Craft beer isn’t just changing the way people drink, it is changing the way they travel (it is even changing the way they clean their faces). Last year, in a Travelocity survey of 1,003 people, more than three-quarters of those surveyed said they would like to go on a trip where they visited craft breweries and sampled local beer. Recognizing this interest in beer tourism, Travelocity enlisted the expertise of the Brewers Association to find America’s best beer destinations by creating the first Beer Tourism Index.
By examining the location of all breweries in the United States, and looking at other factors important to a successful “beercation,” including the availability of rideshare services, accessibility via air and the average cost of lodging, this index identified the best large and small metro areas to sample some of the nation’s best craft beers.
Top 6 Large Metro Areas
1) Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA
2) Denver-Aurora, CO
3) Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
4) Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, ME
5) Colorado Springs, CO
6) Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA
Top 6 Small Metro Areas
1) Bend, OR
2) Boulder, CO
3) Fort Collins-Loveland, CO
4) Corvallis, OR
5) Missoula, MT
6) Burlington-South Burlington, VT
Unhappy with this list? Make your case!
We definitely do not disagree with the above lists, but hey, half the point of making a list is debating/complaining about the results. So, in that spirit, do you feel your area was snubbed? Would you like to make a case? (Minnesota just made its case the other day). Feel free to send an essay our way ([email protected] with the subject line “PRINT THIS BEER TOURISM ESSAY) that explains why your area is on the rise as a beer tourist destination. If any of you actually do this, there is a good chance we will publish them on the site.
Back to the beer tourism list results
While overall beer sales were flat year over year in 2015, craft beer production increased 13 percent by volume (or to about 24 million barrels) for the year. That’s roughly 700 million more pint glasses of beer in 2015 than in 2014. And with about 4,800 craft breweries operating across the United States today, there is no shortage of locally produced brews from which to choose. Since many of these locally produced beers are available only at or within a limited radius of the brewery, there has been an increased interest in the experiencing of local craft beers by American travelers.
“Small and independent craft brewers are part of the DNA of their communities. They are becoming mainstay attractions for travelers,” said Julia Herz, craft beer program director for the Brewers Association and publisher of CraftBeer.com. “Whether as part of a backyard getaway, a break from a business trip or as the main reason for a beer-focused vacation, we encourage everyone to broaden their knowledge of beer by visiting these local brewers, to experience firsthand the advancing beer culture across the country.”
Travelocity is making it easier for people to get out and visit America’s best beer destinations with special offers to cities identified in the Travelocity Beer Tourism Index. Travelocity has also curated a selection of beer-related activities, including beer tours, beer cruises and even beer trains, that can be booked directly on the Travelocity site.