The Susquehanna Ale Trail features breweries, brewpubs and craft brewing outlets throughout Central Pennsylvania that give visitors a chance to meet brewmasters and taste new craft beers.
“The Susquehanna Ale Trail marks the first official ale trail in the state of Pennsylvania,” said Anne Druck, president of the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The trail has seven members: Mudhook Brewing Co., Good Dog Taproom, Mr. Steve's Homebrew & Wine Supply, Bube's Brewery, Stoudt's Brewing Co., Lancaster Brewing Co. and Troegs Brewing Co.
A passport event launches the trail from noon to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday and continues the following weekend, April 20-22.
Visitors may purchase a $10 passport to be stamped at each brewery they visit. Acquiring four stamps will get them an official Susquehanna Ale Trail beer mug. The passports also give visitors access to guided tours and special discount offers.
Get started: Yorkers may want to kick off their trail experience at Mr. Steve's Homebrew and Wine Supply, 2944 Whiteford Road.
“We're hoping people will start here for an open house. We're going to have the ingredients on display that are used in the brewing process,” said owner Steve Stoppard.
Samples will also be given out, and Mr. Steve's has three beers on tap this weekend: a California steam, hazelnut brown ale and a German kolsch.
“We've seen quite a growth in homebrewing in the last two years,” said Stoppard. “It's actually stronger than it's ever been, and I've been in business for 19 years and this is the most interest I've seen in homebrewing.”
Stoppard has worked closely with the convention and visitors bureau for the past two years to get the trail started. He said they have seen a great response to the concept already.
The idea evolved after the bureau saw the success of the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail.
“We saw that the ale scene really had not been tapped into yet and wanted to start something new,” said Rob Mayer, the bureau's public relations coordinator.
For more information about the Susquehanna Ale Trail, visit www.susquehannaaletrail.com or call 1-888-858-York.