British Columbia

B.C. launches its 'largest marketing campaign' for craft beer

Province officially launches 7 beer tours across the province aimed at promoting local breweries

BC Ale Trail

Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Reform Policy John Yap announced the launch of the B.C. Ale Trail, along with the BC Craft Brewers Guild. (Kamil Karamali/CBC)

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The province is calling it the 'largest marketing campaign' to promote B.C.'s craft beer industry.

The B.C. Ale Trail is not a single trail, but 7 different beer tours across the province.

Each one will wind its way through a different region of the province, going through several craft breweries along the way.

Here are the 7 areas included in the Ale Trail:

  • Victoria Ale Trail
  • Nanaimo / Comox Valley Ale Trail
  • Sunshine Coast Ale Trail
  • Port Moody Ale Trail
  • Whistler Ale Trail
  • Kootenay Rockies East Ale Trail
  • Kootenay Rockies West Ale Trail
BC Ale Trail 2

7 communities will have beer tours of local breweries as part of the B.C. Ale Trail. (Jacy Schindel / CBC)

The trail guide was put together by the province, several tourism groups and the BC Craft Brewers Guild.

Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Reform Policy John Yap says the province has seen the industry grow from 54 craft breweries in 2010 to 125 today.

"The B.C. Ale Trail offers visitors a detailed itinerary for each region," said Yap. "Complete with maps, restaurants, lodging and of course, suggested craft beers."

Craft breweries have to pay

The marketing campaign doesn't come free for the craft breweries listed on the tours.

Ken Beattie with the BC Craft Brewers Guild says each brewery has to pay $500 a year to be included on one of the trails.

In return, they get to be part of the marketing campaign that hopes to target local, national and international visitors.

BC Ale Trail Whistler

Whistler is one of 7 locations across the province that will have its own Ale Trail. (Jacy Schindel / CBC)

Beattie believes the price is reasonable because he hopes tourists will flock to the beer tours.

"The excitement for the tourist is to meet the brewer and staff and the people that worked there," said Beattie.

"Generally, in most of the small breweries — you're going to be dealing with the person who made the beer. If you have a question, that person is going to come out from the back."

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