9 Reasons Why the Mid-Atlantic is for Beer Lovers

In Philadelphia, at the penultimate stop of Beer Camp Across America, establishment brewers like Victory and Dogfish Head joined forces with upstarts like Shawnee and Bluejacket to show festival-goers what Mid-Atlantic beers are made of. We took a poll from the experts at the festival as to why beers from Pennsylvania to Virginia are standouts.

1. It's Got the Best Lagers
"I think the most notable thing about our region is the fact that Pennsyvlania in particular is still home to some creative lager production. By and large the craft brew movement is dominated by ale. Lager brewers are put to the test in Pennsylvania." – Bill Covaleski, co-founder, Victory Brewing

2. It Has Better Tasting Rooms
"Northern Virginia has a burgeoning beer culture thanks to a law that lets brewers sell pints, growlers, or tasters, which really opened up the scene. All you need for an evening is a tasting room and food trucks or some take out." – Matt Rose, Brewmaster at Forge Brewing

3. It Has Humble, Hardworking Brewers
"The east coast brew scene knows it has some catching up to do – and we're going crazy with it." – Leland Rogan, Crooked Run brewing

4. It's Got Philadelphia
"Philadelphia is America's best beer-drinking city. There's such an incredible beer selection including from harder-to-find breweries like Russian River. We stop the beer at the port. It doesn't get past Philly because we drink it all." – Kristine Kennedy, Executive Director, Philly Beer Week

5. …And Philly Beer Week
"There's a lot of good microbrews and pubs in Philly. And then there's Philly Beer Week, where all the bars just put up everything they have. It's great." – Joe Arnone, a festival-goer and Pennsylvania native

6. It Shows Off its German Heritage
"Philly has this German brewing heritage and a lot of cool lagers. You get the strict German heritage but the crazy American craft brewers pushing it." – Brian Vaughan, Philadelphia sales manager, Shawnee Brewing

7. It Cares About Drinkability
"The east coast enjoys a more balanced experiment — and has more beers that are always drinkable." – Ron Macauley, chef Yard Brewery

8. It's Got Serious Beer-Drinking History
"There's a brewing tradition going back hundreds of years. They say General Washington used squash and pumpkin to brew. And people have kept it going in Washington D.C. to New York City." – Bobby Clark, regional sales manager, Weyerbacher

9. It Nails the Classic Styles
"The Mid-Atlantic is steeped in different traditions and a lot of people have grown up in other established breweries and brought along traditional and classic styles." – Greg Engert, beer director of Neighborhood Restaruant group, which include Bluejacket and Churchkey breweries