The Loafer was pleased to be among about 100 business leaders, brewers and politicians that attended a press conference Tuesday at Studio Brew in Bristol, VA.
The purpose was to announce the Southwest Virginia Mountain Brew Trail and debut the new logo. Virginia U.S. Senator Mark Warner and Virginia Tourism Corp. President and CEO Rita McClenny were the guests of honor handling the announcement.
This Brew Trail is an innovative way to build tourism and add jobs to the local economies of the various cities included. Their mission statement describes it quite accurately: The Southwest Virginia Mountain Brew Trail is a craft beer trail and marketing initiative through Southwest Virginia. Craft beer is booming in Southwest Virginia and our goal is to encourage more visitation to the Commonwealth by using craft beer to pair with our region’s vast offerings of outdoor recreation, music and arts as catalysts to increase visitation and visitor spending. The Southwest Virginia Mountain Brew Trail is a regional effort.
Sen. Warner went on to say: “The Mountain Brew Trail is the product of years of conversations and planning between local stakeholders and my office, all working together to highlight the success of this growing industry in the region,” he said. “Heritage trails like these, which highlight heritage music and local artisans, help bring new jobs and attract business and tourism to Southwest Virginia.”
Virginia is home to 206 licensed breweries, with the craft beer industry contributing more than $9 billion annually to the commonwealth’s economy and employing over 28,000 people in production, distribution and retail, according to Ms. McClenny.
“People come here to make family memories,” she said. “And this trail will give them a reason to come taste, see and fall in love with all that Southwest Virginia has to offer. There’s no better way to get a taste of the local flavor than to show visitors why Virginia is for craft beer lovers.”
At present, there are 16 breweries on the trail with 3 more scheduled to join as their operations get underway. The website for the brew trail is www.mountainbrewtrail.com. The Southwest Virginia Mountain Brew Trail app can be downloaded at https://appsto.re/us/m4sRlb.i