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

185 Reviews
no score
Send samples
There And Back: English-Style Bitter (Beer Camp Across America)There And Back: English-Style Bitter (Beer Camp Across America)

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by raynmoon on 07-03-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 185 | Ratings: 1,276
Photo of Jesse13713
2.25/5  rDev -39%

Appearance - loads of carbonation. Deep amber orange.

Smell - not much to comment on. Very faint fruit.

Taste - sweet toffee with a bitter cherry bite for am aftertaste. Tastes heavily carbonated.Not much to say about this one really. Im a bit underwhelmed.

 261 characters

Photo of bneel317
2.41/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Part of the Beer Camp compilation. Collaboration between Sierra Nevada and New Glarus. Pours a clear copper color with a good amount of froth. Smell is sweet, sweet, sweet, almost cola sweet. The flavor profile is pretty sweet also. Bitter as an ESB should be, but I also get a raw alcohol taste that is quite unpleasant. Mouthfeel is smooth but its hard to get over that taste. Not a fan of this guy, probably my least favorite out of the Beer Camp.

 450 characters

Photo of Dangerous
2.68/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

I just tried Alt Route from Beer Camp a Couple of hours ago. I enjoyed that beer. This one is a little funky....I have had English bitters before, but this one is a little strange.

A - It pours a hazy amber color with a large initial head that quickly subsides.

S - Really have to dig in order to pull some aromatics out of this, but if I'm pressed....I'm going with wet dog.

T - Tastes slightly acidic with bitter, grassy hop residual

M - The feel is dry and chalky...Weird...not a fan

Overall, its OK. I won't be reaching for a second unless i'm desperate, but it could work for you. Personally, I think it's my own personal preferences at play here, but we'll see when the rest of the reviews come in.

 710 characters

Photo of pjtagle
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

I probably got a bad batch but there's an overwhelming sulfur aroma, which is confusing because I thought this only came from lagering yeast. Any thoughts?

Otherwise, taste is good, mouth feel and appearance is around what is expect for a bitter style.

 253 characters

Photo of wvsabbath
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Brown/ruby tan with a 1/8 inch foamy head. Minor lacing.

Smell - Roasty malts, caramel, toffee. Nuts, some brown sugar but overall lacking.

Taste - Upfront biscuit malts, nuts and a bitter note. Right on par with style, some caramel/toffee sugar notes. A little hop bite in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Malts and nuts coat the tongue. Palate gets more malts, some sugars and minor hop bitterness. Aftertaste is mild bitter with some remaining biscuit malts.

Overall - Just like the style usually is, boring, simple and easy to just slam down and move to the next beer. My final beer in the beer camp 12 pack, and it closes just like it started, boring, half assed, nothing special. Sierra Nevada dropped the ball on this pack, from getting a hoppy pale ale 2 months after bottled on date, to the overall collection of world class breweries collaboration to make some real lame beers, this was a disappointment and sierra Nevada should publicly apologies to all the drinkers of this collection.

 1,028 characters

Photo of larryarms847
3.03/5  rDev -17.9%
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.

 259 characters

Photo of jwhancher
3.09/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Looks like, tastes, and feels like a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale with a lot less hops and more toasted malts. Average at best. A disappointment in my book from two top notch Brewers. Was expecting something much more than this. Not a bad beer by any means, though - just around average. When did a bitter get to 5.6% ABV?

 316 characters

Photo of Beaver13
3.11/5  rDev -15.7%
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.

 382 characters

Photo of Mitchster
3.15/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Brewed with Golden Promise, Caramel malts. Bitter and Northern Brewer, finished with Willamette, Sterling.
5.6% ABV, OG=13.0P, FG=2.8P, 40 IBU's.

Pours out to a slightly hazy pale copper, forming a tall whipped yellow head with superior retention and solid lacing. Carbonation is moderate, ~2.5 carbs or so. Layer of sediment in the bottle. The nose is of fruity hops (pineapple, mango) and some subtle toast, that ruddy english yeast character like wet cardboard. Mouthfeel is light bodied, crisp, dry in the finish, and somewhat tart and metallic and oxidized. The taste is not very good. It is oxidized, lots of wet cardboard, there is a weird metallic sourness like a fermentation/sanitation problem. Medium firm herbal bitterness. Bone dry finish.

Not very good. Definitely the weakest of the beer camp series so far. If this were homebrew I would give it away to non-particular friends or dump it.

