In partnership with 31 craft beverage creators, Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau recently launched a new Pour Tour that allows participants to try everything from moonshine, rye whiskey and IPAs to cider, mead and fruit wines.
Be Local means making use of this self-guided tour to sample the distinct flavors of the region’s beer, wine and spirits.
“The lore and legacy of distilled spirits and craft beverages run deep in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands,’’ Ann Nemanic, LHVB executive director, said in a release. “Today’s industry has blossomed from those deep-seated roots, providing visitors with authentic experiences and tastes they won’t find in any other region. Our Laurel Highlands Pour Tour weaves together history, exceptional landscape, and entrepreneurship into a trail of flavorful destinations.’’
The tour features 14 breweries, 11 wineries, four distilleries, one cidery and one meadery in Fayette, Somerset and Westmoreland counties, the region served by LHVB.
“It’s a relatively new industry in the area and this is a great way of linking them together and introducing people,’’ said Sharon Klay, who owns Christian W. Klay Winery, named for her son, who owns Ridge Runner Distillery, located next door. Both, along with Winslow Winery in Perryopolis, are participating sites in Fayette County.
LHVB is also offering incentives for people to try the tour. They need a passport that is free and can be requested online at www.lhpourtour.com or by calling 724-283-5611, ext. 101. Passports are also available at participating Pour Tour locations and LHVB brochure racks.
Use the passport to collect a sticker when visiting a participating site and purchasing a beverage. Prizes will be awarded for collecting stickers from eight, 18, or 28 participating locations.
Passports can be redeemed for prizes by delivering or mailing them to the LHVB office at 120 E. Main St., Ligonier, PA 15658. Passports will be returned.
Anyone who completes all of the stops by Jan. 1, 2021, will be entered into a chance to win a grand prize beverage-themed Laurel Highlands getaway valued at $1,000.
A Laurel Highlands Pour Tour app is also available for download onto smartphones. This app is a planning tool for completing the trail and allows participants to explore sites and special events.
For fun, LHVB encourages participants to use #LHPourTour on their social media posts while exploring the trail.
Klay said her business has seen increased patronage related to the Pour Tour.
“From the first day, people started coming,’’ said Klay. “My new manager Scott Bradford has been putting a lot of postings on the internet as they come in. They take pictures and post them. We’re impressed with the number of people taking advantage of the program and traveling all around the area, trying new establishments they never knew where there before.’’
Autumn is a great time to take advantage of the beautiful weather and travel the region supporting local businesses through this new program while trying something new.
More details on the Pour Tour are available at www.lhpourtour.com.
Those interested in joining the Be Local Network can call 724-425-7515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Discount cards are available at the Herald-Standard, 8 E. Church St., Uniontown, and at the Greene County Messenger, 32 Church St., Waynesburg.