The fifth stop of Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp Across America brought us to Philadelphia, the beating heart of the Mid-Atlantic beer scene, which brags big breweries like Dogfish Head, Victory, and Yuengling. It's also one of the most burgeoning scenes for the little guys, with nearly 150 breweries in Pennsylvania alone. We sampled dozens of beers at the festival that you'll be hard-pressed to find outside the Mid-Atlantic. Here are our favorites.
Spring House: Braaains (Pumpkin Ale for Zombies)
The Brewery: Spring House, out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is not your average beer maker. The brewery, which by its own admission believes brewing is "more of an art than a science," is an experimental factory of flavor. There's peanut butter and jelly, mint chocolate chip, and chocolate peanut butter stouts; a pineapple pale ale; and, of course, a pumpkin ale that is focused on the pie.
The Beer: Braaains: A Zombie Pumpkin Ale
Tasting Notes: Finally, a brewery that comes right out and makes a "pumpkin" ale that admits it's the pie flavor that breweries are going for. This wild, booze-y (7.2 percent ABV) brew does just that, with subtle spices and a strong malt and vanilla flavoring that, we swear, tastes like the best kind of pumpkin pie crust. It's an experiment worth sampling.