It seems everywhere you turn, there is a new brewery, winery or other craft beverage spot opening in Centre County. Those establishments have joined forces to form the Central Pennsylvania Tasting Trail.
The Tasting Trail, a partnership with the Centre County Convention and Visitors Bureau, formed earlier this year and will launch a new passport program with a tasting event Sunday afternoon at the Boalsburg Fire Hall. Tasting Trail vendors include Otto’s Pub & Brewery, Happy Valley Winery, Good Intent Cider and more. Proceeds from the event will benefit the fire hall.
Lucy Rogers, tasting room manager at Big Spring Spirits in Bellefonte and president of the newly-formed Tasting Trail board, said the event — called the Local Craft Beverage Expo — is timed to allow the purchase of passports as holiday gifts. It will feature tastings from each of the participating vendors, as well as live jazz and the option to purchase additional food and drink.
Rogers said the passport concept is modeled after wine trails in the Finger Lakes and bourbon trails in Kentucky. Passports cost $35 and expire after one year. A stamp from each participating venue will earn Tasting Trail swag that cannot be purchased anywhere else.
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By participating in the Tasting Trail, people are supporting many facets of the local economy, Rogers said.
“We are 12 employers but almost all of us also support the local economy buy using locally sourced products to make our beverages,” Rogers said. “If people think about the impact of their purchasing power, ‘buying local’ isn’t just a slogan, it truly helps the local economy thrive, which means employment rates stay high, property values stay high, and money spent stays in our own county.”
Tickets for the tasting event are $10 and can be purchased at any of the Tasting Trail venues or online at bispringspirits .com. For more information on the Tasting Trail, visit www.centralpatasting trail.com.
IF YOU GO
- What: Local Craft Beverage Expo
- When: 1-4 p.m. Oct. 30
- Where: Boalsburg Fire Hall, 113 E. Pine St., Boalsburg
- Info: www.centralpa tastingtrail.com