At the Guinness brewery in Ireland they give a glass of stout to every visitor who takes the tour. In the Old Country, near Williamsburg, Va., a project for Anheuser-Busch Inc., the reward for those who go through the plant is a taste of the beer.
The newest attraction in historic Plymouth, Cranberry World, beckons tourists, too. And after walking through the museum, the visitor is offered a cranberry juice cocktail. Hotcha! Hotcha!
There isn't anything very spiritual about a cranberry cocktail, unless you count the blessed memory of the Pilgrims who munched on the berries on that first Thanksgiving. (Or so it is said.)
Cranberry World, which had a two-month preview last year, overlooks Plymouth Harbor, about a 10-minute walk from Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower II. It opened officially April 1, and will receive visitors through Nov. 30. Admission is free.
The exhibits trace the origins of cranberries to pre-Pilgrim days, when the Wampanoag Indians used the berries to make dye and to soothe and cleanse wounds. Mashed and mixed with deer fat and dried vension, cranberries were sunbaked, becoming a culinary specialty. Years of patient testing have produced such marvels as cranberry crunch, cranberry goodin puddin', and cranberry calico fudge. Recipes are available at Cranberry World.
Three working bogs grow outside the museum. Visitors who come in spring will see the pale pink blossoms, which early settlers thought resembled he head of a crane - hence the name. The berries ripen with the summer and are harvested in the fall. Cranberry scoops, long since remanded to antique shops, have given way to threshers that shake up the bogs and sell the berries floating to the top. Fall visitors to Cranberry World will be able to screen their own cranberries from the museum's working bogs.
Cranberry World adds one more attraction to Plymouth, the historic corner known as America's hometown. The million or more visitors who come to Plymouth every year can contemplate the Pilgrim in a variety of forms - stuffed, waxed, buried or re-created.
Plymouth, Plantation, three miles south of Plymouth Rock, is an outdoor museum, a replica of the village as it might have appeared in 1627. Here the play-acting Pilgrims hold militia drills, farm their crops and traffic with the Algonquins. Guides wear the latest fashions of 1627, in the manner perfected at Williamsburg. Like Cranberry World, the plantation is open April 1-Nov. 30.
A combination ticket to nine houses, exhibits and museums will tell you more about the Pilgrims than you may want to know. It includes a number of houses of the 17th, 18th and 19th century. Only one, the Jabez Howland house on Sandwich Street, is known to have been occupied by the Pilgrim group. The hostesses play dress-up here, too.
Pilgrim Hall, which opened in 1824, claims it is the country's oldest public museum, and has the most complete collection of Pilgrim artifacts. They include such rare pieces as John Alden's halberd, and the true sword of Myles Standish.
The library at Pilgrim Hall has gathered a collection of manuscripts that relate to the Plymouth Colony, as well as such originals as the Bible of John Alden and that of Gov. William Bradford.
The Pilgrim Society, founded in 1820, 200 years after the first footfall on Plymouth Rock, also cares for the cemetery at Coles Hill, the burial ground of the Pilgrims who failed to survive the first winner.
Also on Coles Hill is the Plymouth National Wax Museum which, as they like to say, is the place "where your Pilgrim heritage comes alive." Here are scenes of the settlers aboard the Mayflower and later having a merry time with the Indians preparing a feast. Indians bring a young doe to be skinned and dressed. Pots are bubbling, fish are broiling. And cranberries are casting a rosy glow over the whole band of America's intrepid, pioneering tourists.