a subtle hint of lemon sweetness and a balanced bitterness on the finish. Rather nicely done and finish is crisp and balanced for the style. Coarse and lightly bready on the finish yet expected given a relatively robust take on the style.

Photo of larryarms847
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an amber rust orange color with no head to speak of.

Scents of orange zest, bread, and pepper.

This scream MEH! So boring not even worth a review. Slight orange all bitter.

Mouthfeel is bitter and dull.

Overall, well I'm not upset this is a one off.

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There And Back: English-Style Bitter (Beer Camp Across America) from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,261 ratings.