New beer trail launches tour offerings
A new Victorian beer trail that received a government grant last year has launched tour offerings to further drive interest in beer tourism.
The Kingston Collective, which received $43,000 from the Victorian Government’s Small Scale and Craft Program in May last year, officially launched the Bayside Beer Belt, consisting of 11 craft breweries including Stomping Ground Moorabbin, 2 Brothers Brewery, Bad Shepherd Brewing Co and Wolf of the Willows.
Now as part of the funding, the beer trail has launched various tour offerings including the Hop On Hop Off Craft Brewery & Distillery Tour, which allows guests to choose a maximum of four venues to visit in a day from a circuit of six to seven breweries or distilleries.
“We began running the HOHO Tour monthly but with the overwhelming response we have received, with each tour selling out so far, we are beginning to run them fortnightly from March,” founder Natalie Wilson told Brews News.
“It might go back to monthly over Winter but we’ll see how that goes.”
Since launching the tour in November, Wilson said the feedback from locals and participating breweries has been positive.
“It is definitely a win-win for all involved,” she said.
“With breweries being located in industrial areas, it can often be hard for people to get out and visit them, unless you are local or you have a DD.
“This way, we act as their designated driver for the day and help them experience this incredible region.
“The thing we love most is when we hear a local say ‘I never knew there were so many breweries and distilleries in the area’.
“Knowing that we are helping locals explore their own backyard is amazing.”
As part of the Steam Three Craft Program, participating projects were required to benefit a minimum of three agri-businesses.
“We are very proud to say that upon completion of this grant project we are bringing direct benefit to 14 agri-businesses in this unique craft community,” Wilson said in a media release.
“The Bayside Beer Belt has taken it further by literally putting this Victorian Beercation Destination on the Map.”
The news follows a trend of tourism and government bodies working with local craft breweries to maximise marketing opportunities.
Last year, Visit Sunshine Coast launched its craft-beer focused campaign, Australia’s Craft Beer Capital, which included a podcast featuring interviews with 16 breweries.
The campaign sparked discussion about beer tourism and the importance of working with local tourism bodies.
“As a destination marketer, what we do is we look for truth about our destination and we look for opportunities where we can promote points of difference that can set us apart from our competitors,” Visit Sunshine Coast head of marketing Kelly Ryan said in an episode of the BreweryPro podcast.
“It is our role as a destination marketing organisation to bring people to the region and then it is over to our wonderful industry, whether that’s coffee or experiences or tours, to actually then promote to people, as to what there is to see and do, what there is to eat and drink.”