Pennsylvania is routinely ranked No. 1 or 2 in the United States for the amount of beer it produces. Kudos. There are more than 400 craft breweries in the Keystone State. That’s more than double the number logged just five years ago. The state even has its own documentary series on Amazon called Poured in PA: The Series. Check it out.
Outside of Philly, Hershey and Harrisburg are awesome craft meccas in the commonwealth, boasting about 30 breweries in the region. The area is actually hoping you’ll visit soon. Even with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Visit Hershey and Harrisburg (VHH, the local visitor’s bureau) just launched the Brew Barons Beer Trail, an interactive mobile experience designed to draw visitors to more than 20 participating craft breweries and tasting locations in the region. From the press release:
“Beer tourism is growing as an economic driver, and the Hershey Harrisburg Region is fortunate to have such a wide variety of breweries with unique tastes and atmospheres that can attract craft connoisseurs and casual tasters alike,” said VHH President & CEO Mary Smith. “Pairing the rise in interest for beer tourism with the current travel climate that trends to higher comfort levels in day trips or shorter overnight stays, the timing of this new beer trail experience sets up perfectly to provide an economic boost to breweries that were temporarily closed due to statewide Covid-19 mitigation efforts.”
Visitors can download the Brew Barons Beer Trail mobile app to see which breweries are nearby, mark their favorites and search upcoming events like live music or special releases. If you’re concerned about the area’s COVID-19 response and resources (and why shouldn’t you be?), do click this link. Trailblazers can earn Brew Baron-themed prizes as they accrue check-ins at locations via the mobile app. You love prizes, right? Six check-ins will earn the “Entrepreneur” collectible deck of Brew Barons Beer Trail playing cards. Guests become a “Visionary” with twelve (12) check-ins and earn an ale-can glass. With 17 check-ins, guests become a “Brew Baron” and will earn a stainless-steel growler. For more info, click here.
Participating breweries & tasting locations
- Al’s of Hampden/Pizza Boy Brewing Co.
- Boneshire Brew Works
- Ever Grain Brewing Co.
- Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
- Lancaster Brewing Company – Harrisburg
- Liquid Noise Brewing Co.
- Mellow Mink Brewing Co.
- Mount Gretna Craft Brewery & Red Canoe Store
- Official BBQ/Pizza Boy Brewing Co.
- Rotunda Brew Pub
- Rubber Soul Brewing Co. (Coming Soon!)
- Spring Gate Brewery
- Tattered Flag Brewery and Still Works
- Tattered Flag Distillery and Lounge
- The Brewery at Hershey
- The Millworks Brewery
- The Vegetable Hunter Brewery
- The Watershed Pub (Coming soon!)
- Troegs Independent Brewing
- Zeroday Brewing Company (Reopening Soon!)
- Zeroday Outpost at Broad Street Market
The Brewers Association reports that 55 million adults visited U.S. craft breweries while traveling in 2019. The association’s latest data shows that Pennsylvania craft breweries ranked second in the nation with more than $6.3 million in economic impact. PA ranks second in production, brewing more than 3.6 million barrels in 2019.
Beer tourists typically travel in a party of four, stay for at least one overnight and spend an average of $252.38 per person per trip, including $35.17 per person per trip on beer sales (Bowers, Economic Impact of Beer Tourism in Kent County (2019)).