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Go Take A Hike: Tampa Bay Ale Trail Second Season Starts July 14

July 11, 2018:  Maybe you live in the Tampa area and are already familiar with the ever-ascending number of craft breweries calling the metro area home. Maybe you live in another part of Florida, or even outside of the Sunshine State, and make a visit across I-4 or I-75 now and then to catch some sun or suds.  

So, go ahead and take a hike if you're in, around or heading to Tampa, because this is one trail that will keep you moving along! Season Two of the Tampa Bay Ale Trail ("TBAT") begins Saturday, July 14, and it's even bigger this year! Launched in 2017, the incentive passport program "encourages locals and visitors alike to visit our region's craft breweries and enjoy their great beer," said TBAT founder Mike Dyer in a statement. This year, almost 70 breweries from Sarasota to Brooksville on the north-south to Lakeland on the east are participating in the TBAT, making it one of the largest ale trails in the country. In its inaugural year, over 2000 program "hikers" (as they are affectionately called) set out on the trail, with over 100 having visited all 47 Season One locations. An impressive 500 hikers visited at least seven breweries. One exuberant enthusiast visited all 47 breweries within one month, added Dyer. "That's dedication to local craft beer."


In founding the TBAT, Dyer envisioned a program that encourages loyalty, in addition to also motivating people to visit new places. "It was paramount that the program provide real, sustainable benefit to the breweries, not just one-time visits." Hikers on the TBAT are rewarded for repeat brewery visits, which makes it somewhat unique among ale trail programs.

Hikers earn BOGO points from repeat visits to participating breweries, in addition to fun and practical incentives, such as pint glasses, bottle-opener sunglasses, and stainless steel growlers, which are distributed at monthly events. "We host monthly Trailhead Meetups at a participating brewery," said Dyer, and during the events, "hikers can claim their goods, meet fellow craft beer enthusiasts, and of course, drink great beer." 

Distribution of Season Two passports begins Friday, July 13, with a limit of 2000 copies, half of which have already been sold. Down the road, select breweries throughout the area will offer TBAT passports for sale at $25 each (the brewery retains $10 from each passport sale). 


Photo from Tampa Bay Ale Trail website
The Season Two 2018-2019 passports are valid through July 2019. Participants receive a passport stamp on their first brewery visit with the purchase of a pint, flight, Crowler or growler. With the purchase of a pint on a return visit to the brewery, participants receive a second pint of equal or lesser value free.  Visit 10 unique breweries and get a premium pint glass; 20 breweries, for bottle opener sunglasses; 30 breweries for a snapback hat; and, visit all of the participating passport breweries for a stainless steel growler.  "Craft beer and community go hand-in-hand," Dyer added. "I hope that the Tampa Bay Ale Trail helps foster that in some small fashion."

The TBAT is also one way to keep up with the local Tampa beer scene, as it approaches a triple digit brewery count:  just check the list of participating breweries on the TBAT website. There are even a few new ones that you may not know about! 

So, when someone says "Take a Hike," don't hesitate!

And, if you haven't visited any of the Tampa-area breweries yet, this may be a good excuse to head there. Get your passport and go! 

Cheers! 

Til next time,





Linda



Linda Johnson,
Certified Cicerone®
www.brewnymph.com



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