During our time on the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America — from California to Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Pennsylvania and, finally, North Carolina — we tasted beers, talked to locals, and tried to get a sense of the state of craft beer across the country. We learned a lot on our trip: That hot air balloon rides can cure hangovers, Pliny for breakfast will rob you of your ambitions, and that you can, indeed, brew beer on the back of a moving bus.
RELATED: Checking in From Every Stop of Beer Camp
More importantly, we found that there were dozens of great beers that you can only get by being a local — whether in Asheville, North Carolina, Philadelphia, Portland, Maine, or San Diego. From walking the grounds of the regional festivals and tasting some 30 beers at each of the seven Beer Camp festivals (this wasn't entirely fun; not all the beers were good), we found 70 beers that, if you live more than a few hundred miles away from the brewery, you probably haven't had the chance to try. We suggest you follow our example and make a road trip out of it. A beer tour across the country doesn't sound like too bad an idea now, does it?
Evolution Lot #3 IPA
The Brewery: Evolution Craft Brewing Company, a brewery complete with a restaurant and packed tasting room outside of Salisbury, Maryland
The Beer: Lot #3 IPA
Tasting Notes: This hoppy beer might lean towards the more bitter part of the scales for an American IPA, but it's all about balance in this brew. A strong carmel backbone prevents the Lot #3 from becoming too aggressive. It's the kind of IPA you could find yourself drinking back-to-back without tiring your tongue — and a standout, even in a region that gave birth to one of the most well-known (and worthy) IPAs in the U.S., Dogfish Head's 60 Minute IPA.