Oct 22, 2014

Sierra Nevada Chico King

Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp 12 pack isn’t just any other cobbled together package of beer — it’s not just a bunch of seasonal brews tossed into a cardboard box. The 12 individual bottles and cans in this celebrational offering are all unique and collaborative efforts between the California company and 12 other noted breweries. The first bottle that I pulled from the confines back in late July was Chico King.

This 6.5% ABV (45 IBU) American Pale Ale, packaged 05/15/2014, was brewed in conjunction with 3 Floyds Brewing. The brew features a solid amount of malt character thanks to Two-row Pale, Pilsner and Caramel malts. The piney, lightly fruity hop flavor is driven by a combination of Mosaic, El Dorado, Citra and Calypso varieties.

The end result is a brew that drinks incredibly easily, but doesn’t quite smack with the same bite that Sierra Nevada’s own flagship Pale Ale carries. Chico King is smooth in character and flavor.


The brew pours a rich amber in color with a large, rocky stack of tawny foam. A decent amount of sticky lacing was left behind as the head fell.

Sierra Nevada Chico King photo


Chico King is dominated by caramel, bready malt, grapefruit, lemon and pine. Herbal hints and grain are also present on the nose.


Fruity, herbal hops lead the way with piney resin close behind. A slightly sweet and bready malt base supports solidly. Hints of caramel, lemon and grain are present throughout. The beer is medium bodied with incredible balance and a smooth-drinking nature.


I’ve got no complaints with this beer. It’s not the best Pale Ale to come out of the California camp, but it’s got a great balance of flavors that few in the genre can claim. There’s a bit of a Southern Hemisphere familiarity to it, but that may be due to the hop varieties employed throughout the making of Chico King. All in all, it’s a tasty brew and a nice one to start this twelve part series of reviews.

Rating: 3.75/5

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