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Beer camp winners get inside look at Sierra Nevada Brewery

Published On: Dec 24 2013 05:54:15 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 05 2013 11:38:09 AM CST
CHICO, Calif. -

Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico is hosting a special group of visitors this week.  Winners of the brewery's beer camp competition have come from all corners of the U.S. to spend a couple of days learning Sierra Nevada's tricks of the trade.
But Sierra Nevada Communications Director Ryan Arnold said getting there wasn't easy.
"It's a bit of a barrier to enter," said Arnold.  "We ask for about two minutes of video being as creative as you can, letting us know why you think we should bring you here to Sierra Nevada to brew beer with us."
The prize is 24 golden tickets, one for each winner, and entry into Sierra Nevada, where they learned how it's done by the best.
Almost everyone selected for beer camp already understands the process of making beer.  But at Sierra Nevada, they learn the finer points.  During Wednesday's tour they saw how it's made, from the hops to the bottles, and every part of the process in between.
John Tolley came to Chico from Chicago.
"Definitely worth it," said Tolley.  "This is an experience of a lifetime."
Another guest didn't have to travel very far.  Jim Matthews is from Chico.   For Matthews, this is Christmas come early.  
"Beer is fun to make and it's something you can share with your friends," said Matthews.  "So it's a good hobby."

There are two separate two-day sessions for beer camp.  It reaches a head with a competition to determine which amateur brewers can make the tastiest beer.  The winning beer could even end up being sold commercially by Sierra Nevada.

Each participant will be given a limited amount of their beer to serve at their favorite retailer back in their hometowns.