McHenry County Craft Beverage Trail launched Sept. 1

  • Kishwaukee Brewing Co. co-owner Dan Payson, at center, talks about processes and equipment as other McHenry County brewery and distillery representatives toured his facility during a McHenry County Craft Beverage Trail pre-launch gathering.

    Kishwaukee Brewing Co. co-owner Dan Payson, at center, talks about processes and equipment as other McHenry County brewery and distillery representatives toured his facility during a McHenry County Craft Beverage Trail pre-launch gathering. Courtesy of Cynthia Wolf | Wolf Wordsmithing

 
 
Updated 9/9/2022 8:00 PM

A new partnership initiative between Naturally McHenry County and the county's 11 craft breweries and distilleries launched Sept. 1.

The Craft Beverage Trail includes nine craft breweries and taprooms as well as the two distilleries that call McHenry County home.

 

Several locations are offering special discounts to those who check-in via the McHenry County Craft Beverage Trail, found in the Challenges portion of the free Naturally McHenry County app, available on the App Store and Google Play.

Featured are: Rush Creek Distilling, Harvard; McHenry Brewing Co., McHenry; Kishwaukee Brewing Co., Holzlager Brewing Co., and ShadowView Brewing, all of Woodstock; Crystal Lake Brewing, Crystal Lake; Spirit Water Brewery and Distillery and Cary Ale House & Brewing Co., both of Cary; Scorched Earth Brewing Co., Algonquin; and Sew Hop'd Brewery & Taproom as well as More Brewing Co., both of Huntley.

Those who visit all and complete a coded check-in process will receive a specially designed T-shirt and sticker.

The idea behind the Craft Beverage Trail is not to encourage folks to meander to all in one fell swoop, however, said Jaki Berggren, president and CEO of Naturally McHenry County. It is to prompt residents and visitors to carve out slices of time to enjoy responsibly the unique, locally crafted drink offerings to be found in the various towns.

There is no deadline for completion. It's hoped those who embark on the trail will consider making a day of it in Harvard, Woodstock, Crystal Lake, Cary or Huntley, visiting other shops, restaurants and points of interest along the way, too.

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Cara and Dan Payson are owners of Kishwaukee Brewing Co., located at 1900 Dillard Court in Woodstock. During a recent Craft Beverage Trail pre-launch gathering of local brewery and distillery representatives at the Paysons' establishment, Dan Payson said he hopes the promotion will further enlighten residents about what's made in their midst.

"This is a great fit," he said. "It's a great opportunity for people to try products produced in their backyards, and to stay local and support local businesses."

In the app, those interested can learn a bit of the backstory behind each point along the trail, as well as find out whether they can score a special discount at a particular location. Addresses, phone numbers and other information also are included.

Todd Stricker, one of the four owners of Rush Creek Distilling, said the promotion may provide an added nudge to those who've been curious, but have yet to visit their 5-year-old business at 1501 W. Diggins St., Harvard.

"It's weird how often we hear from people 'I've been meaning to come check you out,'" he said. "This may give them that extra boost of motivation to make the trip."

For other information about the McHenry County Craft Beverage Trail and more, visit mchcraftbev.com.

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