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Thirteen Beer-Centric Projects In PA Get Financial Boost From State

Dake Kang
In this Aug. 7, 2017 photo, beer brewing tanks sit at the former altar of The Church Brew Works, an old church renovated into a brewery, in Pittsburgh.

In an effort to put Pennsylvania on the map as a beer destination, the state is giving grants to 13 brew-centric projects across the commonwealth.

The largest grant is going to a state tourism project called "Pursue Your Hoppiness," which will create maps identifying breweries in each of the state's 12 tourism regions. It will also develop branding to encompass Pennsylvania's brewed beverage industry.

One share of the grant money will go toward creating an interactive online guide for breweries across Allegheny County.

Carrie Fischer Lepore with Pennsylvania's Department of Community and Economic Development said the initiative won't just help the businesses, but the entire region. 

"While the breweries would realize the largest economic impact, the brewery suppliers would also benefit, as would all of the downstream business opportunities," she said. "So the local hotels and restaurants and retail establishments."

A local project receiving a cut of the grant money, Hops on Lots Pittsburgh, helps create urban hop-growing farms in the city to be supplied to a local brewer.

Pete Bell, a founder of the program, says the point is to create a truly local beer.

"Putting hops in communities and having the hops go to the local brewery and beer brewed with those hops," Bell said. "And proceeds from the beer go right back to the community."

Hops on Lots is already growing hops on plots in Stanton Heights and Larimer, and has partnered with Roundabout Brewery and Couch Brewery. Bell says he and the other founders are on the hunt for the perfect location for the new farm.