Nine self-guided adventures await with launch of 2017 Brewery Discovery Routes

Back for the third year, Brewery Discovery Routes take Ontario food and drink tourism to the next level

TORONTO, May 25, 2017 /CNW/ - Building on two years of success, Brewery Discovery Routes are back, with four new itineraries to explore and hundreds of stops along the way. Nearly doubling in size since 2016, Brewery Discovery Routes combine craft beer and cider with local food and stunning natural beauty on itineraries travelling through the countryside, small towns and big cities.

Itineraries include the Windsor Essex Barrels Bottles & Brews route and the Saints and Sinners route in south Georgian Bay, which feature Ontario's Prohibition history. Taps, Tastes & Trails in the Guelph area includes Canada's oldest independently-owned microbrewery, and Rural Routes & Dirty Boots in Durham region mixes craft beverages with artisanal sweets to offer beer butter tarts, beer brittle and cider doughnuts. All itineraries can be found at www.brewerydiscoveryroutes.ca and 250,000 printed maps are being distributed across the GTA.

Brewery Discovery Routes are a successful partnership between the Greenbelt Fund, Ontario Craft Brewers, Ontario Craft Cider Association, Ontario Beverage Network, Feast On, and regional tourism offices throughout Ontario. The routes encourage Ontarians to choose more local, more often, supporting Ontario's $36B agricultural sector and the burgeoning craft beverage industry.

"Last summer we were a brand new company, in a small town tucked away between Toronto and cottage country. The Brewery Discovery Routes literally put us on the map and brought thousands of new visitors to our door - many of whom went on to discover Uxbridge's shops, restaurants and trails," said Joanne Richter, owner of The Second Wedge Brewing Co., on the Rural Routes and Dirty Boots route.

"Brewery Discovery Routes are the very best in curated culinary itineraries, taking Ontarians through cities, towns and rural countryside with stops for delicious food and drink along the way," said Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and Greenbelt Fund. "The stops on the routes make very clear the difference local makes, offering true taste of place and one of a kind travel experiences here in Ontario."

Participants are encouraged to share photos of their experience on Instagram or Twitter using #BrewRoutes17 to be automatically entered in a draw to win a gourmet weekend for two on a Brewery Discovery adventure, a dinner for two at Langdon's Hall or brewery tours for 10 at select breweries.

While sampling is part of any brewery tour, participants are reminded to drink responsibly and establish a designated driver if touring the Discovery Routes by car. Most breweries, cideries and distilleries have bottle shops on site so visitors can take their favourite craft beverage home to enjoy.

About Brewery Discovery Routes:
Brewery Discovery Routes offer best-of, curated culinary tourism experiences highlighting craft beer and cider, as well as local food, across Ontario making it easier to choose more local, more often. At www.brewerydiscoveryroutes.ca visitors will find 9 curated itineraries featuring nearly 180 breweries and 35 Feast On restaurants. The project is a partnership between Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation, Grey County Tourism, Guelph Tourism, Hamilton Halton Brant Regional Tourism Association, Central Counties Tourism, Addington and Lennox County Economic Development Office, Ottawa Tourism, Prescott-Russell Tourism, Ontario Craft Brewers, Ontario Craft Ciders Association, Ontario Hop Growers' Association, Ontario Beverage Network, Culinary Tourism Alliance, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, and the Greenbelt Fund.

Quote Backgrounder

Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island 
"Local, fresh products showcase a pride of place at a myriad of innovative craft brewers and distillers, farmers markets, and dining establishments. In Windsor Essex Pelee Island, this is well defined through our terroir and rich heritage, which plays an integral role in shaping our Barrels, Bottles & Brews Trail."
·   William Alexander, Manager of Tourism Programs, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island

Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation
"With deep agricultural roots, local food is more than a movement in Ontario's Southwest, it's a way of life. This local first focus is especially evident in our region's craft brewers and a major reason so many great new breweries with unique brews are opening each year here in Ontario's Southwest."
·   Jatinder Uppal, Associate Marketing Manager, Ontario's Southwest

Grey County Tourism
"As a partner in the Saints & Sinners Trail, Grey County is pleased to be part of the Brewery Discovery Routes map again in 2017. Where Saints & Sinners celebrates our craft alcohol producers and rich cultural history, the Discovery Routes map enriches those offerings with additional great experiences at our Feast On restaurants, farmers' markets and scenic lookouts."
·   Philly Markowitz, Economic Development Officer, Grey County

Hamilton Halton Brant Regional Tourism Association
"The True Brew Path is a wonderful way to experience Hamilton Halton Brant.  This self-guided path leads visitors to unique craft breweries and cideries where they can also experience local food at a variety of farmer's markets and one-of-a-kind restaurants.  The True Brew Path is along the Grand River and the Niagara Escarpment, where the Bruce Trail and Hamilton's Waterfalls can be explored all year round."
·   Adrienne Carter, Cultural & Partnership Manager, Hamilton Halton Brant Regional Tourism Association 

Durham Tourism
"With an already vibrant agricultural community it's not surprising that Durham Region is quickly developing a reputation for harvesting award winning, craft beer and cider producers. The Durham Rural Routes & Dirty Boots starts with a patio view of the Lake Ontario waterfront and leads visitors through charming small towns, rural villages and past fields and farms.

