With renowned craft breweries setting up shop across Delaware, the often-overlooked state has become one of the must-visit destinations for alcohol tourists, or travelers seeking to taste and tour the industry.
This summer's launch of the Delaware Brew Bus, a licensed and insured limousine service, highlights the growth of alcohol tourism in Delaware.
On Sept. 19, the transportation company will offer its first public tour. From then on, the Craft Beer Lovers Tour will be offered on the first and third Saturday of every month, with the Taste of Delaware Tour being offered on the second and fourth Saturday of every month.
"People love touring these places, tasting all the great drinks and seeing how it all gets made," Delaware Brew Bus founder Ryan Graham told DelawareOnline.com. "The only problem is the driving. After you go to one or two, it gets a little unsafe and no one likes a DUI, especially the breweries, wineries and distilleries."
Although the Delaware Brew Bus exclusively targets fans of the craft beer, wine and liquor industry, it joins other businesses currently capitalizing on the explosion of the alcohol tourism segment through tours and other services.
"Personally, I’ve never seen a boom like this before and it’s growing ever year," state tourism director Linda Parkowski told DelawareOnline.com. "I think what companies like Delaware Brew Bus and CBreeze are showing us is that it’s now strong enough that people are able to develop viable businesses around the industry."
Parkowski and tourism officials in Kent and Sussex counties told DelawareOnline.com that the breweries, wineries and distilleries that have emerged over the past two decades are responsible for pulling in thousands of visitors each year.
While Dogfish Head is arguably Delaware's most well known craft brewery, a handful of others have opened in recent years, as well as several wineries and distilleries. And given their allure, it's likely more are to come.
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