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Summit Brew Path Returns For a Second Year With Four More Breweries And a New Prize

photo of Summit Brew Path growler
The prize this year for people completing the Summit Brew Path passport is a 32 ounce glass growler. A brew path T-shirt -- which was last year's prize -- may soon be available for purchase as well.

The second annual Summit Brew Path kicked off over the weekend, with 18 breweries in four counties inviting beer drinkers to sample their wares.

The Akron/Summit County Convention and Visitors Bureau started the brew path last year with the goal of showcasing the region’s microbreweries. Participants get a passport that they can have stamped at every location. There are 18 this year, up four from last year.

Thirsty Dog Brewing Company was holding its grand opening in its new location on Saturday, the first day of the Brew Path, and co-owner John Najeway says they were thrilled to participate again after last year.

“It was a huge success. There were over 2,600 people that completed the tour and probably another 3-4,000 that got through most of it. So it was a success. You’ve got a lot of new breweries and people want to get out and explore. This is people’s way to savor the journey.”

Julie Green from Akron finished last year and was already hitting Hoppin’ Frog and Thirsty Dog Brewing Company in Akron on Saturday. She says she likes microbreweries because their product appeals to more discerning beer drinkers.

“To me, I feel like -- I’m in my thirties, so the atmosphere is more our age group and it’s more where I want to be compared to going to a Brubaker’s or a Barley House where it’s all younger people that annoy me.”

Green says one thing that’s improved this year is the prize for completing the path: last year, it was a T-shirt, but this year’s participants will get a 32-ounce glass growler if they get their passports stamped at all 18 breweries.

Along with the participating breweries, the brew path passport includes a “coming soon” section for establishments that are slated to open later this year.