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New campaign aims to encourage tourists to try beer 'n BBQ

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GREENVILLE, Pitt County - Craft beer and barbecue are two Eastern North Carolina treasures. Pitt County is hoping to use both to its advantage in a new campaign.

Grab a passport and get a stamp for each stop you make on the Greenville New Brew and 'Cue Trail. Pitt County Tourism officials hope the barbecue and beer here will leave tourists coming back for more.

"It's important to get them here for the first time," said Andrew Schmidt, Executive Director of visit Greenville. "Once they've been here they love it, and they come back again and again."

That's why they've launched a fun new way for you to sample the best craft beer and barbecue in the area. Greene County residents Sandy and Ricky Yannarella got their passports after hearing out it Tuesday night.

"And we had to do it," said Sandy Yannarella. "There's still some barbecue places in the area that we have yet to try so this is inspiration."

Schmidt said it's their way of establishing the area as a culinary tourist destination.

"Culinary travel has been on the increase for several years in the travel and tourism industry and so we wanted to do something to bring people to Greenville and Pitt County that highlighted what we're known for," Schmidt said.

There's 11 stops on the trail. Four are breweries and seven are barbecue restaurants. Anyone can fill their passporks with stamps from each place. You will win a pint glass or a T-shirt for doing so.

"Some people will kill themselves to do this for a free T-shirt," Schmidt said. "They love promotional products, they want to be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor so to speak."

The Yannarellas said they're just in it to enjoy themselves. A number of people are the same, saying they've already filled up their passporks and claimed their prizes.

"It's just something fun to do," said Sandy Yannarella. "And in the end, you do get either a T-shirt or a mug so that's kind of cool. Always fun to get stuff."

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