Craft Beer Tourism in Minnesota
A New Kind of Experiential Tourism Expands its Reach
The story behind the growth of the craft beer scene in Minnesota is compelling. It’s a story about the entrepreneurial spirit combined with localism, community, and cooperation among small businesses. It’s a story of families, friends, and partners following their passions and invigorating local economies. It’s both the story and the beer that bring people together in the brewpubs and taprooms… to enjoy a pint of locally crafted beer and develop relationships with their neighbors.
We find these stories to be unbelievably fascinating.
Over the past two years, we’ve seen a considerable expansion of Duluth’s craft beer tourism scene following the growing number of local breweries that are opening statewide. The excitement around craft beer tourism is definitely building. The City of Duluth and the local tourism bureau, Visit Duluth, have been promoting our region as a craft beer destination for a number of years. And more recently, a marketing campaign launched by Explore Minnesota and the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild has begun promoting “brewcations” as a driving impetus for visiting the great state of Minnesota.
So, what is a “brewcation” you ask…
A brewcation is entertainment, education and experience with a generous sampling of craft beer and fun. Together, these experiential tourism mainstays create unique opportunities for people to come to Lake Superior’s North Shore and build a relationship with the local craft been scene. It’s about fun. It’s about education… and it’s about beer.
And the great thing about folks who enjoy craft beer and/or want to learn more about the growing industry is that their interests often overlap with more traditional tourist activities. They tend to be active and curious and in search of fun and unique adventures. The brewery tourism in Duluth is a great example.
The beauty about brewcations in Duluth and along the North Shore is that they can be combined with an already impressive array of things to do. Visitors to our region have access to the Superior Hiking Trail, paddle sports on Lake Superior and the St. Louis River, epic mountain biking trails and the expanding Duluth Traverse. There is an amazing music and arts scene and a variety of great restaurants… all of these types of activities tend to overlap with the enjoyment of a locally brewed craft beer. All of these activities combine to create an amazing vacation destination… or, as we like to call it… home.