Bakersfield has a lot happening to attract residents and visitors alike — from the reappearance of live music and the reopening of museums to antique browsing, festivals, a huge variety of foods, sporting events and more.
But don't forget the important stuff, like really good beer made locally.
Visit Bakersfield, formerly the Bakersfield Convention & Visitor Bureau, on Wednesday launched its new Bakersfield Brewery Trail campaign, encouraging consumers to visit and patronize some of Bakersfield's greatest local breweries.
"Our goal is to help people spend their money in California's ninth largest city," said David Lyman, manager of Visit Bakersfield.
And microbreweries, or craft beer makers, draw visitors.
"I'm super excited about it," said Frank "Pancho" Miranda, proprietor of 2nd Phase Brewery in Bakersfield's downtown.
"Bakersfield isn't seen as a brewery town yet," he said, "but I think we're just on the cusp."
Anyone interested in hitting the Bakersfield Brewery Trail should visit experience.visitbakersfield.com and sign up for the trail pass.
"It's easy, free and available 24/seven," Lyman said. And there’s no app to download.
After registering, just use the unique PIN provided to check-in each time you visit one of the participating craft breweries.
When participants check in at three of the five participating breweries within the next year they will earn a free Bakersfield Brewery Trail T-shirt. And the first 50 people to check in at all five participating breweries will win a custom Bakersfield Brewery Trail growler.
Besides 2nd Phase, participating breweries are Crusader Brewing; Great Change Brewing; all three Lengthwise Brewing Co. locations; and Temblor Brewing Co.
Justin Hill, head brewer at Temblor, said local breweries had to adapt fast last year after public health restrictions closed brew pubs.
"I think we came through great, better than we expected," he said.
They shifted from sales of pints at the bar and at tables, to churning up their canning capacity for pick-up orders and sales. Other breweries did the same.
He welcomed the new promotion as a way to get more people exposed to the great brews available at Temblor and other local breweries.
Miranda agreed. Local breweries, he said, came together as a community, sharing advice, knowledge, equipment — and now some are coming out of a difficult year in better shape than they ever expected.
"This exposes people to the idea that Bakersfield is, or potentially can be, a big brewery town," he said.