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The BC Ale Trail Press Kit

The Background

British Columbia's brewers are innovators. They have been since John Mitchell and Frank Appleton built the Horseshoe Bay Brewery—Canada's first microbrewery—back in 1982. They are creative entrepreneurs, innovative business owners, who have nurtured their industry with desire and determination to be the best at what they do. And they've succeeded. More than 200 breweries dot the super, natural landscape of British Columbia with new operations opening at an unprecedented rate.

About

In partnership with Destination British Columbia and the BC Craft Brewers Guild, the BC Ale Trail emphasizes how a visit to or around British Columbia is enhanced with a pint of craft beer culture. With an increasing preference for local craft beer in BC and the growth of artisanal beer in North America, the BC Ale trail embraces the “buy local” movement, helps showcase independent breweries, and connects visitors with the unique culture at the heart of communities all over the province.

The BC Ale Trail provides visitors and British Columbians the opportunity to explore BC’s rich “beer-centric” culture through the BC breweries, and information on the experience and ambience each individual brewery brings to the craft beer industry. The BC Ale Trail’s team of dedicated beer lovers including consultants, social media magicians, writers, project managers, directors and craft beer innovators has worked passionately to showcase BC’s world-class brewing scene through developing comprehensive itineraries that link breweries throughout BC.

Fast Facts

  • The goal of the BC Ale Trail is to showcase BC’s award-winning and delicious craft beer, inspiring geography, and potential for adventure with beer enthusiasts.
  • The BC Ale Trail offers visitors and locals alike self-guided tours that highlight local craft brewery destinations and the super-natural British Columbia landscapes that surround them
  • The BC Ale Trail currently features 20 trails around BC, highlighting almost 160 breweries in five regions throughout BC
  • Each BC Ale Trail itinerary on our website includes a video and summary showcasing that region of BC, transportation methods and options, a photo gallery, and an “explore more” section featuring which attractions make that region distinctly British Columbian
  • The BC Ale Trail App is free to download and is gamified - get rewarded for exploring the breweries, liquor stores, taphouses and visitor centres featured in the app
  • BC is the fastest growing craft beer market in Canada, and one of the fastest in North America. Breweries are opening so fast in BC, that it’s hard to keep track of how many there are
  • In 2019, craft beer was declared a sector by Destination BC joining the likes of Golf, Wine and others. As a result, the BC Craft Brewers Guild was able to take the project on as the Lead Administrator and appointed a full-time Project Lead, Monica Frost. The Number Creative along with a team of beer lovers who are very involved in the BC craft beer industry as event creators, brewpub owners, and craft beer writers compose the support team working on content creation, marketing and managing relationships with our Destination Marketing Organizations, breweries and ancillary business partners
  • The BC Ale Trail also supports, promotes and activates at BC craft beer events and festivals throughout BC, showcasing the positive effect breweries have in their communities and the relationship between breweries and craft beer enthusiasts. Keep an eye out for the BC Ale Trail-er coming to a festival near you!

The Breweries

New Ale Trails & Expansions for 2020

Fraser Valley Ale Trail

The Fraser Valley has exploded with growth! Located less than an hour’s drive east of Vancouver, tucked between the Coast and Cascade mountain ranges, the Fraser Valley is a mix of relaxing countryside, urban culture, and rugged backcountry beauty. It is the largest agricultural region in British Columbia, making it the ideal place to experience authentic farm fresh experiences. Get lost in berry patches and apple orchards, hike along scenic trails, visit a local farmer’s market or fill your belly with a farm-to-plate meal. You’ll also discover trendy restaurants and lounges, exciting sport venues, and unique shopping opportunities. Along the way, sample a wide variety of delicious, locally brewed craft beers at your choice of 13 breweries.

Yeast Vancouver

An innovative craft beer community, true to its industrial roots. One of the most cosmopolitan cities on the continent, bordered by sea, forest and mountain peaks: Vancouver really has it all. That includes a beer scene that’s finding fame across the world, with veteran and start-up breweries alike making superb examples of classic styles while pushing the boundaries of what beer can be. Welcome to Yeast Van.

Port Moody Brewers Row

This is likely the most densely concentrated grouping of breweries anywhere in Canada. Where else can you visit five breweries on a three-block stretch of the same street? It will only take you five minutes to stroll Brewers Row from end to end—but of course, you’ll want to stop at each of the breweries along the way.

Vancouver Brewery Creek

Vancouver's Historic Urban Brewery District. From the Downtown brewpubs to Mount Pleasant’s diverse range of breweries, restaurants and taphouses, there is a beer and brewery for every taste on the Brewery Creek Vancouver Ale Trail.

Story Starters

BC Ale Trail Celebrates 5 years with Destination BC launching the Explore BC IPA

Explore BC IPA is a collaboration among six breweries from across BC’s mountain towns to the wild north, and the Sea-to-Sky to our ranches, rivers and ranges. Homegrown haskap berries and blackberries present a rich berry colour, while the balance of BC hops and locally malted grains provide traditional pine notes and subtle fruity, floral flavours. This limited edition West Coast IPA is a true representation of our province that pairs perfectly with BC’s natural beauty.

Meet the Team behind the BC Ale Trail

The BC Ale Trail was created by a dedicated team of craft beer allies to connect British Columbia's world-class brewing scene with tourism organizations across the province. The goal is to showcase BC's delicious craft beer, inspiring geography, and potential for adventure with beer enthusiasts across our province, region, and the rest of the globe.

Ken Beattie, Executive Director, BC Craft Brewers Guild/Lead Administrator

Building on decades of experience in the beer industry, Ken currently sits as the Executive Director of the BC Craft Brewers Guild and Lead Administrator for the BC Ale Trail, working tirelessly to support craft breweries of all sizes across BC. Ken is a founding board member of the Canadian Craft Brewers Association and a faculty member in the Brewing and Brewery Operations Program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Monica Frost, Communications Director, BC Craft Brewers Guild/Project Lead, BC Ale Trail

Since her fist sip of a Shaftebury Cream Ale back in the late 90s, Monica has been a craft beer enthusiast, and it became her mission to build a community around it. Her tool of choice - Social Media. After stints in the banking and travel industry, Monica has now spent a decade working in communications and social media roles across a variety of industries with a focus primarily on the craft beer industry. Monica joined the BC Craft Brewers Guild in 2017 as a Communications Coordinator and the BC Ale Trail as a Social Media and Community Manager. She was promoted to BC Ale Trail Project Lead in 2019 when the BC Craft Brewers Guild took over as Lead Administrator.

The Number, Creative Partner

The Number is a multidisciplinary creative marketing agency based in Victoria, BC proudly a part of the BC Ale Trail development team since day one. With capacity for everything creative, from graphic and web design, to consultation and facilitation, The Number helps keep the BC Ale Trail connected to craft beer enthusiasts everywhere.

Joe Wiebe, Content Manager

The "Thirsty Writer," Joe is BC's busiest beer writer. He is the author of two editions of Craft Beer Revolution: The Insider's Guide to B.C. Breweries, the definitive guidebook to the province's burgeoning craft beer industry. A co-founder of Victoria Beer Week, he is also the beer columnist for CBC Radio's All Points West program. Joe has hosted numerous beer events and seminars and has emceed the Canadian Brewing Awards twice.

Stay in touch!

Media Contacts

  • Lesley Chang, Beattie Tartan Account Manager | 604.603.4022 | lesley.chang@beattiegroup.com
  • Monica Frost, BC Ale Trail Project Lead | 604.657.9351 | monica@bccraftbeer.com