From March 31 to April 8, New Hampshire will be celebrating the third annual Craft Beer Week. New Hampshire has sixty-three breweries and ten distributors. Events such as a Craft Beer Week, which is marketing beer as a tourist activity, are a big part of today’s craft beer business.
This type of marketing also occurs in the other alcoholic beverage industries. Kentucky has had a Bourbon Trail for almost ten years. The wine industry has used tourism to promote its’ product for years. New Hampshire has a Beer Trail as well as hosting the Craft Beer Week. Alcoholic beverage tourism seeks to associate the product, beer, bourbon or wine, with a particular place. Such an association increase the sense of authenticity about the product for the consumer.
BrewNH and the Granite State Brewers Association are sponsoring the week of events and activities. Prior to Prohibition most states had a brewers association which was usually connected to the United States Brewers Association. As brewing centralized, both regional breweries and state trade associations disappeared. With the tremendous increase in the number of breweries nationally over the last fifteen years, state and local associations have reemerged.
BrewNH, a non-profit, recognizes the value of the state brewing industry to New Hampshire and seeks to build tourism around it. Their goal is to promote the state while the Granite Brewers Association wants to promote beer.
I live pretty close to New Hampshire so I might check out some of the events. When Brewing Battles was first published I did a book talk at the Vermont Brewers Festival which was a lot of fun.