With today’s launch of the BC Ale Trail, tourists and craft beer enthusiasts have a new definitive guide to exploring B.C.’s craft beer scene and local sightseeing attractions.
With the booming growth of craft breweries in B.C. – going from 54 breweries in 2010 to more than 125 today and more on the horizon – British Columbia is continuing to grow its reputation as the craft beer capital of Canada. Together, these breweries produce more than 40 different types of beer each day in every part of the province. The BC Ale Trail is an interactive website with detailed itineraries that include maps, restaurant and lodging, unexpected sites, and a variety of craft beer suggestions that encourages beer lovers locally and from afar to continue to explore craft beer in B.C.
The ale trail is based on the bestselling book, Craft Beer Revolution: The Insider’s Guide to B.C. Breweries. The project was spearheaded by the BC Craft Brewers Guild and supported by a $70,000 investment from the Province through Destination BC. The ale trail was also developed with the collaboration of seven of B.C’s destination marketing organizations, each in areas with a unique scenic and brewing landscape: Comox Valley, Kootenay Rockies, Nanaimo, Port Moody, Sunshine Coast, Victoria and Whistler. The BC Ale Trail targets tourists from the Pacific Northwest and within Canada, encouraging them to come to B.C. to explore the province’s bourgeoning craft beer industry and enjoy B.C.’s natural wilderness, activities and urban experiences.
Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business, Red Tape Reduction and Minister Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch –
“B.C.’s craft beer scene is growing every year, creating more jobs and contributing to our province economically and culturally. I have seen first-hand in my community how a craft brewery can liven up a town. The BC Ale Trail will invite tourists into our communities, help them discover unexpected sites and landscapes and show them exactly why B.C. truly is Canada’s craft beer capital.”
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour –
“British Columbia’s tourism sector is thriving with international visitors up 12.5% so far this year. And those visitors are sampling some of the world’s best beer made right here in B.C. The tourism and craft beer sectors create jobs and economic growth throughout our province and the BC Ale Trail is a natural pairing of these two industries. From Vancouver Island to the Kootenays, visitors to our province are enjoying quality craft beers, while taking in our world-class tourism attractions.”
John Yap, Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Reform Policy –
"Craft beer is not only one of B.C.’s best small business success stories, it has also become a cultural phenomenon and source of B.C. pride. By pairing B.C.’s outstanding craft beers with our province’s breath-taking landscapes and tourist attractions, the BC Ale Trail offers an easy, innovative and imaginative way for visitors to explore some of B.C.’s many hidden gems.”
Marsha Walden, CEO, Destination BC –
"The BC Ale Trail is a great partner from our application-based Co-op Marketing Partnerships Program, which gave $3.4 million to industry in 2015. The funding supports many different sectors and attracts travellers from across the world to experience our province."
Ken Beattie, executive director, British Columbia Craft Brewers Guild –
"The BC Craft Brewers Guild views the BC Ale Trail and our partnership with Destination BC and the participating tourism organizations as a game-changer for our breweries and our province. We know we have a world-class brewing community to showcase and the BC Ale trail, our partner breweries and the communities involved will deliver an inspirational experience to our visitors."
Paul Kamon, executive director, Tourism Powell River –
"The pairing of tourism destination marketing with B.C.'s dynamic craft beer industry is timely. With the explosive popularity of tasting rooms, breweries have become important social hubs and attractions for small B.C. communities."
- In 2014, the tourism sector employed 127,500 British Columbians, a 2.2% increase over 2013 (18.4% increase since 2004).
- There are nearly 19,000 tourism-related businesses in B.C. About 17,000 or almost 93% of these businesses are small businesses.
- Craft beer is one B.C.’s fastest-growing small business sectors and employs over 4,000 people provincewide.
- Recently, the Province reduced the mark-up rate on craft beer by 25%, creating $10 million in economic support so that brewers can hire new people, invest in new equipment and grow their businesses.
- October 2016 is B.C.’s sixth annual craft beer month. For more information on events provincewide, go to: https://bccraftbeermonth.com/
To plan your trip on the BC Ale Trail: www.bcaletrail.ca