Passport Program

Winner Winner Beer Dinner

Five Local Craft Beer Fans Dined with Celebrity Brewers during the Mass Brewer Guild’s Mass Craft Beer Dinner to honor its Beer Trail Conquerors

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. | The conversation and beer flowed as Massachusetts craft beer legends Jim Koch, founder of Boston Beer co., Dan Kenary, founder of Harpoon, Will Meyers, brewmaster at CBC, and Rob Burns, co-founder of Night Shift and president of the Mass Brewers Guild, came together with five Beer Trail Conquerors for a special dinner at Cambridge Brewing Co. 

The dinner was hosted by the Mass Brewers Guild, the craft beer industry’s trade association, to celebrate fans who achieved Beer Trail Conqueror status by visiting 100 breweries in one year using the nonprofit’s passport program. The mobile app, “Mass Craft Beer,” celebrated its one year anniversary this past September and currently has 9,800 downloads. 

Seventeen craft beer super fans took on the challenge and conquered the trail. Five names were drawn at random to attend the Mass Craft Beer Dinner.  

Beer Trial Conquerors.jpg

Brian Healy of South Easton, Benjamin Krefetz of Cambridge, Lisa Hodge of Sutton, Michelle Mulligan of Whitman, and Dmitriy Arkannikov of Waltham, all won seats at the table, and in some cases left their spouses, who were also Beer Trail Conquerors, behind. “I was getting the silent treatment as I left tonight,” joked Lisa Hodge, whose husband Geoff was her craft beer traveling partner across the state. “Thankfully he’s out with friends enjoying some craft beer tonight too.” 

Many of the Beer Trail Conquerors had coincidently met before, either striking up a conversation at one of the Mass Brewers Guild’s festivals, or bumping into one another at breweries while chasing each other on the leaderboard.  

Brian Healy and Bob Kelley Map.jpg

Brian Healy was the first to complete the trail, with Bob Kelley, co-founder of the Mass. Brew Bros., hot on his heels. Both Bob and Brian carry their original Mass Brewers Guild paper passports in their wallets and as new breweries open they see if taprooms can stamp them for old times’ sake. 

The Mass Brewers Guild saw the need to digitize the program so they could keep it updated in real time. The app also reduces paper waste and ensures that craft beer fans will never miss another stamp with the app on their phone.  

“I never would have visited towns like Sheffield or Nahant if it weren’t for the mobile app,” said Dmitriy Arkannikov. “I found so many hidden gems along my travels – amazing restaurants, pie shops, doughnut shops -- it was a great way to explore the state. I am excited to do it again.”  

The original paper passport program only featured 43 breweries when it launched in 2013. Today, Massachusetts has more than 160 breweries, with 30 in-planning slated to open in 2019. 

“It was amazing to meet such dedicated craft beer fans and hear about their passion for the MA beer scene, says Rob Burns, cofounder of Nightshift and president of the Mass Brewers Guild. “We really are spoiled in MA from both a brewery perspective and a consumer one.”

The free app is available in iTunes and Google Play stores and is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Mass. Brew Bros. who assist with data collection, Fat Basset Design who provides badge artwork, and to New England Label for their marketing support. Funds raised through the Mass Brewers Guild’s festivals, Power Beer Fest and the Mass Fermentational, help to cover development updates and maintenance costs. 

Jim Koch Utopias.jpg

The four course beer pairing dinner ended with a blondie drizzled in beeramel, topped with CBC wort ice cream, and paired with a sipper of Samuel Adams Utopias 2017. “If you didn’t drink it, we couldn’t make it – so thank you -- cheers,” said Jim Koch, founder of Boston Beer Company. 

###

About the Mass Brewers Guild

Founded in 2007 by a group of committed and passionate brewers, the Mass Brewers Guild, is organized for the purposes of promoting craft brewing and protecting the interests of craft brewers across the Commonwealth. The association is membership based and open to all Massachusetts breweries licensed by the federal Tax and Trade Bureau and the Commonwealth’s Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission. The nonprofit creates a community of brewers while shining light on the broad range of breweries and styles offered throughout state.Through industry and educational events, its mobile application beer trail map, and by providing resources and marketing support to brewers, the nonprofit works to highlight Massachusetts as a top travel destination for craft beer in the U.S. The board also continues its work at the legislative level, fighting for license and franchise law reform, and serving as the voice of craft brewers on Beacon Hill. The Massachusetts Brewers Guild is a 501(c)6 not-for-profit corporation.

The Mass Brewers Guild Mobile App Turns One Year Old

MBG App Pic.png

Dear Craft Beer Fans: 

Can you believe it’s been a year already?! 

Our mobile application, “Mass Craft Beer,” turns one this September, and we could not be happier with the amount of participation and feedback that we’ve had with the program so far. 

To date, there are more than 8k craft beer lovers who use our passport program, and are actively visiting breweries in Massachusetts. By visiting your neighborhood breweries, you are supporting small business owners who employ locals, drive travel and tourism to the state, and help to revitalize downtown communities. 

We hope you are drinking in all that the Massachusetts craft beer scene has to offer and are enjoying the adventure as you travel to different nooks and crannies of the state. 

If you’ve had the program on your phone since its inception you may be receiving a notice that your stamps are going to expire. 

What does that mean? 
Craft beer fans have exactly one year to visit 100 breweries and become “Beer Trail Conquerors” – 365 days after the date of your first brewery stamp, the slate wipes clean and points and badges start from zero. 

Why do we do this? 
To keep the passport program competitive, every year the MBG will create a big prize for Beer Trail Conquerors to climb to. This year it’s the opportunity to win a craft beer dinner with Jim Koch, from Boston Beer Co., Dan Kenary from Harpoon Brewing Co., and MBG president Rob Burns from Night Shift Brewing Co. 

Will users lose their stamps, check-ins or favorites lists?  
Stamps will remain in the user’s profile so they can keep a list of bragging rights of where they’ve been. However, they will appear in the expired tab under “My Stamps.” This is so that when you re-visit a brewery you can re-collect the stamp, earn points for it, and re-climb the leaderboard.

Your check-ins, reviews, and favorites list will remain in-tact. Your bio and photo will also remain on the MBG website if you’ve achieved Beer Trail Commander status. 

The goal of the MBG passport program is to encourage patrons to continue to visit breweries year after year and see what new offerings are available in their tap rooms. As new breweries continue to open their doors there will be plenty of tap rooms to explore and craft beer to enjoy. 

We will continue to add new badges and prizes to the program in the coming months to keep the excitement going for veteran users. 

Cheers, 
Katie Stinchon
MBG Executive Director