(Rock Hill, S.C.) — Visit York County has started a project designed to promote the county’s growing craft beer industry and attract more people to local breweries.
The YoCo Brew Trail invites visitors to check in, using the Visit York County app, at any of the county’s six local breweries, four of which have opened in the last year.
The stops on the trail include Amor Artis Brewing in Fort Mill; Rock Hill Brewing Company, Dust Off Brewing Company, Legal Remedy Brewing, and Main Street Bottle Shop in Rock Hill; and Windy Hill Orchard & Cidery in York.
Once a user goes to five of the six stops, they can stop by the Visit York County office on Main Street for a free t-shirt that says: ” I drank my way through York County.”
Billy Dunlap, president and CEO of Visit York County, said the project has already had an economic impact on local breweries since it began at the end of September.
“We’ve had over 1,000 people join the brew trail. We’ve had around 75 that have already completed it,” said Dunlap. “We’re saying that right at $35,000 was generated in direct customer spending in just the first month.”
Last year, according to the Brewers Association, a non-profit trade group based in Colorado, South Carolina breweries helped add an estimated $650 million into the state’s economy.
Jared Jones, brewer and taproom manager at Rock Hill Brewing Company, said he believes the trail will grow with the beer culture in Rock Hill.
“If additional breweries open up, I’m sure they’ll be adding those on (to the trail),” said Jones. “We’re going to do additional incentives. Instead of just going to each location, you can become a ‘YoCo Brew Trail Hero’ and they’ll have different incentives and things that you can complete to continue the trail.”
Jones said he thinks the craft beer industry in Rock Hill could soon rival the beer scene in Charlotte.
“I don’t know if it’s catching up just yet, but it’s finally trending with Charlotte, which now has a really large beer culture. There are now more breweries in Charlotte than in Asheville,” he said. “But I think Rock Hill will (catch up).”
A seventh brewery, Slow Play Brewing, is scheduled to open in the Knowledge Park area of Rock Hill later this year.