LIGONIER, Pa., (Sept. 29, 2020) – The Laurel Highlands Pour Tour returns for a second year with new ways to sample craft beverages from IPAs to whiskey while supporting local businesses and earning prizes.
An inclusive effort developed by the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau (LHVB) to collectively promote the region’s craft beverage industry, the passport-based Laurel Highlands Pour Tour sites includes 17 breweries, 13 wineries, eight distilleries, one cidery, and one meadery. Since the launch of the original Pour Tour in the fall of 2019, numerous new craft beverage locations have opened in the region, allowing the new version to expand to 45 locations, including pop-up and farmers’ market locations.
“We could not have imagined the overwhelming interest in the Laurel Highlands Pour Tour when we launched the program last fall,” said Kristin Ecker, Senior Director of Marketing at LHVB. “To see the craft beverage establishments thriving, to hear the countless stories shared with us by visitors stopping by to redeem their passports, and to witness our communities embrace this effort with such enthusiasm has been the highlight of my time in tourism marketing.”
Craft beverage leaders throughout the tri-county region are excited to see the Pour Tour continue to grow and expand as it highlights the region’s signature landscapes, unique flavors, and diverse craft beverage industry.
“The Laurel Highlands Pour Tour has tapped into a hidden tourism industry from within our own communities, introducing our neighbors to the craft industry that has been hidden in plain sight,” said Meredith Baldock, owner of Crooked Creek Distillery in Irwin and West Newton. “It is a win, win, win! A win for our business and products, a win for our customers, and a win for the towns where we operate, which profit secondarily from the foot traffic and interest.”
New to the Pour Tour 2.0 Passport are breweries Allusion Brewing, Brew Gentlemen, Conny Creek Brewing, Sobel’s Obscure Brewery and Unity Brewing. Four new distilleries have joined including Crooked Creek Distillery, Ponfeigh Distillery, Salem Spirits and White Valley Distilling. New winery participants include Bee Kind Winery and Gallatin Estate Winery.
“The Laurel Highlands Pour Tour brings a lot of excitement for us and our guests,” said Kevin Ridilla, owner of Unity Brewing in Latrobe. “Some come in specifically to get their sticker while they enjoy some food and drinks, while others learn about the program when they see the books on the bar. We are honored to be a part of it and love the sense of community that the Pour Tour brings to our region.”
For this incentivized visitation program, participants will receive a passport to start a journey along the trail. After visiting a participating site and making a purchase, a sticker will be placed in the passport for validation. Prizes will be awarded for collecting stickers from eight, 18, or 38 participating locations.
“We have seen so many new faces who didn’t know our brewery existed,” said Susan Walker, manager of Whitehorse Brewing in Berlin. “This summer, it gave folks the chance to see our new outside pavilion and they just love it! The Pour Tour has provided a great opportunity for us and our small community by helping the local economy succeed.”
New this year, the Pour Tour passport now offers exclusive coupons at other Laurel Highlands businesses. Participants can scan the QR code on their passport to unlock exclusive deals. When participants are ready to redeem their passports, they can bring or mail passports to the LHVB office, located at 113 East Main Street, Ligonier, PA 15658. All passports will be returned to the participant. Participants who complete all 38 stops will be entered into a chance to win a grand prize beverage-themed Laurel Highlands getaway valued at $1,000.
“The program means so much to so many people,” said Ecker. “Relaunching an initiative that supports local businesses and economies, and helps people experience all that the Laurel Highlands has to offer along the way is a winning combination for us and the communities we serve.”
A Laurel Highlands Pour Tour app is also available for download, beginning Oct. 2, 2020. This app acts as a planning tool for completing the trail and allows participants to explore sites and special events. Simply search “Laurel Highlands Pour Tour” and download onto your smartphone.
Pour Tour Passports can be ordered online at lhpourtour.com, by calling 724.238.5661, ext. 101, or picked up at the LHVB’s administrative offices, visitor information centers, brochure racks, and participating locations. Participants are encouraged to use #LHPourTour on their social media posts while exploring the Laurel Highlands Pour Tour.
About Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands
A magnificent mountainous region, the Laurel Highlands spans 3,000 square miles in southwestern Pennsylvania. Located an hour’s drive east of Pittsburgh, the beautiful four-season destination offers spectacular natural scenery, outstanding outdoor recreation, historic sites and attractions, family activities, and world-class resorts. Notable destinations within the region include four architectural masterpieces by Frank Lloyd Wright – Fallingwater®, Kentuck Knob, Mäntylä and Duncan House – Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Flight 93 National Memorial, Idlewild and Soak Zone, whitewater rafting in Ohiopyle State Park, and more.
Located within 200 miles of the major metropolitan areas of Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland, and Washington D.C., the Laurel Highlands can be easily accessed from exits 67, 75, 91, and 110 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Visitors to the Laurel Highlands can find information online at www.LaurelHighlands.org, calling 724.238.5661, www.facebook.com/laurelhighlandsPA and www.twitter.com/laurelhighlands. Established in 1958, the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization for Fayette, Somerset, and Westmoreland counties in southwestern Pennsylvania.