Building a beer community
419 Ale Trail initiative looks to connect local craft beer scene
The Lucas County's tourism bureau's Destination Toledo means business—marketing business. The program, called the 419 Ale Trail (419aletrail.com), is a marketing initiative designed to steer additional business to local brewers in northwest Ohio. By signing up for an Ale Trail passport, hosted on a mobile phone without an app, beer enthusiasts checked in at participating locations for various deals and prizes.
Twenty-nine breweries and other craft beverage makers within the 419 area code participated in the event, with patrons receiving entries for brewery prize packages at five, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 29 check-ins. The grand prize featured an overnight stay at Metroparks Toledo's Cannaley Treehouse Village.
Even with pandemic-affected declines in 2020, the Brewers' Association estimated $22.2 billion in retail sales for craft breweries. More than twice as many breweries opened (716) as closed (346) a year ago, and many within the industry believe their market is poised for a big rebound this year.
Participating breweries included: Maumee Bay Brewing, Earnest Brew Works, Inside the Five Brewing, Patron Saints Brewery, Black Frog Brewery, Buffalo Rock Brewing and 60cc Brewing.