The Delaware Tourism Office highlighted the growth of the craft beverage industry by announcing expansion of its Beer, Wine and Spirits Trail.
During a news conference at Iron Hill Brewery on the Wilmington Riverfront, Visit Delaware unveiled the new businesses joining the trail. Among the additions are, for the first time, cideries and meaderies. In total there are now more than 20 sites along the Delaware Beer, Wine and Spirits Trail.
“Every day we work to share with the country and the world that Delaware is a vibrant, viable and exciting place to visit, to live or to do business,” said Gov. Jack Markell. “I’m pleased to celebrate the expansion of our Beer, Wine and Spirits Trail and the entrepreneurs who are building Delaware’s craft beverage industry into a growing economic engine for our state.”
The trail started in 2010 under the name Delaware Wine & Ale Trail with the goal of increasing out-of-state visitation and featuring a developing segment of the state’s economy. At the time it included 12 locations, all of them wineries and breweries. The increase in sites since then tracks with nationwide trends. For example, in 1985 America had 110 breweries. By 2015 that number had jumped to 4,300.
Included in the expansion is Painted Stave Distilling in Smyrna. The distillery used Delaware’s Capital Access Program back in 2012. It now calls the Old Smyrna Theater home and is helping to revitalize the city’s downtown.
In addition to its new sites, the Beer, Wine and Spirits Trail is getting a digital facelift designed to make taking the trail easier than ever. An enhanced website – www.visitdelaware.com/bwst – includes upgraded features, like searching by product type, new location listings, trip planning assistance and automatic display of Instagram photos tagged #DEonTap, the new hashtag for the trail.
Visit Delaware is also set to launch a new smartphone application in the summer. It will use geo-locating and check-in technology to allow people to track their progress along the trail. The app will be available for free download through the App Store and Google Play.
The Beer, Wine and Spirits Trail is one of the Visit Delaware’s five Trails of Discovery. Each gives tourists a unique and thematic way to see the state. The other four trails are: history, outdoor, geocaching and culinary.