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)

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.

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Reviews: 184 | Ratings: 1,274
Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color capped by an impressive head; nice retention and lacing action

Smell: Toasted bread, pecans and a hint of fruit

Taste: Toasted bread and pecan with a developing hint of stone fruit and nutskin bitterness; some toffee sweetness builds, after the swallow, to offset the bitter flavors

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation; doesn't feel like a bitter but I understand the issue with that

Overall: I note that a number of reviewers are incorrectly calling this an ESB and a few are calling it an English Pale Ale - I think the problem is that many folks are unfamiliar with an English Bitter, as few domestic craft brewers tackle the style and those that do tend not to bottle it; in any event, for a bottled Bitter, this is OK though it lacks some of the earthy bitterness and stone fruit flavor to really nail the style

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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.

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Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

On draft, pours a dark orange gold color, very still. Not much head.

The nose is bitter, earthy hops. Very rustic and musty with a little citrus zest. The flavor is malt pelts, grassy and bitter hops. A little hay/straw note, very grainy. This is a bit all over the place, dancing around from flavor to flavor, not really working together. This is not as balanced as I would like it to be. Still good and refreshing, but could be better.

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Photo of barhoc11
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Bottle: Poured a light copper color ale with a medium size foamy head with OK retention. Aroma consists of fruity ester with light dry bitter notes. Taste is also dominated by dry caramel malt notes with some fruity ester. Body is about average for style with good carbonation. Enjoyable as a one-time beer but not something I would necessarily seek again.

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Photo of Gavage
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Pours a light orange color with a short 1/2" head that breaks down rather quickly. Fruity characteristics dominate along with some caramel, light floral bitterness, and and a touch of breadiness. Crisp throughout and nicely refreshing. When you are looking for an ESB with some nice flavor, this is it.

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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.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Poured into a snifter

A: Tawny gold, opaque, a white half finger head. Frothy lacing.

S: Grainy, fruity, nutty, hoppy, malty.

T: Lightly bitter, a malty background. Not much going on.

M: Light to medium with medium carbonation.

O: As someone else said, not the best in the box, but not bad. It didn't overwhelm me.

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Photo of TWStandley
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Poured from the bottle into my Sam Adams "Perfect Pint."

Appeared a brownish honey color with a thick, off white head.

Smelled malty right from the start with a bit of nutty oakiness to it.

Taste followed suit. Pretty mild tasting, not bad.

Mouthfeel was medium with decent carb.

Overall, not the best of the bunch but not the worst either. No wow factor.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this 12oz chilled from the bottle in a 1/2 pint

The color is medium amber with light beige cream and very fine bead.The smell is very good with great toasted odor and mild fruitiness in the yeast ester and light pear-like sweet scent with mild biscuit aroma. The feel is great with medium bitter entry with slight creamy entery and medium light bitterness with light nutty toasted grain texture and mostly dry clean finish.

Gentle hop flavor with herbal element and slight caramel flavor from the malt with subtle fruity yeast taste with hint of dry toast and yet creamy flavor from malt and yeast comingling which adds a light smooth yet not really buttery aspect. The taste is great-what you expect from an English bitter-a blend of hops malt and yeast. I am finding more to enjoy as it warms with light spice and slight dark sugar in the back with mildly bitter herbal hop aspect in the finish. Overall I could drink this every day...enjoyable actually a pretty great bitter/ESB with lots of dimension second favorite in the case so far: splendid and enjoyable

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Photo of stakem
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

12oz bottle poured into a SN snifter. The brew appears clear copper in color with s yellowish tan cap 2 fingers strong. Some patchy lace sticks to the walls of the glass.

The aroma is fruity and floral from a combo of hops and alcohol esters. Across the back and filling the voids are some mineral elements which are found across seemingly every beer camp offering this year.

The taste includes some toasty toffee malt with a little carbonic character. Mildly fruity and floral hops are quite pleasant but its difficult to ignore the displaced mineral attributes of this.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is easy drinking and par the course for this variety.

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Photo of Auraan
4/5  rDev +8.4%

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.

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Photo of mynie
3.81/5  rDev +3.3%

Served at a reasonable temperature (this is important).

Initially, I was gonna say "I just finished this beer 2 minutes ago and I'm struggling to remember it." Because, at a temp of about say 50 degrees fahrenheit, it was of small character. That's what I expect from ESB's, but that would have made it just an exemplary example of a very boring style: dry English hops up front, caramel-y malt in the middle, a little bit of bittersweetness on the back end. Nice, well brewed, but boring.

But then the beer warmed up, and a whole bunch of neatness began to shine through. (Maybe that's the whole "English" thing--since they drink this warm, we should, too.) The back end began, miraculously to take on strong nodes of Sierra Nevada yeastiness. The combination of somewhat rougher American nodes livened up the beer considerably.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%

Pours a copper color, mostly clear, with a chill haze. A white bubbly head forms and retains decently well.

