By Betsy Natter

Thanks to a recent announcement by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, craft brewers throughout the county can raise their glasses in celebration with high hopes of increased sales and business expansion. The new PA Preferred™ Brews initiative was launched by the state as a commitment to Pennsylvania breweries to assist them in developing and marketing their products to local consumers.

The branding initiative will allow small independent breweries to differentiate their products as unique among a competitive field. PA Preferred Brews is part of a larger PA Preferred program begun in 2004. Participants can only add a branding logo to beers that have been brewed in Pennsylvania using agricultural products grown in the state.

The logo, a blue keystone with a gold checkmark, can be placed on all products once a producer applies and verifies that their product meets the program requirements. The program offers free marketing tools and membership in the larger statewide program which seeks to market and promote the purchasing of local products throughout the state, thereby supporting jobs and benefiting local economies.

The beer industry is rapidly growing in Pennsylvania doing 5.8 billion dollars of business annually. In fact, for 2016 the state ranked number one among craft breweries nationally, producing a whopping 3,905,620 barrels. In terms of the economic impact that makes on the state, small and independent craft brewers contributed $5.7 million dollars to the state’s economy through its production and sale of beer as well as through employment at the production and service levels.

Bucks County is a healthy contributor to that growth. Among the 300 licensed craft breweries in the state, a dozen are located right here. A variety of tastes and experiences can be found at each brewery, as they offer tastings, tours, food and music while enjoying a taproom, lounge, restaurant or patio experience. Unique brews pop up throughout the county as brew masters infuse fruit, coffee, peppers and tea flavors into their products.

Check out the Visit Bucks County website for a listing of breweries on the Bucks County Ale Trail and then click through to each brewery’s site to get a sense of what’s on tap. The Ale Trail lists breweries by area within the county and maps a mini-tour for visiting each location.

As the program expands, look for the PA Preferred Brews logo on your county favorites and support your local Bucks County brewers.

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