 915 characters

Photo of Mikus
3.17/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Western PA backwoods... I JUST got this. I know it may be a bit past it's prime. Here goes. 12oz into the snifter. Cool looking tangerine hue, and a 1/2 finger of white head that dropped to virtually zero in quick succession. Clean (SN standard?) aroma, distinct bitter note, and a hoppy (floral) note in there as well. Up front bitterness on the tongue, and a decent malt presence. Mild, light, and pretty refreshing. It's good. Overall, this was nice. I am not too well-educated on ESB. Despite the slightly old bottles, I was not disappointed.

 546 characters

Photo of sjones5045
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%

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.

 207 characters

Photo of OrestesMethuon
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from the tap into a standard sixteen-ounce glass at the University of Chicago Pub, I was of course excited to see anything with New Glarus involvement in an Illinois bar.

The first thing that hit me was how fruity this ale is for an ESB; certainly the bitterness is one of the least pronounced components of the beer. The malt heart of the bitter is nice—though I'm sure the exact malting outlay contribute to the predominant fruitiness—and it shines through most in the nose; the yeast-bill is also a heavy contributor to both the odor and the flavor, which likewise seems pretty unusual for the professed style.

The second thing that asserts itself is a bit of wineyness, which persists through both the smell and taste. As one drinks, it takes over as the dominant element, transmuting the fruitiness into a discernibly fermented product. It's an odd detail.

Finally, the expected rich, malty bitterness arrives, about eight ounces through the pint. It's a very weird progression, and I have little clue if it's (laudably) what they were going for, or (lamentably) a failed experimentation.

Overall, considering the reliable—and, in the case of New Glarus, reliably awesome—names behind this bitter (one of my favorite styles, no less), it's an underwhelming offering: it's interesting, but not necessarily very pleasing. I'm glad to have tried it—and went back for seconds, to clarify my impressions—but I don't believe I could call it a success.

 1,478 characters

Photo of bristol2120
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Served from a 12 oz. bottle.
Pours a deep amber orange appropriate for the style.
Off white slightly tan head has decent retention but not much by way of lacing.
Nose is subdued, lacking the malt character I look for in an English Bitter, though not in any sense unpleasant.
This beer is nicely flavored, but again lacking the essential maltiness I expect in a bitter.
Hops are also just a bit too aggressive for my liking.
Mouthfeel is nicely rounded with a comfortable level of carbonation.
This is a pleasant beer, but I have to knock off points because I feel it is just a bit too hoppy for the style.

 605 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Dark copper body with a quarter inch of head. Bready aroma, with alcohol, line, sweet, fruity malts. Earth flavor with underlying herbal notes. Light line and perhaps a touch of citrus. Not on par with the quaffable British bitters. Another mediocre, boring Beer Camp offering.

 277 characters

Photo of Shaw
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Pretty amber with a big white head.

Mild nutty aroma, which carries over to the flavor. Very mild.

Probably my least favorite of the Beer Camp Across America pack.

 168 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
3.26/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on cask at Ale Arsenal.

A: Rich auburn. Clear with good head.

S: Caramel malt and brown sugar. Quite sweet.

T: Welp. Tastes a lot like an English cask bitter. Smooth, sweet, flat...but wait! The aftertaste is superb. Lightly bitter, caramelized sugar, a mite sticky but also hoppy. Still not enough to redeem a lackluster maintaste.

M: Kind of watery.

O: Good example of the style, but not my vote for an excellent beer. Wouldn't have again, though perhaps it's better not on cask.

Notes: "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."
40 IBU

 849 characters

Photo of bsp77
3.27/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

 689 characters

Photo of PPOmaha
3.27/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Aroma: Medium spicy hop aromas up front with just a hint of menthol. Medium sweet toffee malt aroma. No DMS, No diacetyl. Nothing blows you away here just a clean balanced aroma with a hint of spice.

Appearance: Color is copper with golden highlights. Medium white, slightly rocky head.

Flavor: Medium malt flavor slightly sweet saltine with a hint of rye. Hop flavor is earthy and a bit dirty. Bitterness is fairly high. No DMS, No diacetyl. Not much here just a hint of hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body with medium carbonation. The carbonation that is there makes it feel pretty bright on the tongue. Bitterness lingers just a bit into the finish.

Overall: cleanly brewed beer, but nothing that stands out to me. This would be better on cask or from an engine.

 778 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at PreFunk. Is it a bitter? You betcha! Dry and bitter, leaves your tongue tingling. Dark golden, extra malty. Slight hoppiness, but mostly malt, smooth and buttery, slick mouth feel. The hops are what separates this from the English styles, but still not bad.

 267 characters

Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle from Beer Camp 2 12-pack poured into stout glass. Date on bottle is 5/22/14.

