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MD Craft Beverages App Encourages Users to Support Local

The whole purpose here is to drive business and revenue through the doors of our members.”
— Jim Bauckman, director of communications for Grow & Fortify

BOCA RATON, FL, UNITED STATES, August 4, 2021 / -- Thirsty travelers in Maryland now have a fun and easy new way to discover and connect with the state’s growing number of craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries, thanks to the new Maryland Craft Beverage mobile app, created by Boca Raton, FLA-based software developers Local Explorers, a Daruma Tech company, for Grow & Fortify, the advocacy group representing Maryland’s value-added agricultural producers, startups, and growers.

The app, launched on July 7, is a powerful digital upgrade of Maryland’s popular wine, beer, and distillery trail maps. With the Maryland Craft Beverage App, users can pick the trail of their choice and instantly see the winery, brewery, or distillery nearest them, learn about the offerings and hours of operation at venues of interest, and create their own customized trails of favorite spots. The app also incentivizes exploration by letting users check in to venues they visit on the app, earning them points towards badges and branded swag from participating businesses.

The app is already proving to be a hit with Maryland residents, said Jim Bauckman, director of communications for Grow & Fortify. “So far reception is great, we've had nearly 2,000 downloads,” he said. He added that there has already been active participation in all three trails, with power users already climbing the app’s leaderboards and checking into multiple venues per day.

While the app is designed to let users focus on the beverage trail of their choice, it also helps them discover venues on the other trails as well. “Our goal is to make it so that winery enthusiasts can open the app, explore what they want to explore about wineries, but then maybe also open the map and see nearby that there's a brewery that they've never visited and maybe make that stop, either that same day or at some point in the future,” Bauckman said. “The whole purpose here is to drive business and revenue through the doors of our members.”

Bauckman also sees the trail app, like the paper trail maps formerly distributed at visitors’ centers throughout the state, as a powerful way to connect tourists, as well as residents, to Maryland’s unique offerings. “We’re working with Maryland’s Office of Tourism Development to get rack cards placed in all welcome centers throughout the state. so that when people come into the state and visit our welcome centers, they'll be able to see that we have this app available and they'll be able to download it right there,” he said.

He adds that the team at Local Explorers has been a supportive partner during the app’s launch and beyond. “They’ve been great—they’re constantly checking for updates on how the app is working. So, they're a great partner in making sure that this is going to be a product that remains high quality and remains usable. And I think that that's all that we can ask for,” he said.

The Maryland Craft Beverage App is available for both Android and iOS on Google Play and in the Apple Store.

Local Explorers, a division of Boca Raton, Florida-based software developer Daruma Tech, is dedicated to growing local economies by incentivizing shoppers to explore small businesses. We help visitors’ bureaus, artisanal guilds, and other community advocates amplify their signal, attract new fans, and cultivate enthusiastic repeat visitors through engaging mobile apps custom branded for each community.

Rick Griswold
Daruma Tech
+1 561-990-1625
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