Posts Tagged ‘DC Distilleries’
Fantastic travel article covering food tourism by Skift
The first question – what’s the difference between a “Food Tourist” and simply a Foodie? It’s sort of like the Champagne question: all Champagnes are sparkling wines, but not all sparkling wines are Champagnes (Champagne is a regionally protected name in France that also restricts the type of sparkling wines produced..).
A Food Tourist (also known as a “Gastro-Tourist” – this name sounds a bit..flatulent??) is:
-Defined by Gastrotourism.com:
“Gastro-tourists are foodies who want to go behind the scenes to taste and discuss the nuances of local region-specific foods and to learn about unique ingredients and cooking techniques from cultural experts.”
-Is more than just interested in going to fine-dining chef-driven restaurants – they want a “unique” experience around food and drink,
-Sees food, eating and drinking as more than just a necessity – it’s a form of experiential entertainment
After reading these lines, it may seem a bit high-falutin’ to be a food tourist, but it’s really just an extension of the realities of the modern world – people can afford to live and enjoy many of their fantasies, hopes and dreams – food and drink satisfy both a primal and an aspirational component of a Foodie’s life.
So what does this mean for the tourism industry and the companies that promote local food and drink? The key point is to focus on the “experience” – this is today’s “sell the sizzle, not the steak”:
-Since so much of initial information on a region is based on the web, consider adding or changing your website to expose and increase excitement level of your dining/drink experiences. For example, you could put the spotlight on a local brewery having a beer dinner at a local restaurant – this is much more interesting to the food tourist than simply listing restaurants/breweries on your site.
-Much of consumer tourism is focused on the weekend “escape” – a quick 2 or 3 day trip to escape the stress of working/urban lifestyle. This is generally a higher-income person or couple and they tend to eat out at finer restaurants and spend more money, so they are looking for a story to tell everyone – sort of the new “first on your block” to do something. This demographic has generally travelled and been to Europe, so consider emphasizing local “artisans” who make cider, distilled spirits, craft beer, or wine.
-Foodie experiences can include cooking classes, chef demonstrations, local food specialties (Georgia peanuts, Maryland crabs, Carolina BBQ, etc.) so give them an opportunity to try more than one: create a “Taste of <your city/town/county/region>” which showcases a mix of local food artisans, food trucks, restaurants, wineries, craft distilleries, breweries and other local foods.
-Give tourists an opportunity to explore and spend their money supporting “local” – the locavore/farm-to-table movement is still growing and resonates with the new Food Tourist – they want to both support local, be sustainable, and have a memorable experience. Support your local farms, and agri-businesses by listing them on your website and using social media to tell their story – you won’t regret it!
<<Addition: just found out about Asheville, NC’s “Foodtopia” concept on their site – Foodtopia – great way to discover their great chefs, distilleries, breweries and more – they even post a Discover Western North Carolina Cheese Tour >>
I hope this opens up some new ideas for tourism in your region – the challenge is to look at what you already have in the way of food and drink businesses and to better position them for success with tourists. Sometimes the best marketing program is to simply let these businesses do what they do – it may seem weird, but the internet and social media have made stars out of little local businesses that may seem under the radar, but actually have been on the Food Network or other media vehicles and have distinct followings. One example that comes to mind in my local area is Georgetown Cupcake in Washington, D.C. Even though they have virtually no marketing budget or help telling their story, they’re TLC TV Show DC Cupcakes (and Facebook Page with over 1.3 million Likes) keeps them constantly with long lines down the street in Georgetown – the only business like this in all of DC!
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 marked 3 Stars Brewery’s launch into the world of Art and Beer with their new Mural at their 6400 Chillum Place Brewery and a Who’s Who of DC Food and Drink Artisans.
This was a DC Foodie Scene:
-I finally tried (and met the owners of DC’s First Distillery) Green Hat Gin – I really like their blend of spices with alot of Indian spice like cardamom and interestingly it reminded me alot of Pisco. Michael Lowe and John Uselton were both there and I could feel their enthusiasm for DC’s first Distillery in many years. Currently, they offer the chance to work their bottling line at the Distillery, but we talked about a more in-depth class like a Distilling 101, more news soon..
-Qualia Coffee’s Joel Finkelstein was sampling his off-premise brand “Fresh Off the Roast” and talking about his recent tasting with some DC Local Press – Here’s the article from Tim Carman over at WaPo about Joel’s indignation over the lack of quality crafted coffee in DC Restaurants
-I sampled some of Righteous Cheese ‘s well, cheeses, and chatted with the Founder Carolyn Stromberg about the need for more cheese classes in DC. Her schedule is so busy and a retail cheese shop is so demanding of her time, that she felt she could only do a limited number, but expect to see more in 2013.
–3 Stars was pouring Pandemic Porter, Southern Belle, Peppercorn Saison, Sea Change Pale Ale, Winter Madness, Global Pandemic (Bulleit barrel-aged Pandemic Porter (aged six months from the first brew in the brewery) blended with fresh Pandemic Porter) and all were delicious – I definitely remember the oak, vanilla and smoke of the last beer which would be perfect with some BBQ pork ribs! Dave Coleman was having a great time with the release of the new mural made by local artist Kendra Kuliga – I also noticed that the warehouse space had room for expansion..sort of a hint?
–Teddy Folkman of Granville Moore’s was slicing up some salty and delicious brisket as well as some briney Edwards Virginia Hams (which remind me alot of Spain’s Serrano Ham).
-Sampled some charcuterie with Three Little Pigs co-owner Carolina Gomez – she told me the store would be closed much of January because she’ll be getting married.
–Gordy’s Pickles Sheila Fain spoke with me about the phenomenal growth of her spears and how Whole Foods was carrying them in all of their DC markets. I had to bring up the curious local connection of Rob Duncan of Dolcezza creating a special Thai basil jalapeño sorbetto, featuring Thai basil jalapeños from Gordy’s Pickle Jar
Rappahanock Oysters was tasting some of their wonderful salty Virginia oysters. I’m hoping they do more tasting events and dinners in Washington, D.C. – Although we have one major oyster fest (Oyster Riot at Old Ebbitt Grille), there is definitely enough demand for more events around oysters and easily we could pair them with other local artisan products..speaking of which..
There were also Cocktails by Nick Nazdin of El Chucho & Carlo Bruno of Sidebar, but by this point I was so looped, that I had no palate to speak of!
A fun time had by all and a very good idea for future new concept events – maybe we could do a DC Brew and Oyster Fest, or a DC Cocktail Expo, or even a Chesapeake Wine and Oyster Fest..there are a myriad of possibilities and definitely the demand is there for these type of Foodie Experiences – Cheers!
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler