Finally, a Dauphin county centralized beer trail and beer app has been released. Created by Visit Hershey and Harrisburg PA, its the first beer trail app for the greater Harrisburg and Hershey area. It launched Monday (July 13th, 2020) and its called Beer Barons Beer Trail. You can find it in the Google Play and Android stores on your phones, tablets, etc.
Back in March I met with Rick Dunlap of Visit Hershey and Harrisburg PA. We discussed many things while enjoying a lovely dinner and a couple (that turned into a few) beers at the Tattered Flag Distillery Lounge in Hershey (the former Hershey Biergarten). We discussed my blog – The Beer Thrillers – the upcoming openings of a few breweries in the area (notably Rubber Soul) and we discussed their app; which I had to keep under wraps until now.
There is a ton of features, and a lot of great things to really like about this new app, so definitely be sure to check it out and download it. I’ll break some things down here, and discuss in greater detail in an upcoming article – giving it a full in-depth review.
I’ve gotten to ‘test drive’ it a little bit, hitting three breweries so far with it and gotten to try out a few features. This weekend being off, I’m going to be trying out a few more stops and hopefully hitting the first ‘goal’ of the rewards section.
Firstly, let’s take a look at the opening screen page of the app. At the top the menu is all clickable and will redirect you to the screens you want, and on the opening screen the big blocks are clickable too – they are: How To Play, Beer Trail Hotel Packages, and Explore Hershey and Harrisburg.
First, you will need to create an account, and I recommend checking out the “How to Play” section first. This will let you create the account and learn about the app.
If you click on Beer Trail, you can see a list of the participating breweries. And it will list them by distance from your current location. (Do note, you need to have location set on for this app.) as you can see I visited a few breweries and it shows which ones I’ve checked-in at.
A great feature of the app is the map. Which shows you where each participating brewery is. This is great for new people to the area or if you want to play your own day-trip and hit several breweries in a given area. As you can see, its not directly Harrisburg and Hershey, the map and participating breweries extends to Mt. Gretna brewery in Campbelltown as well as Tattered Flag and The Vineyard of Hershey in Middletown and out to Pizza Boy in Enola and Liquid Noise in Marysville.
Something to note – Newfangled Brew Works does not appear on this because they chose not to participate in the app.
All told there is 19 locations participating, with more to come as they open. As it shows The Watershed (The Millworks soon to be opened second location) will soon be opening. Rubber Soul Brewing in Hummelstown will also be added to the list once they open soon. There is other new breweries opening soon; and hopefully they will likewise get added (The Englewood, Howling Henry, Ever Grain Farms, and Wolf Brewing).
The app was created by Jason Meckes, a craft beer enthusiast; he has dedicated quite a bit of time to creating this app and is extremely proud of it. While recently discussing the app with Jason, he said: “Some breweries, like Rubber Soul and new Zeroday locations, are in a holding pattern until they open, but will be added once they can have people inside. We are hoping to add thousands of visitors to these breweries, and we have just been waiting for the right time when a good majority of them were OK to welcome guests again. The framework with so many breweries will help spread out that demand, too.”
The app definitely has a chance to help out many local breweries and restaurants as well. Something Jason made sure to point out to me, one of his favorite little features to the app – “One of the coolest ‘hidden’ features is the restaurants tab, which lists all Dauphin County eateries, ordered by closest to you.”
There is definitely a lot to see in this app and it looks tremendous. As I have said and shown above, I’ve already gotten to check-in and visit three breweries, and looking at adding a few more on the weekend which coincides with my days off. So I will be able to give a much more in-depth review. So be sure to look for that companion piece to go along with this. That article will provide even more information and give a much more documented look at the features involved in the app.
Its fun to see new apps pop up in the beer and brewing industry, especially local ones. With the loss of HopPlotter and the Breweries in PA app not being the greatest, its really nice to see this well done, intuitive, and easy to use app pop up for the Central PA (Dauphin county specifically) area. So if you are in the area be sure to take advantage of it. There’s also some great prizes to be ‘won’ by checking in at different locations – from decks of cards to glasses, to even better swag. Which I’ll go into more detail in the next article.
For more information, you can also read The Burg’s launch release on the Brew Barons Beer Trail App, which has some more direct quotes with creator Jason Meckes.
As always, thanks everyone for checking this out. Be sure to check out some of our other recent industry news articles below, and please stay safe, keep your distance, wash your hands, and enjoy some great craft beers at some great local craft breweries! Cheers!
- A Sneak Peak at the New Rubber Soul Brewery in Hummelstown
- Boneshire Brew Works Set to Open Second Tap Room in Harrisburg
- Voodoo Brewing Closes in Lancaster
- Night Shift Brewing Cancels Expansion in Philadelphia
- Grand Opening of Hemauer Brewing in Mechanicsburg