When Redeux in York opened its doors Friday night for the first-ever Royal Square Beer Crawl, most of the 100 guests made a bee line for the beer stand.
The Beer Ace was giving free samples of six different craft beers, including Liquid Hero's Schweet Ale and Lagunitas IPA, at six stops in Royal Square. Guests could also snack on appetizers from downtown restaurants throughout the tour.
"We don't have any bars in the Royal Square neighborhood," Parliament programs director Stacy McClain said, "so we wanted to do something different to showcase the different merchants and galleries in the area."
At about 6:30 p.m., guests split into groups and separately visited all six stops: Redeux, 56 Urban Provisions, Hive Artspace, The Parliament, King's Courtyard Artists Collective and DiDi and Smiling John's Barber Shop.
Some of the locations were a tight fit with about 30 guests in each group, but they managed to have enough room for beer and food samples as well as a store-specific activity to promote each shop.
Becky Adams, of East Manchester Township, started off her evening by posing with Redeux store props in Redeux's photo booth. Shopping in Royal Square isn't a regular Friday night for her, Adams said. But she decided to check it out with her friends to celebrate her birthday.
"I had no idea some of these shops were here," Adams said. "There's more downtown than I realized."
While the beer samples and appetizers might have been the initial attraction for most guests, several said they enjoyed playing games like Pin the Mustache on the Hipster, posing in a photo booth, doing an art scavenger hunt and making pretzel necklaces and water color marbling paper.
"The activities got awesome," Amy Brancato, of Manchester Township said. "The art was my favorite. I want to try to recreate the project. I'm so excited."
Jason and Grayce Langheine, of Spring Garden Township, said they enjoyed the art as well. The Langheines joined the beer crawl, not for the beer, but as a fun way to check out some of Royal Square's art galleries, they said.
"I haven't been to some of these places, so it's a great opportunity to explore," Jason Langheine said. "This is a good way to come downtown."