Good Things Brewing: 5 Ways to Use Breweries to Promote Your Destination

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<span>Good Things Brewing: 5 Ways to Use Breweries to Promote Your Destination</span>
Bottom Line:

How to use breweries to promote your destination.

With the growing popularity of craft beer, more and more travelers are interested in visiting breweries or beer-related events on their vacations. It’s a great opportunity for visitors to tie their interest in beer with their interest in travel.

This is a huge trend for destination marketing organizations to take advantage of. Beer tourism can attract visitors, stimulate the local economy, and showcase the unique flavors of a region. Not sure where to start when it comes to promoting beer tourism? Here are some ideas for DMOs to make their destination worthy of a beercation.

1. Know Your Brew Scene

Get to know your local craft beer scene inside and out. Take stock of all the breweries and beer-related events in your area and identify the key players shaping the craft beer scene. Host a meeting with your destination organization and all local brewers. By forging and nurturing these connections, DMOs can gain insight into the area’s beer history, culture and the people involved in it. Marketers can identify the strengths and opportunities with each brewer and figure out where they can help. Growing these partnerships can also foster camaraderie among the local beer community.

2. Crafting Trails

Beer trails and passport programs are a great way to draw visitors to a region. Consider using a physical passport, where visitors collect stamps at each stop along the trail, or develop a digital pass where visitors can check in at locations and earn prizes. These experiences not only drive foot traffic to local businesses but also encourage repeat visits and longer stays. Plus, the data destinations can gather from users of these trails or passports is invaluable! Marketers will now know more about their beer visitors, including where they are coming from and what breweries they are going to, and can better align their marketing efforts to attract a similar audience.

At the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board, we created the Montco Makers Pass with Bandwango to highlight the breweries, wineries and distilleries in the area. It is completely digital, and users can win prizes. It's been a great tool to raise awareness of the local breweries, but also to drive traffic to local businesses.

3. Creating Beer Content

Sure, beer is everywhere, but telling the story behind your destination’s beer is important to making your local brewery scene stand out. This includes stunning visuals, not only in the form of photography, but also video. Collaborate with local brewers to capture behind-the-scenes video of the brew process, create a brewery tours series, interview local beer makers, or even partner with beer influencers. Capture content that fits a variety of aspect ratios so that videos can be shared on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and more. Storytelling in the form of blog posts, sharing user-generated content, and descriptions on your website are also important. Content is not only great for a destination’s owned channels, but it can also influence reporters and gain earned media as well.

4. Event & Beer Collaborations

Collaborating with local breweries on events and merchandise can make a big impact. For instance, consider sponsoring a weekly trivia night or bring in artists for a gallery showcase at a local brewery. Alternatively, destinations could host a food and beer pairing night, either at the brewery or offsite where you could possibly engage other businesses in the local culinary community. Co-hosted events can raise brand awareness not just for your destination organization and its impact on the local community, but for independent breweries and other locally owned businesses.

DMOs and breweries and can also partner on merchandise, like co-branded coolers, bags, koozies or other items. Even bigger, partner with a brewery on a unique beer for your destination that can be sold exclusively at the brewery. The beer can also be used at other DMO events and sales activities. Partnerships and collaborations can generate widespread interest, additional revenue, and media coverage.

5. Provide Resources

Providing great resources and collateral to your brewery partners and visitors is a great way to get the word out about your destination’s brew scene. Consider giving local breweries items like coasters, bags, or bottle openers with your DMO’s name and website on it. Visitors will also need guides, maps, and information on events and transportation. Creating a brochure or small booklet with this information will make the visitor's experience a breeze, or see if the brewery is interested in keeping several of your visitors guides on hand for curious travelers.

The growing popularity of beer tourism is a golden opportunity for destination marketing organizations. By leveraging partnerships, providing resources, and crafting unique stories, destinations will not only attract visitors but also generate economic growth and community engagement.

About The Author

Justine Garabino

Associate Vice President of Marketing, Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board

Justine Garbarino is the Associate Vice President of Marketing at the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board. She is responsible for leading the Board’s marketing efforts to showcase the area’s rich history and vibrant attractions. She is passionate about travel and delivering dynamic marketing campaigns that resonate with potential visitors.

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