The aroma has toffee and a touch of herbal hops as well. Bread and toasted malt come out pretty well.

In the taste, nice and hoppy with light citrus, lemongrass and herb notes. Toast, toffee and slight fruitiness round out the finish of the brew. Pretty good balance, and the hop bite is not too strong for those casual fans of the style.

Medium bodied, highly carbonated brew. Crisp and very drinkable ale.

The bitter is a dying style in the states, but brews like this proves that doesn't necessarily have to be the case. This is very tasty, and worth revisiting.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

New Glarus and SN know beer, so when they say this is nutty they aren't joking. I catch not only a nutty malt but pecans and almonds. There is a light hop bitterness and some pine but the nutty malt flavors are more pervasive. This is very highly carbonated and has some harsh tendencies along with a bit of bitterness. This is a very nice entry in the Beer Camp 12 pack.

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Photo of vkv822
4/5  rDev +8.4%

12oz bottle into a tulip.
bottled 05/22/14

Pours a lightly hazy, coppery brown with a foamy, off white head.

Aroma is floral hops, with a lightly sweet, crackery, nutty backbone. About the same character in the taste as well.

Medium body, mild, foamy carbonation.

A well done English Bitter. Easy drinking. Light hops, with a solid, but unobtrusive malt backbone.

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Photo of CHickman
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Bottled on 5/22/14: Pours hazy amber gold color with a 1 finger foamy off white head that was full of bubbles and faded on the slow side leaving good foamy spotty lacing.

Smells of malt, toffee, caramel, light piney hops, grass, tea leaf and musty yeast. Pretty much malty overall nose with real mild hops and a general sweetness.

Tastes of malt, toffee, caramel, piney hops, salt water, grass, nutty notes, apple skin, toasted grains, tea leaf, mild booze and like the nose some musty yeast or old wheat bread that almost had mold growing on it. The aftertaste has a citrus hop bitterness, but this to me was basically a very malty English pub style brew with just enough complexities to make it interesting.

Mouthfeel was smooth with a medium body, average to light carbonation and a slightly bitter aftertaste that was more grainy than hoppy.

Overall a good beer that was nice and malty with just enough hop zest to add to the flavor. I’m not well versed in this style, but I really enjoyed this beer and will have to check out more English Bitter’s.

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Photo of Bills453
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Really great collaboration as part of the Beer Camp offerings. I think this is my favorite one so far and I have had about half of them. An excellent Summer beer. Crisp, refreshing, very nice.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%

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.

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Photo of Scrapss
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Poured into the Allagash coolship chalice.

A: poures a nice deep orange color with a two finger head. Nice retention and lacing persists through the whole process. Medium carbonation from the nucleation site. Tight bubbles.

S: I am getting light floral and herbal notes, like lavender and udder cream. light bitter notes with very very light malt.

T: Very light nose follows taste with tea like notes. Creaminess covers up a slightly acidic note.

M: Creamy due to tight bubbles with velvety mid palate. lighter end of medium body. Lightness in the feel comes from a combo of bubbles and slightly acidic note.

O: This is very nice. Reminds me of a civilized, gentle bitter quaff.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

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.

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Photo of n2185
4/5  rDev +8.4%

A: Pours a clear honey orange with two fingers of white head that fades into a frothy ring with little lacing.

S: Sweet crystal malts with a little bit of caramel and biscuit aromas and notes of bubblegum.

T: Crystal malts and sweet biscuit flavors with notes of caramel, bubblegum, and hearty bread before a slightly bitter but clean finish.

M: Light body with moderate carbonation, this beer is drinkable and refreshing.

O: A good beer, overall. Simple, but tasty, crisp, and refreshing.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%

Poured into a Sierra Nevada pint glass with a slight white head. Light anger color with a steady amount of light bobbles. Malty toasty smell with a slight fruity taste. Slight toasty taste with a good malt backbone and a slight amount of hops. Has a slight bitter taste and has that English tent. Slight carbonation but I think it could use a little more. Pretty good beer. Haven't had many English bitters but I do like this one.

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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.

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Photo of porter_collie
3.84/5  rDev +4.1%

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass

A - A rust-colored body with a frothy white head.

S - Effervescent malt would be a good way to describe the nose. I pick up toast, fresh-baked biscuits, and toffee. A touch of pine.

T - Similar to the scent, this beer has a solid malt background. Nutty and roasty flavors dominate, which recall biscuits or artisan bread. A slight toffee sweetness and piney hop flavor sneak in.

M - A medium to light body, a high carbonation, and a dry finish.

O - This beer reminded me of many other New Glarus brews. You can tell they are experts at picking out and mixing the finest imported malts. That being said, this collaboration falls short of other malty New Glarus ales like Fat Squirrel. My wife and I had great hope for this beer (we previously lived in Wisconsin) and while we were happy enough with it, it made us wish for the real deal.

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There And Back: English-Style Bitter (Beer Camp Across America) from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.69 out of 5 based on 1,274 ratings.
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