There’s a lot brewing on the Treasure Coast. Craft breweries seem to be popping up everywhere and of just two dozen wineries in Florida, the Treasure Coast is lucky to have one located right here in Fort Pierce. This set-up created the perfect opportunity to promote yet another reason to visit our gem of a tourist destination – a tasting tour along the Treasure Coast Wine & Ale Trail. The program is an organized and collaborative partnership between the three Treasure Coast tourism agencies consisting of St. Lucie, Indian River and Martin counties as well as the local breweries and the winery to attract more visitors to the area.
Those interested in participating in the trail can download the trail map by visiting www.TCWineandAleTrail.com or pick up a printed version at one of the participating locations or a local tourist information center. Trail goers will receive a “gold doubloon” after purchasing a craft brew or glass of wine at each business and once each location on the map is marked with the doubloon, participants can redeem their booty (prize) at the last location.
By launching the trail, the Treasure Coast tourism agencies are joining the likes of larger Florida destinations that actively market their brew and/or ale trails such as Tampa, Jacksonville and St. Pete/Clearwater.
“It made the most sense for the three of us to partner on this program rather than launch three separate trails” said Charlotte Bireley, director of Tourism & Marketing for St. Lucie County. “It allows us to leverage our advertising budgets, offer a more diverse experience and encourage our visitors to stay longer on the Treasure Coast – but most importantly the breweries and winery will be able to cross-promote each other through this organized effort.”
The three tourism agencies were first approached by Gary Roberts, owner of Summer Crush Vineyard & Winery, to consider the idea.
“Trails with an organized program attract people to an area and make it easy to follow on their own. They also increase tourism dollars, as trail goers often stay and enjoy the area’s food, entertainment and lodging. With the recent boom in breweries, I felt it was the perfect time for a trail of our own and the area tourism offices were the perfect partners to get this idea off the ground. They’ve done a great job making this concept a reality,” stated Roberts.
According to IBISWorld Industry Research, more than 63 percent of craft beer enthusiasts are 21 to 44 years old.
“The demographic of a typical Treasure Coast visitor is 45 and older, this new trail will give us an opportunity to target a younger, millennial audience. The millennial market is vital to the future of tourism in our region” said Allison McNeal, director of Tourism in Indian River County.
The tourism agencies plan to promote the trail through industry press trips, social media, digital content marketing and at special events. The agencies are also working with local hoteliers and transportation providers to offer packages with guided tours.
At launch, the trail will have seven locations on the trail, including:
· Pareidolia Brewing Company, 482 US Highway 1, Sebastian
· Orchid Island Brewery, 2855 Ocean Drive, Vero Beach
· Walking Tree Brewery, 3209 Dodger Road, Vero Beach
· Summer Crush Vineyard & Winery, 4200 Johnston Road, Fort Pierce
· Islamorada Beer Company, 3200 St. Lucie Blvd., Fort Pierce
· Sailfish Brewing Company, 130 North 2nd Street, Fort Pierce
· Side Door Brewing Company, 1419 SE Village Green Drive, Port St. Lucie
Two additional locations are slated to open soon – American Icon Brewery in Vero Beach and Hop Life Brewing Company in Port St. Lucie. Talks of brewery locations in Martin County are also underway.
For more details visit www.TCWineandAleTrail.com and www.facebook.com/TCWineandAleTrail; Twitter: @TCWineandAleTrail and Instagram: @TCWineandAleTrail. For more information call Charlotte Bireley, at 772-462-1539 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.