Following the Beer Tourism Index created in collaboration with the Brewers Association (BA) last fall, Travelocity has now released the Craft Spirits Tourism Index, a craft spirits tour guide created in partnership with the American Distilling Institute (ADI).
As the BA is to the beer industry, particularly small and independent craft brewers, ADI is a national trade association dedicated to educating and promoting craft spirits made in the U.S. Akin to craft beer, craft spirits have been rising in popularity as consumers become more educated and interested in locally produced booze made by small and independent producers.
To promote the new Craft Spirits Tourism Index, Travelocity and ADI also released a list of the Top 20 Craft Spirits Tourism Destinations in the U.S., divided into those located in “large metro areas” (population exceeds one million) and top 10 “small metro areas” (population is less than one million).
To determine these 20 best places to booze, factors such as number of craft distilleries by population, awards received by local craft spirits, accessibility by air, and hotel cost were considered.
Top spots for spiritcations in large metro areas were headed up by Seattle; Portland, Oregon; Denver; Washington, D.C.; and San Diego.
For small metro areas, Corvallis, Oregon, took the top spot, followed by Wenatchee, Washington; Kingston, New York; Boulder; and San Luis Obispo.
Full lists of the Top 20 Craft Spirits Tourism Destinations are below. (The 20 are divided into top 10 large metro areas and top 10 small metro areas.)
Top 10 Large Metro Areas (>1 million)
2) Portland, Oregon
4) Washington, D.C.
5) San Diego
8) Minneapolis/St. Paul
9) St. Louis
10) Grand Rapids
Top 10 Small Metro Areas (<1 million)
1) Corvallis, Oregon
2) Wenatchee, Washington
3) Kingston, New York
5) San Luis Obispo
6) Mt. Vernon/Anacortes, Washington
7) Fort Collins, Colorado
8) Bend, Oregon
9) Glens Falls, New York
10) Santa Rosa/Petaluma
“In 1880 there were over 5,000 distilleries in the United States, most of which were small local producers of spirits. But by 1980, market consolidation and prohibition shrunk that number to fewer than 100 large national distilleries,” said Eric Zandona, ADI director of spirits information. “In 1982 the American craft spirits industry was reborn and over the next three decades grew to over 1,000 small distilleries spread across the country. Today, the industry is thriving and the number of craft distilleries is on pace to double in the next three to five years. We are thrilled to be working with Travelocity to introduce more people to the craftsmanship of these local distillers.”