Travel to Wineries, Breweries, and Distilleries on the Upswing

 As I write this, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is happening nearby in South Boston and I’m already starting to feel thirsty. Well, it’s good to know my thirst for alcohol can be quenched through travels. Over the past year, visits to wineries, breweries, and distilleries across North America have seen a surge in traffic. We’re not simply talking about biking through Napa and Sonoma, which has been popular for some time. In 2011, more than 450,000 people visited the Maker’s Mark and the other five distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. In fact, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association reports an annual increase of 10 to 12 percent a year. The Finger Lakes region in New York has experienced an exponential growth in tourism thanks to its award-winning Riesling. Many visitors to Denver will make a side trip to Fort Collins to try the craft beer from five local microbreweries, including the exceptional brew made by Odell and New Belgium. Just thinking about Odell’s 90 Shilling, an incredibly smooth amber ale, and I’m ready to book my next trip to Colorado.