“Alcohol tourism” is not listed in Urban Dictionary or Wiktionary. Enter “alcohol tourism” into Google and you’ll see some stuff about Bulgaria. The term is being used to describe people travelling to Bulgaria so they can acquire inexpensive alcohol for binge drinking purposes. This is sad, and wrong, in many ways.
Susan and I use the term “alcohol tourism” regularly, but I don’t think we are the first to do so. I do believe we will be the first to describe it in a travel context, and use it formally. Our attempt at a definition is below:
1) A journey to a destination conducted with the purpose of enjoying alcoholic beverages unique to that destination.
2) The business of providing commercial services to tourists on an alcohol tour.
It is important to distinguish alcohol tourism from alcoholic tourism. Alcoholism is a serious problem, and alcoholics who travel to drink would usually be doing so in order to get drunk. My idea of alcohol tourism is to sample the beverages to enjoy the flavor, or the process of making them, or the people, or any of a number of other elements which surround boutique or craft alcohol production. In general, alcohol tourism should focus on brewpubs and craft breweries, small wineries and meaderies, regional distilleries, and the like.
Throughout this blog, we hope to introduce travellers to the idea of alcohol tourism, and to inspire those who already enjoy a nice pint or glass to hit the road and see the expanse of flavors and experiences which can be had by following your favorite beverage.
-Erik & Susan