Surprise! Thankfully for beer drinkers everywhere, we’re not the only “trail” for beer in the region. Ale trails, beer maps and many other iterations are thriving right now. They are found across the US, Canada and outside of North America, from little cities to big cities.
The US now has over 5,000 breweries. Canada has over 600. That’s a lot of breweries and beers to keep track of. There are events, expansions, beer releases, hirings and everything else that comes with being closely tied to a brewing community.
Trails have become a sort of hoppy Dewey Decimal system for helping locals and tourists alike keeping track of everything – They’re a natural evolution of organizing lots of information. And they work! We hear all the time, in person and via messages, that our map has helped craft beer lovers find locations they wouldn’t have otherwise.
Be Disloyal. Drink Everywhere.
The recently formed BC Ale Trail in British Columbia has over 100 breweries to experience and was started with the help of Joe Wiebe, a well known regional craft beer expert. Wiebe is also an accomplished craft beer writer, who’s released two editions of his “Craft Beer Revolution: The Insider’s Guide to B.C. Breweries.” Want to know about anything BC beer related? Seek him out, or head to the BC Ale Trail.
The east side of Washington State also has the Inland Ale Trail that winds you through 28 breweries. Vanocuver, WA has 9 breweries in a 2 mile radius and Brewcouver was formed in 2015 to help you enjoy all of them! Let’s not forget about Oregon’s, Bend Ale Trail. They were part of our inspiration for starting Tap Trail.
We’ve heard of a number of trails opening in recent days, including one out of Oakland who also has a Passport and Map. Most recently, the opening of the South Seattle Brewery Coalition (SSBC) sparked our interest.
The Coalition provides a map to 14 breweries (once NW Peaks Brewery re-opens this March) in south Seattle. The SSBC’s stated mission is to “Be Disloyal. Drink Everywhere.” We love it and its a sentiment that we have to agree with. Spreading the love away from your favorite brewery and beer bar stool means you experience more than just re-ordering your favorite IPA.
Breweries have a great habit of creating a “Cheers Effect.” Everyone knows your name and there’s a feeling of attachment to everyone you get to know there, even though your presence is fleeting. This is what makes you set down roots at a location. But variety is the spice of life and that’s what maps and passports are trying to do.
We reached out to Caitlin Braam, Co-Founder of the South Seattle Brewery Coalition. We’re excited that there’s another fellow beer map fanatic in the area. Braam is also the President of the Seattle Cider Company and Two Beers Brewing Company who are both on the map.
“One of the things that makes the Seattle beer community so incredible is a dedication to supporting one another,” said Dan Armerding, tasting room lead at Two Beers Brewing Co. “South Seattle offers something for everyone, and our goal is to spread the love and give you an excuse to drink someone else’s beer.”
Braam said these are the suggested trails to get to know this historic district better.
1st AVE ROUTE
Ghostfish Brewing Co.
Seapine Brewing Co.
Schooner Exact Brewing Co.
Two Beers Brewing Co.
Machine House Brewing
Jellyfish Brewing Co.
Counterbalance Brewing Co.
Tin Dog Brewing Co.
RAINIER AVE ROUTE
Flying Lion Brewing
NW Peaks Brewing
The region’s breweries are creating all sorts of new businesses and ways for community to build around craft beer. Clearly trails are a big part of that and Tap Trail is happy to be one of them! Take a look at the map below.