Spirits lovers can take flight with new TWEPI passport program

Gordon Orr, CEO of TWEPI, is seen with representatives of craft breweries and distilleries in Windsor-Essex at the launch of the Barrels, Bottles and Brews Trail Flight Log enhancement, at the TownePlace Suites by Marriott in Windsor, June 11, 2019. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

The craft beer and distillery industries of Windsor-Essex are on display in a new visitors’ discovery program.

Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI) launched the new Flight Log component of their popular Barrels, Bottles and Brews route during a kickoff event Tuesday afternoon at the TownePlace Suites by Marriott hotel in downtown Windsor. The kickoff featured a public tasting of area craft beer and spirits products from eight of the 13 participating businesses on the route.

The name of the enhanced passport program is a pun for what is offered at each stop, according to Jason Toner, director of communications for TWEPI.

“The breweries have always been looking for ways to drive traffic and bring partners in, and we really thought doing a collaborative effort with a collaborative message, a flight of beer, and a flight log is kind of a cool take on a play on words, but at the same time you are getting a flight of beer or a flight of spirits every time you walk in the door,” said Toner.

For those unfamiliar, a flight of beer is a collection of sample-sized beer or spirits glasses served at one time. It is a popular way to get a sampling of what each brewery or distillery has to offer.

Toner said TWEPI plans to market the Flight Log component to an area within a three-hour drive of Windsor-Essex, including other portions of Ontario, as well as southern Michigan and northern Ohio. This will be accomplished through digital marketing techniques and videos.

While the craft beer and distillery industries in Windsor-Essex are thriving, these local businesses were still on the receiving end of bad news from the province of Ontario. For Ontario Craft Beer Week, over 20 craft beer companies received various grants from the province. None were for Windsor-Essex breweries.

Nevertheless, businesses like Brew Microbrewery in Windsor are pressing on with expansion. Co-owner Jordan Goure told BlackburnNewsWindsor.com they are taking advantage of locally-available ingredients.

“We’ve actually just applied from our brewery for a grant to expand our brewery outside of the city,” said Goure. “We’ve applied for a grant through the CF funding in Canada, a hospitality grant, to basically expand our footprint of farm-to-table.”

For complete details of the Flight Log in the Barrels, Bottles and Brews discovery route, visit its official webpage.