Grab some friends for this Laurel Highlands craft beverage passport program.
Weekend explorations, family reunions, and at least one marriage: What started in 2019 as a craft beverage promotion in Pennsylvania’s scenic Laurel Highlands has taken on a life of its own. “We’ve had people from 13 different states redeem their passports for prizes, from Maine to Florida to Texas,” says GO Laurel Highlands visitors bureau spokesman Eric Knopsnyder. “It’s a really popular program that people love to get into.”
The Laurel Highlands Pour Tour passport program rewards participants for enjoying craft brews, ciders, wines, meads, and distilled spirits at now more than 50 maker destinations in a three-county area. Fifteen stickers—or check-ins on the Pour Tour app—earns a Pour Tour T-shirt, 30 a growler or flask, and 45 a wine tote or portable beverage table. Those Tier 3 participants will be entered into a January 2024 drawing for a Laurel Highlands getaway.
“For me, what makes the Pour Tour so great is the variety of it,” Knopsnyder says. “All of the stops offer great-tasting beverages, but each location is unique—right down to tiny spots you wouldn’t have found any other way.”
That wedding? It’s real. “One couple decided to do the Pour Tour 2.0 on their first date,” Knopsnyder says. “Not only did they redeem passports for prizes, but they got married in March 2023 and sent us photos from their big day, and they’re wearing Pour Tour T-shirts over their wedding attire!”
That’s some fun you want to get in on. It’s all close enough for an excursion—several Pour Tour sites are less than 45 minutes away, and the farthest are under 2 hours. Many serve food as well as beverages. To make your visits count toward prizes, just request a passport or download the Pour Tour app.
The folks at GO Laurel Highlands have suggested lists of stops for Morgantown-area residents to create personalized day trip, overnight, and weekend itineraries around. Take a list directly as a libations-intensive itinerary, or use the visitors bureau’s easy interactive map to shape your own itinerary around history, architecture, shopping, and more. Destinations convenient to the suggested stops in the day trip, for example, include Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Kentuck Knob, and Laurel Caverns.
Day trip: as suggested, 75 miles round-trip
Christian W. Klay Winery, Chalk Hill, 32 miles from Morgantown
Vineyard tours and complimentary tastings of award-winning wines at a family-owned boutique winery.
Ridge Runner Distillery, Chalk Hill, across the road from Klay Winery
A sister operation to the Klay Winery, Ridge Runner offers grape-based liquors such as grappa and brandy, plus vodka, moonshine, and whiskey aged in Pennsylvania oak.
Deer Creek Winery, Uniontown, 13 miles from Ridge Runner
Bottling wine varieties that cater to every “vinotype.” Restaurant on-site.
Return to Morgantown, 30 miles
Overnight: as suggested, 195 miles round-trip
Bloom Brew, West Newton, 53 miles from Morgantown
18 taps, kitchen, and live music.
Greenhouse Winery, Irwin / North Huntingdon, 8 miles
Family-owned, with an extensive wine list and frequent events.
Quinn Brewing Company, Irwin / North Huntingdon, 4 miles
Family-owned, lots of styles, rave reviews.
New Crescent Brewing, downtown Irwin, 2 miles
Fun atmosphere in a brewhouse that commemorates a century-ago predecessor.
Crooked Creek Distillery, downtown Irwin, 2 blocks
Spirits hand-crafted, -bottled, and -labeled in a veteran-owned distillery.
Tattiebogle CiderWorks, Acme, 8 miles
Traditional and modern ciders from Pennsylvania apples, and a spectacular view.
Stone Villa Wine Cellars, Acme, 1 mile
Sip lakeside from a widely varied wine list, with live music on the weekends.
Glades Pike Winery, Somerset, 19 miles
Wine tastings daily, good variety of styles, relaxing deck.
Trailhead Brewing Company, Rockwood, 10 miles
Fresh beer just off the Great Allegheny Passage trail
Vin de Matrix Winery, Rockwood, 11 miles
Artisanal wines in an intimate setting; reservations recommended.
Return to Morgantown, 57 miles
Full Weekend: as suggested, 235 miles round-trip
Yough River Brewing, Connellsville, 41 miles from Morgantown
Craft beers on 12 taps, food trucks, and more in a lively atmosphere.
Chapel Hill Wines, Dawson, 8 miles
Good wines, comfortable atmosphere, tantalizing menu.
Bella Terra Vineyards, Hunker, 11 miles
Enjoy the long wine list and great menu on the lakeside patio.
Raspberry Acres Winery at Eclectique, Latrobe, 3 miles
Craft wine tastings and purchases by the glass or bottle in a downtown gift shop.
Laurel Highlands Meadery, Greensburg, 11 miles
Sweet and dry meads made from Pennsylvania honey.
Invisible Man Brewing, Greensburg, 2 miles
Small-batch beers in a community taproom in downtown Greensburg, plus food trucks.
El Diablo Brewing Company and Wood-Fired Kitchen, Greensburg, 1 mile
Fresh beer on tap, plus wines and wood-fired pizza—great dining indoors or out.
All Saints Brewing Company, Greensburg, 1 mile
Perennial favorites and seasonal specialties with a thirsty local following.
Four Seasons Brewing Company, Latrobe, 9 miles
Big tap list and other libations, and a full menu including wood-fired pizza.
Unity Brewing, Latrobe, 2 miles
A satisfying beer selection plus hamburgers and pub food.
Chicken Hill Distillery, Ligonier, 12 miles (opens at noon on Sundays spring 2023)
Tasting room for small-batch rum, bourbon, brandy, and moonshine.
Forbes Trail Brewing, Stoystown, 25 miles
Tempting beer list, outdoor tables, and lots of events.
Tall Pines Distillery, Salisbury, 33 miles
Sixteen flavors of spirits distilled from natural ingredients the old-fashioned way.
Return to Morgantown, 58 miles
As you assemble your itinerary, be sure to check each destination’s current operating hours.
Knopsnyder reminds Pour Tour participants to drink responsibly and use a designated driver. “If you’re going to a distillery, maybe have a little taste and buy a bottle and move on. Take your time—see the Laurel Highlands and do some of the other things we have here.”