Colors fade, templates crumble,

empires fall, but wise words endure.

Digital beer travel planner lets users craft brew itineraries

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Looking to visit a brewery on the Midcoast that's family-friendly or one in Kennebec Valley with outdoor seating and a tasting room?

A new digital travel planner on the Maine Brewers' Guild's revamped website could be just the ticket. The new site was built by Portland's Page One Web Solutions.

"They've done a great job and were excellent to work with," Sean Sullivan, executive director of the Maine Brewers' Guild, told Mainebiz.

The user-friendly planner allows for searches by brewery names with five feature icons — outdoor seating, family friendly, food, tours and tasting — that users can you incorporate in a personalized map they can save and easily share with others.

"It's meant to be plug and play," Sullivan said. "We don't want it to be prepackaged, we want people to create their own adventure."

The new tool complements the existing Maine Beer Trail, for which there is a brochure, that offers rewards for racking up brewery visits — a hat after going to 10 to 19 sites, a T-shirt for 24, and a "special prize pack" for visiting them all.

Sullivan said the digital travel planner comes as breweries add other lines of business to attract more customers.

Examples include Oxbow Brewing Co.'s rentable farmhouse in Newcastle and mountain-biking access in Oxford, and Funky Bow Beer Co.'s proximity to yurts in Lyman for overnight stays.

"If you're going to ask somebody to make a 20-mile detour just to visit your brewery, what are you offering other than beer?" Sullivan said. "It also speaks to the fact that breweries are attracting folks beyond people who love beer."

Maine now has more than 140 breweries, up from 117 a year ago.