Brewmaster Tasting Tour: Try five new locations on the Susquehanna Ale Trail
While Tröegs Brewing Company in Hershey can ferment 3,000 gallons of beer at once, Bailee's Homebrew & Wine Supplies in Springettsbury Township can only make five to 10 gallons at a time.
But making and selling beer is not the focus at Bailee's, General Manager Vincent Zanghi said. In fact, Bailee's doesn't currently sell beer at all. Instead, it aims to teach customers how to make beer and wine at home by selling equipment and ingredients.
For the first time, Bailee's will be one of 14 stops on the Susquehanna Ale Trail during this year's Brewmaster Tasting Tour.
Starting this weekend, ticket holders can taste beer samples, munch on light snacks and participate in brewery tours and educational experiences at each of the 14 participating breweries, brewpubs and homebrew shops across Central Pennsylvania.
The Brewmaster Tasting Tour, formerly called the Passport Event, launched in 2012 and stretches from Hershey and Lancaster to York and Adams counties, York County Convention and Visitors Bureau marketing director Louise Heine said.
This year, the Susquehanna Ale Trail has added five new tour stops, including Bailee's.
"Just this past year, we've seen substantial growth," Heine. "Everywhere you turn, you read that craft brewing and beer is just on the scene right now."
While most of the participating breweries and brewpubs will offer tours of their brewing facilities, Bailee's will set up the homebrew process and show customers how they can replicate at home what commercial breweries do every day.
"We're the unique one of the group," Zanghi said.
Bailee's will also allow customers to get their hands on ingredients like malt and hops, before they taste beer samples.
Bailee's beer selection during the tour will include the Belgian Double (a malty, sweet beer); the Belgian Quad (a darker, sweeter beer with 11.2 percent ABV); the Pale Ale (an American style, light-body dry beer with a noticeable hop presence); and the Saison (a French-Belgian style beer with a spice and fruity flavor and a dry finish).
Other new stops on the trail include:
Black Cap Brewing Co.: Black Cap, which opened at 5 W. High St., Red Lion, in the last year, will give Brewmaster customers a choice of three of their eight-beer selection, co-owner Jim Waller, said. Some of the top sellers include the Cream Ale (a crisp ale with a dry finish similar to a classic American lager); General Gates Porter (a malty, dark ale with a flavorful, roasty character); and Double IPA (an imperial IPA with a lot of hop aroma and flavor and a bitter, dry finish).
Miscreation Brewing Co.: Miscreation, 6 Center Square, Hanover, will offer ticketholders a discount on merchandise in addition to free samples, Co-owner Mark Mathias said. Mathias said he's also hoping to have a brand-new Black IPA beer available to customers during the tour called The Conjuring. It's a stout body beer with an IPA flavor, he said.
Miscreation's flagship beers, The Frankenstout, a coffee jalapeno stout, and the Reckless IPA, an Imperial IPA with a malty flavor, will also be available.
Wacker Brewing Co.: Wacker, located in a circa 1850s tobacco warehouse at 417 Grant St., Lancaster, will offer tours and a little history about the oldest and longest-running brewery in Lancaster City before offering tastings of its two German beers, the German Pale Ale and the Dunkel. The German Pale Ale is a light beer with a little bit of hops and citrus hints, while the Dunkel is a light-body dark bear with a little bit of a roasty flavor, owner Bryan Kepner said.
Wyndridge Farm: This new craft beverage facility at 885 S. Pleasant Ave., Dallastown, will offer tastings of Cherry Hibiscus Saison (a French farmhouse ale brewed with dried hibiscus and aged on tart cherries); Belgian Brown Ale (a 6.5 percent ABV Belgian monestary-style beer); a Belgian Pale Ale with Australian galaxy hops and a Ginger cider, among others, according to brewmaster Jared Barnes.