Craft beer tourism comes to West Virginia

WV craft beer tourismThe release of the Craft Beer Guide by Wonderful West Virginia tells you one thing for certain: Craft beer tourism is becoming a really big deal. Nationally, travel & tourism agencies, convention & visitors bureaus, and vacation publications are all joining the craft beer travel bandwagon.

BBC16_badge1A good example of what’s happening  in beer tourism today occurred at the Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference in Tampa last month. Speaking as an attendee, it was great to see a Beer Tourism session on the conference agenda, but it was even more exciting to see two local convention & visitors bureaus pitching in to help underwrite the conference experience.

The Visit Tampa Bay CVB took us out on a progressive food and beer dinner experience with stops at three Tampa breweries. From small (Ulele), to fancy (Coppertail), to legendary (Cigar City), the CVB showcased the range of brewery experiences Tampa has to offer.

The next day, the St. Petersburg-Clearwater CVB provided a highlights and lunch excursion to four of its exciting breweries. Our bus stopped at Cycle, Rapp, Green Bench and Three Daughters breweries, offering a flavorful sampling of what Pinellas County has to offer.

craft beer tourism

On the conference Beer Tourism panel, one memorable person was Anthony Derby, who owns and operates The Brew Bus. Starting up just a few years ago driving people to breweries around the Tampa Bay area, he now employs over a dozen folks with several buses. As Tampa-St. Pete has grown to become one of America’s more popular craft beer destinations, Derby is so encouraged that he is building his own brewery. This is incredible stuff.

WV Craft Beer Guide

craft beer tourism
Photo: Wild, Wonderful West Virginia, WV Division of Tourism

Now, the West Virginia Division of Tourism has joined in with its own Craft Beer Guide. The pocket-sized booklet is divided into regional trails and craft beer events. It includes basic brewery info, a simple guide to beer flavors and styles, and a section where travelers can collect craft beer badges.

State Commissioner of Tourism Amy Shuler Goodwin is a big supporter of West Virginia’s new beer tourism initiative. As it promotions firm, the agency hired Fayetteville-based Digital Relativity, which is run by craft beer enthusiast Pat Strader. That definitely helped give beer tourism a seat at the table.

“From classic staples to limited release seasonal brews, you’ll find it here,” Commissioner Shuler Goodwin said, as she announced the new guidebook. “Visit our breweries, brewpubs and events to see–and taste–handcrafted West Virginia beer.  And be sure to check out our suggested stops along the way.”

BrilliantStream welcomes this effort by Wild, Wonderful West Virginia. It will surely enhance the visibility of the state’s breweries. With increased visibility should come increased sales, employment, and profits for the industry. It’s definitely a win-win.

Use this link to order your own free copy of the state’s Craft Beer Guide.

WV Barrel Trail

On our WV Barrel Trail map, maintains an up-to-date listing of all licensed West Virginia breweries, distilleries, and wineries. The listings include contact information for each.

Best West Virginia brewery & beer selected for 2015

best West Virginia brewery

With 16 breweries making scores of different craft beers, which is the best West Virginia brewery? It’s time the best get some recognition for a job well done.

To select the breweries and beers that best represent the proud and resilient heritage of the Mountain State, asked a group of WV craft beer enthusiasts for help. With their input in hand, BrilliantStream selected the best for 2015. While all our breweries have done some good work this year, the decision is now in on the ones that did it best. Continue reading “Best West Virginia brewery & beer selected for 2015”

Bridge Brew Works adds tasting room

Bridge Brew tasting room.
Bridge Brew Works of Fayetteville, WV opened this new tasting room attached to the front of the brewery just in time for Gauley Season and Bridge Day.

Formerly West Virginia’s only brewery without a pub or adjacent taproom, Bridge Brew Works has recently opened a tasting room at the brewery.

With the six-week-long Gauley Season kicking off today and the popular Bridge Day set for October 17, the Fayetteville area will now have one more attraction to offer the throngs of tourists: craft beer tasting. Continue reading “Bridge Brew Works adds tasting room”

Forest Festival adds craft beer event

Forest Festival adds craft beerThe Mountain State Forest Festival kicks off its first ever craft beer event on Saturday, September 5 in Elkins, West Virginia. As of today, tickets are still available.

Attendees will get to sample beer from seven West Virginia breweries as well as other breweries from around the region. The event takes place at the Old Elkins National Guard Armory, and will begin at 3:00 p.m. and end at 8:00 p.m. Continue reading “Forest Festival adds craft beer event”