Last updated: 04:00 PM ET, Mon May 11 2015

Tampa Calls on Elite Craft Beer Scene to Promote Tourism

Destination & Tourism | Patrick Clarke | May 11, 2015

Tampa Calls on Elite Craft Beer Scene to Promote Tourism

Believe it or not, beer tourism is a thing. And as one of the best beer towns in the U.S. (ranked No. 2 in a recent USA Today poll), Tampa's tourism agency, Visit Tampa Bay, is looking to capitalize on its renowned local craft breweries to draw more visitors.

According to Jamal Thalji of the Tampa Bay Times, Visit Tampa Bay has a summer campaign in the works that will focus on the best local libations Tampa has to offer.

The "Baycrafted" campaign will feature both digital and print advertising along with radio spots. There will also be a website ( dedicated to the campaign. What's more, the city's top brewers will participate in a late summer tour in an effort to spread the word and taste throughout the state of Florida.

"You just have to tell them it's here," said Visit Tampa Bay's vice president of marketing and communication Patrick Harrison via Thalji. "You tell them you've got great breweries and that USA Today rates us as the No. 2 beer city after Grand Rapids — and who wants to go to Grand Rapids, Michigan?"

But while some serious craft beer enthusiasts will travel the country to try new brews, Tampa is banking on in-state and local visitors as its primary source of tourism. Nearby markets like Orlando and Miami are within reasonable driving distance. 

"We want people in Orlando and South Florida to know that Tampa Bay offers a great mix of activities beyond what they may be used to at home," said Visit Tampa Bay president and CEO Santiago Corrada via the Tampa Tribune. "We want them to spend the day at our attractions, eat at one of our fantastic restaurants, then stroll the Tampa Riverwalk at dusk. On top of all that, we’re a short, quick drive to the Gulf’s sugar sand beaches."

The hope for the Baycrafted campaign is that once in Tampa, craft beer fans will discover those other exciting attractions.

"Then when they're here they'll discover Fodder & Shine and Rooster & the Till and then Ulele and our native food scene," added Harrison. 

To complement the Baycrafted campaign, which is aimed at adults and millennials in particular, Visit Tampa Bay has rolled out the "Built for Summer" campaign targeting family travelers. 

If you're planning to travel to Hillsborough County, Florida and the surrounding areas this summer, 7venth Sun Brewery, Green Bench Brewing Co., Tampa Bay Brewing Company and Cigar City Brewing of Tampa are among the region's top breweries and definitely worth a visit.

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