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?
Dominion Oak Barrel Stout
The Brewery: You might know Old Dominion Brewery for its root beer or by the name of its owner since 2007, Fordham Brewery, but Old Dominion is a long-time Mid-Atlantic brewer, in the craft beer game since 1989.
The Beer: Dominion Oak Barrel Stout
Tasting Notes: This light, chocolate-y, and slightly sweet stout is not usually our kind of beer. But the oak chips used in brewing mellow this beer beautifully, giving it some wood notes and making it easy to drink. While it's a bit heavy on the vanilla bean, this is a beer made to pair with cheese or to enjoy as a low-alcohol sipper with dessert.