Attention beer lovers, connoisseurs, home brewers, brewmasters, and anyone who loves to sip local craft suds: get ready for a one-of-a-kind experience with the South Shore Brewery Trail. If you want to plan a tour then you are in luck because the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority has a comprehensive website and app that can help you whether you want to plan a tour, learn more about craft beer, learn more about the brewmasters within the region’s breweries, find special events near you, try your hand at home brewing, or you’re a beer geek and tech freak looking to test out a new app. It’s all in one place for your convenience.
With 18 breweries on the trail (and more on the way), you will have no shortage of things to try. Try a unique saison at Burn 'Em Brewing in Michigan City, test out the funky Brettanomyces brews at Four Fathers Brewing in Valparaiso, drink award winning beers from Shoreline Brewery, discover something new at Devil’s Trumpet in Merrillville, or drink some Dark Lord (if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on it) at the famous 3 Floyds Brewing Co. in Munster.
"As the region’s premier destination marketing organization we have set the expectation of continual excellence not only with our industry but with our guests," Spero Batistatos, President and CEO of the SSCVA said. "We employed the latest technology to provide information to our guests which allows us to provide top-quality economic contributions."
Find a fun event at a local brewery and celebrate with like-minded people. Festivals, tastings, tap takeovers, and more are happening all the time and you can find out when and where each one is happening by checking the SSCVA’s Brewery Events page.
Those who are new to the craft brew scene can benefit from the Craft Beer 101 terminology glossary. This will help enhance your brewing knowledge, the tasting experience, and it be a springboard to learn even more in conversations with seasoned brewmasters and home brewers. An important thing to know is that not all craft beers exist year round. The SSCVA's Featured and Seasonal Brews page keeps you in the know with information on seasonal and limited time beers. New brews are created all the time and you can keep on top of the latest batches that are created. You can also read interviews with local brewmasters and get more in depth information on the craft beer world.
Are you a home brewer? Then check out the SSCVA’s For Home Brewers page. Here you can find information on home brewing supply stores and hop yards all along the South Shore.
Nifty features on the app include (but aren’t limited to):
Breweries Near Me - Find the closest brewery to your location and get turn-by-turn directions
Favorites List – Never forget your favorite breweries and your favorite beers therein
Events Calendar – find upcoming brewery events in your area and save them to your smartphone’s calendar
Videos – Learn more about the breweries along the South Shore with interesting videos
Share – Share your adventures at festivals and local breweries with friends on social media
Push Notifications – Get the latest news concerning your favorite local breweries
A VERY useful and free tool for beer enthusiasts, the South Shore Brewery Trail app lets the user really get into the craft beer experience.
"What I particularly like about the app is the event section and the notification of events that are going on. It helps me to make sure I always have plans for the weekend. The app allows me explore different beer styles and it discover new breweries in the region," Steve Neville of Ideas in Motion Media said.
"The development of the South Shore Brewery Trail app blends all the tools, information, and necessities that craft beer drinkers could want into one easy and convenient package. This even shows the non-beer drinkers that we are on top of it," Batistatos said.
"We like that it provides a way to connect the brewers in the area with the people who want important information directly," Zach Blackwood, Financial Operator at Burn 'Em Brewing said. "There are so many ways that people can get information these days and it can get overwhelming, but this app makes things easy. We use it to send out info about what is going on with at our brewery. Events, tastings, new beers... We have so much going on that this is a great way to share it all. We have had a great response. New people come in because of the app."
"The app is user-friendly and geocentric, which means it uses your current location while you are using the app. This makes it easier to find the closest brewery to you - perfect for residents and visitors planning their trip along the Brewery Trail," Luke Weinman, Chief Technology Officer for the SSCVA said. "Another great feature is the push notifications. This allows us to push information to beer enthusiasts wanting to know when special beers are tapped; a new beer is launched or an event is scheduled at their local brewery. The app can be updated in real-time and is easy to share on social platforms. We hope to create special promotions around the use of the app in the near future... Stay tuned."
This is really just the tip of the iceberg, there is so much in the app that makes it a worthwhile download.