Sip Your Way Across East Texas
New multi-city Thirsty Pines Tour offers exclusive deals on beer, wine and coffee.
Calling all swigging and swirling aficionados: Go East Texas — the collective regional tourism boards for Tyler, Lindale and Longview — launched the Thirsty Pines Tour in June 2020.
The Thirsty Pines Tour is a digitally driven drinking passport experience connecting the region’s top craft beverage purveyors. Threading together coffee shops, wine bars, tour operators and breweries, the reward-driven immersion features 16 specially selected establishments and businesses that either produce their own sips or serve and support local makers.
The majority of these East Texas haunts are offering exclusive deals and discounts to Thirsty Pines Tour participants. Those who complete the entire tour receive a custom stone coaster set and are entered to win a regional getaway package. The giveaway is drawn twice a year, and it is brimming with restaurant gift cards, foodie-focused souvenirs and lodging accommodations.
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How Does it Work?
To get in on the imbibing (and the potential prize!), visit the official Thirsty Pines Tour landing page at GoEastTexas.com. Once there, hit the “sign-up” button and enter contact information. When the form is completed and submitted, the Thirsty Pines Tour virtual pass is delivered via text and email. Once the virtual pass link is clicked, the pass is activated and ready for immediate use. The Thirsty Pines Tour pass expires one year after its activation date. To keep things streamlined, users can add the Thirsty Pines Tour web app to their phone’s homepage.
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Guzzle to a Getaway
Each Thirsty Pines Tour outpost is unique, so partakers need to pay attention to each individual “check-in” instruction and redeem the offering upon arrival. Once two locations from each of the three cities are claimed, a prize button automatically populates at the bottom of the passport.
What can oenophiles, coffee lovers and beer connoisseurs expect? Tyler’s itinerary includes Cafe 1948; ETX Brewing Company; Kiepersol Vineyards, Winery, Distillery; The Foundry Coffee House; and True Vine Brewing Company. Operators like these allow avid drinkers to sit and savor with sommeliers, doll up in costumes or dig deeper into Texas’ beverage culture.
According to Holli Fourniquet, vice president of marketing for Visit Tyler, patrons should give themselves a few weekends to conquer the entire Thirsty Pines Tour.
Fourniquet also promises more regional tour collaborations in the future: This growing tourism trend strengthens venue ties, increases local business exposure and provides commuting visitors with a stronger sampling variety. The strategy also creates long-term lure and presents a truer taste of an overall area.
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“We live by the motto ‘we’re stronger together,’ ” Fourniquet says. “We’ve been wanting to create a passport of sorts for some time, but we did not have enough craft breweries in Tyler alone. Together within East Texas, we have plenty to offer visitors. This is just the beginning of what’s to come from Go East Texas.”
Share the Sips on Social Media
Fourniquet recommends following Go East Texas on Facebook for tour photos and updates on limited beverage releases, special events and notable announcements. Social media sharing is also encouraged using the hashtag #GoEastTexas.
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