Below is the official press release from the state of North Carolina, the North Carolina Brewers Guild, and Zephyr Conferences about the new BMTC.
JUNE 9, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Asheville, NC to Host First-Ever Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference
Asheville, NC – The first-ever Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference will take place March 28 – 30, 2017 in Asheville, North Carolina. Beer and tourism industry leaders from throughout North America and beyond will gather for three days of education, discussion, and networking.
Beer marketing and beer tourism have become increasingly critical to the craft beer industry of late. With craft beer having grown 12.8% by volume in 2015 on top of 18% growth in 2014, according to the Brewers Association trade group, craft breweries have often simply sold out their production with little marketing. However, with over 4,400 breweries now in the United States, both retail shelf space and tap room visitors are harder to come by.
“The Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference provides factual, concrete advice for breweries looking to improve their marketing and for all beer and tourism industry players to improve their beer tourism offerings”, said conference organizer Allan Wright, president of Zephyr Conferences. “Beer tourism is booming but also becoming more critical as tap room sales provide much higher margins to breweries while beer tourists fill beds and restaurant seats in areas successful attracting visitors.”
Asheville and North Carolina are natural hosts for this conference. The city is known for its beer scene, with more breweries per capita than any other US city, according to ExploreAsheville. The city has its own brewers association, the Asheville Brewers Alliance, with 36 brewery members. Additionally, three national craft beer players (Sierra Nevada Brewing, Oskar Blues Brewing, and New Belgium Brewing) have all established major facilities in the area.
Moreover, on a state level there is strong support for the local beer industry in general and beer tourism in particular. “The craft beer industry is an important driver of economic development in North Carolina. Home to more than 170 breweries, more than any other state in the south, the industry supports 10,000 jobs statewide and has an annual economic impact of $1.2 billion to our state,” explained Christopher Chung, CEO of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina which overseas tourism marketing for the state.
“Hosting the first-ever Beer Tourism & Marketing Conference here in our state allows us to showcase what makes North Carolina a major destination for not only beer tourism, but also craft breweries looking to expand or relocate on the East Coast,” continued Chung. “Increasing visitation both locally and from out of state is a major boon to the state’s breweries,” agreed Margo Knight Metzger, Executive Director of the North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild.
For complete information about the conference, visit www.BMTCon.com.
About Zephyr Conferences
Zephyr Conferences organizes seven different conferences per year in the food, wine, beer, and fitness industries. Zephyr has been running a similar conference to the new Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference in the wine industry for the past six years and also runs the annual Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference, which will take place July 8 – 10 in Tampa, Florida. www.ZephyrConferences.com
About Visit North Carolina
Visit North Carolina is a business unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC). Established in 2014, the EDPNC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that oversees the state’s efforts in business and job recruitment and retention, international trade, and tourism, film and sports development. The mission of Visit North Carolina is to unify and lead the state in developing North Carolina as a major destination for leisure travel, group tours, meetings and conventions, sports events and film production. For more information on planning a trip to North Carolina, go to VisitNC.com.
About North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild
The North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild is a not-for-profit industry trade organization whose mission is to advance the interests of the craft breweries of North Carolina and to promote North Carolina craft beer. North Carolina has the largest number of craft breweries in the American South, with more than 170 breweries and brewpubs. For more info visit www.ncbeer.org.