Craft beer is the focus of Visit Tampa Bay's latest marketing campaign
The relaunched Bay Crafted effort is aimed at driving new and repeat tourists to the region.
The Tampa Bay region has the greatest concentration of craft breweries in Florida, and with unique local ingredients like citrus and Cuban coffee, Visit Tampa Bay plans to make the craft beer scene a focal point for tourism in the area.
Ybor City opened Florida's first commercial brewery, Florida Brewing, in 1896. In addition to the region's iconic craft brewing, thanks to Prohibition-era rum running and the area's cultural diversity, Tampa boasts a unique cocktail scene as well.
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The updated Bay Crafted campaign aims to bring beer and spirits enthusiasts into Hillsborough County for overnight weekend trips, drive additional revenue to local businesses, and welcome multicultural travelers.
“Tampa Bay has the greatest concentration of craft breweries in the state of Florida and it is one of the many reasons that makes Tampa Bay one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the country," Santiago C. Corrada, president and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, said in a news release.
Bay Crafted tells the story of Tampa Bay’s authentic craft beer scene to vacation-seekers who are searching for a unique destination that offers adventurous activities with a laidback vibe.
In a video posted on the website, local brewers discuss the growth of the Tampa area's craft beer industry, growing from two local breweries to 46 in 20 years.
"And the bars started to catch on, then the restaurants," said Kent Bailey, with Coppertail Brewing Co. "Now we're seeing gas stations, grocery stores. All sorts of places are starting to realize the people want better beer."
Added Rachel Wood, with The Mermaid Tavern: "I think there's a genuine want for quality here, and people got excited about it."
Bay Crafted will share messages about Tampa Bay breweries through social media and influencer campaigns, as well as share visitors' own brewery adventures.
Tourists also have the opportunity to take advantage of the new digital Bay Crafted Pass.
Participants can save the pass on their phone's home screen and check in at 21 potential spots, including local breweries and distilleries. They can then earn prizes at the Unlock Tampa Bay Visitors Center after visiting four, eight and 12 locations.