DALLAS, Oct. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- 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, a national trade association dedicated to promoting American craft brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts, to find America's best beer destinations by creating the first Beer Tourism Index.
By examining the location of all breweries in the U.S., 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
Top 6 Small Metro Areas
1) Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA
1) Bend, OR
2) Denver-Aurora, CO
2) Boulder, CO
3) Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
3) Fort Collins-Loveland, CO
4) Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, ME
4) Corvallis, OR
5) Colorado Springs, CO
5) Missoula, MT
6) Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA
6) Burlington-South Burlington, VT
While overall beer sales were flat year over year in 2015, craft beer production increased 13% 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."
"Since its inception over 20 years ago, Travelocity has been dedicated to making it easier, faster and more affordable for people to follow their passions," said John Morrey, Vice President, Brand Expedia Group, North America. "Whether it's locally-produced art, food or beer, Travelocity is proud to make it possible for local artisans to share their crafts with people from around the country and around the world."
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. At www.travelocity.com/beertowns, travelers can find great deals on hotels and hotel/flight packages to book their own beer lover's getaway. Travelocity has also curated a selection of beer-related activities at www.travelocity.com/brewerytours, including beer tours, beer cruises and even beer trains, that can be booked directly on the Travelocity site.
Travelocity encourages travelers to "Wander Wisely™" and is dedicated to being the champion of the customer with its Customer 1st Guarantee, making the traveling experience both simple and memorable with competitive prices, 24/7 customer service and more. Based in Dallas, Texas, Travelocity is owned by Expedia, Inc., one of the world's leading travel companies, with an extensive brand portfolio that includes many of the world's leading online travel properties.