As if you need a reason to go visit breweries and taste beers, the breweries of the South Sound (Tacoma, Olympia, and surrounding environs) want to entice you to come experience the flavor of the local craft brewing culture. The South Sound Craft Crawl is essentially a self-guided tour and rewards program.
We learned about the program from Ken Thoburn, owner and brewer at Tacoma’s Wingman Brewers. It’s simple, really. Get your hands on one of the SSCC maps, visit nine of the 15 participating breweries and claim your reward.
As beer tourism becomes increasingly popular, more programs like this are popping up around the Northwest and the country. In Bellingham, it’s the Tap Trail, a program managed and promoted by local entrepreneurs. Down south, Visit Bend (the local visitor and convention bureau) produces the Bend Ale Trail. Over in the Spokane area, it’s the Inland Northwest Ale Trail, which is organized and operated by the local breweries, with assistance from Visit Spokane.
What’s happening in the South Sound is similar to what’s happening in the Spokane area.
“With the help of Tacoma’s and Olympia’s Visitors Bureaus we are releasing a map for a self-guided tour of 15 of the South Puget Sound’s breweries,” explains Ken Thoburn. “Those who visit nine or more of the breweries will get a free South Sound Craft Crawl branded pint glass and the satisfaction of a map conquered. We have a Facebook page and are working on a website and mobile app.”
“One kind of cool aspect of it is that the maps and stamps were both made in Tacoma and the pint-glass prizes were hand-printed by people from the participating breweries. ” says Thoburn. “It’s a good excuse to get out and drink some beer and discover new breweries in the South Puget Sound area.”
Visit the Facebook page to learn more about the South Sound Craft Crawl.