A) Aggressive pour results in large, soapy white head, about 2 1/2 fingers with good retention, leaving much sticky lace and a ring. Beer is amber/brown, pretty cloudy.

S) Fairly muted - smell roasted malts, definite notes of raisin/currant, some floral. Good, but could be more aggressive.

T) A real letdown. Some malt, very little fruit and not much at all in the way of bitter hops. Really doesn't taste like much of anything.

M) Weak-bodied, kind of watery. Mild carbonation. Not a smooth or balanced beer.

O) Disappointing.

 624 characters

Photo of Karibourgeois
3.34/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper gold pour with a white one-finger head and medium carbonation. Aroma is light bread and toast. Flavor is very mild and not overly bitter. Has more of a sweet flavor upfront with tastes of bread, biscuit and caramel. Slight floral bitterness comes towards that back end. Finishes with a mild bitterness.

 315 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.34/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Attractive coppery color but a very modest foam in the St. Bernardus globe. Virtually no lacing but a pleasantly fizzy mouthfeel.

This has the biscuity taste but followed by the herbal remedy flavor. A mineral, bitter and barky taste. Actually the frothy mouth-filling sensation is quite nice. A hint of caramel and a dry finish. Excessively bitter aftertaste.

This seems to not a very good imitation an English Bitter, though it does have the mineral taste and fruity hop note. From the 12 oz bottle as part of the 2014 Beer Camp box, purchased at Liticker's Liquor in Ocean Beach.

 585 characters

Photo of LambicPentameter
3.36/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I consumed the 12 beers in the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp pack over a roughly two week span in order to avoid having more than a couple beers in one sitting and potentially burning my palate out. I will now review all twelve, from notes, in the order in which they were consumed. Next: There And Back.

Enjoyed on 7/22 out of a 12 oz brown bottle marked with a bottling date of 5/22/14. Poured into a 16 oz nonic style tumbler glass.

Appearance - Pours a slightly hazy translucent rust-mahogany shade that resembles the color of red clay. Slightly orange where the light passes through and closer to burgundy in the shade of the two finger off-white head. The foam is pillowy and consists of medium-sized bubbles that begin to burst giving it the appearance of spongecake. Retention is low to moderate and leaves sparse lace residue on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Somewhat nondescript, with notes of dulled caramel malt sweetness and a bit of earthiness intermingled with a faintly fruity bouquet from the English yeast. There is a suggestion of nuttiness, but like the other aromas present, it's hard to pull out of the glass, and there is a twinge of something metallic--a little coppery.

Taste - That lingering metallic impression from the smell seems to intrude on the taste, but it is fleeting. I don't really taste the copper the same way I smelled it. Instead, there is a mix of the same fruity yeast characteristic and now some mild nuttiness, both finished off by just a hint of bitter herbal hoppiness, but nothing terribly aggressive.

Mouthfeel - Medium-to-light bodied and moderate carbonation. There is a smoothness to the beer that makes me wish it had a bit more CO2 kick on the tongue, but I believe that is more or less to style, so I have a hard time docking it on that basis.

Overall, I must admit that my experience with this style is very limited. This is the first I've reviewed on BA, but I've had a couple in the past, and while There And Back seems to touch all the bases for the style, I feel like the fruitiness could come out a bit more and the bitterness could be a lot more assertive. In spite of having a favorable appearance and mouthfeel that seems "to style", the aroma and taste just fall well short for me, which brings the overall down for me.

 2,286 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with bottled on date 05/22/2014 printed on the back label. My third beer from the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America mixed twelve pack, this one a collaboration with New Glarus Brewing Co.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - It pours a nice burnt sienna orange colored body, with just under a finger of frothy off-white head. Leaves some okay spotty lacing behind.

S - The smell is fairly neutral. Light nuttiness and some fruity / berry sort of hop presence.

T - The taste is mostly the same. Not a whole lot of nutty or roasted maltiness going on, in my opinion. It is more berry / white grape hop driven. Somewhat bitter, dry, grainy, and lightly medicinal. Maybe some mild alcohol presence noted also.

M - The feel is crisp and clean. Finishes bitter & dry. Medium bodied with okay carbonation.

Overall, this has definitely been my least favorite of the three I've tried from the Beer Camp Across America pack so far. Far too berry / fruity/ grapey for me to consider it a nice example of an English bitter.

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America There And Back ---3.5/5

 1,102 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%

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.

 497 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
There And Back: English-Style Bitter (Beer Camp Across America) from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.69 out of 5 based on 1,276 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.