Elevating Beer Tourism in Victoria.
In the past, the wine industry has played a more significant role when it comes to the Victorian Food and Beverage tourism industry than craft beer. This is evident when we look at tourist destinations/ regions in Victoria.
In a paper released in 2022, the “Victoria’s Visitor Economy Master Plan Directions Paper”, it shows details on Victoria’s Food and Beverage tourism sector. It details that in 2019, 8% of all visitors had a food and beverage experience. It also details that there are 21 wine regions, 600 cellar doors, 800+ wineries – and this is the part that most stood out to us… 30 Craft Breweries.
30 Craft Breweries…. We can’t find the exact figure, but in 2019, Victoria had approximately 130 operational breweries AND the fact that Victoria is home to the largest number of breweries in Australia, is a detail that has been sadly missed.
The above information and paper is what is driving our team to focus on elevating beer tourism in Victoria and change the current state of play.
After doing a deep dive into craft brewery locations across Victoria, we have identified 19 clusters of breweries and distilleries that can be developed into Beer Belt’s.
Creating a ‘Beer Belt’ or beer region enables an area to become a desirable destination in which both locals and visitors alike can explore and experience. With breweries and distilleries located in close proximity to each other, more than one venue can be visited in a day. The US have dubbed this term as someone having a Beercation. A planned day trip or holiday focussed on visiting breweries.
The Beer Belt concept began in 2022 when the Bayside Beer Belt was launched. Victoria’s first geographically identified beer region in Melbourne’s Southeast, spanning from Moorabbin to Frankston and home to 12 craft breweries and 4 distilleries.
As well as creating the region, we run Hop On Hop Off Brewery and Distillery tours & private group tours to ensure people can get around and visit all of these amazing venues, without worrying about driving.
In late 2023, the Eastside Beer Belt was launched which covers Hawthorn, down to Clayton, across to Rowville and up to Ringwood. This East belt includes 12 breweries and 2 distilleries.
The plan isn’t to stop there either….
So, what’s next? There is already talk of another beer belt in central Melbourne as well as looking at fun and unique ways to encourage locals and visitors to get out and visit locals breweries and distilleries in person.
Creating beer regions and having them included on Victoria’s tourism map is the mission. People through taproom doors is the ultimate objective!