"You can meet the brewer or growers and discover their partners' offerings like beer butter tarts, crunchy beer brittle, wholesome spent grain bread, apple cider doughnuts, cheesy ale soup and even brew school. So much to discover!"
·   Durham Tourism Co-ordinator, Kristyn Chambers, 1-800-413-0017

Addington and Lennox County Economic Development Office
"Frontenac, Hastings, Prince Edward, Lennox & Addington Counties warmly welcome visitors to taste, tour and explore the Food and Beverage (FAB) Region through the Greenbelt's Brewery Discovery Routes."
·   Rebecca Lamb, Destination Development & Marketing Coordinator, The Corporation of the County of Prince Edward

Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism
"Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism is proud to celebrate our vibrant local food & beverage scene by introducing Brews, Bites and Barns as part of this year's Brewery Discovery Routes. The new wave in local cuisine is not new in Peterborough & the Kawarthas. For hundreds of years, the fruits of our centuries-old farmlands and passionate people have been, and continue to be the most important ingredient in our local food scene. Blend that with the area's long, storied history of brewing connected to Canada's Treasured Waterway with today's growing number of local craft beverage makers and you have the perfect pairing for a mouth watering experience."
·   Tracie Bertrand, Director of Tourism & Communications, Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism

Feast On Progam, Culinary Tourism Alliance
"We're thrilled to partner with the Greenbelt Brewery Discovery Routes! With Feast On™ certified restaurants showcased along the routes, it assists both visitors and locals alike in finding places to eat that are committed to supporting Ontario growers, producers, winemakers and brewers. By dining at a Feast On™ establishment you are ensured an authentic taste of Ontario and are supporting our farmers and our economy!"
·   Agatha Podgorski, Community Manager, Culinary Tourism Alliance

Ontario Craft Distillers Association
"The Ontario Craft Distillers Association is delighted to be a part of the Brewery Discovery Routes Maps alongside other premium, independent, craft beverage producers using local ingredients and investing in communities through Ontario. Distilleries' stores are where you can find and sample the smallest of small batch offerings. Exceptional expressions of local spirit terroir, not ready to be scaled up by the pallet - a brandy distilled from a neighboring orchard's bushel or a whisky with a 5-grain Ontario mash bill. Canadian distillers are the third largest food quality grain purchasers, drink local!"
·         Sarah Waterston, VP of Communications, Ontario Craft Distillers Association

Ontario Craft Brewers
"With the amazing growth of Ontario's independent, craft brewing scene, consumers have better access to fresh, local, premium craft beer than ever before. Visiting local craft breweries is the best way to discover new flavours, support a local industry and meet the people behind the craft beer. This is an exciting time for Ontario craft beer as we keep getting closer to our goal of having a craft brewery in every community in Ontario. We are also about to embark on Ontario Craft Beer Week 2017, June 10-18, 2017, a province-wide celebration of Ontario Craft Beer held in breweries, bars, restaurants and event venues across the province."
·   Garnet Pratt Siddall, President & CEO of Side Launch Brewing Company and Chair of Ontario Craft Brewers

The Ontario Hop Growers Association
"The Ontario Hop Growers Association is a not-for-profit association of hop growers, families and enthusiasts who are interested in supporting the growth of the hop industry in Ontario. With the strong growth in regional craft brewers and more than 75 hop farms, we are delighted to highlight our partnership with the Provinces independent craft beverage producers and local food advocates."
·   Hugh Brown, President, Ontario Hop Growers Association, hughgbrown@gmail.com

Ontario Craft Cider Association 
"As the leading organization representing craft cider producers in Ontario, the Ontario Craft Cider Association's mission is to ensure that Ontario is recognized as a centre for cider excellence and innovation.  Using only 100% Ontario grown apples and pears, our cideries add to the rural economy across the whole province, growing the agri food industry sector and invigorating Ontario's rural tourism industry with cidery destinations.  We are delighted to partner with corresponding associations on the Brewery Discovery Routes Map to help grow the impact of local food and beverage consumption across the Province and our protected Greenbelt."
·   Thomas Wilson, Chair, Ontario Craft Cider Association

SOURCE Greenbelt Fund

For further information: Contact for Greenbelt Fund: Fran Pairaudeau, Project Manager, Brewery Discovery Routes, 647-331-9464, fpsustainableoptions@gmail.com

RELATED LINKS
http://www.greenbelt.ca/contact-us

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