(Originally written for BillyYTZ.com – no longer live)
As beer lovers know, Vermont isn’t just for ski trips.
Just as people have travelled to destinations for specific foods, restaurants or wine, the rise of craft breweries has inspired people to become beer travellers. If you’re part of that suds-seeking audience, how would you like to have a beer concierge at your service? Beer lovers, meet fellow aficionado Matt Canning of the Hotel Vermont in Burlington, now helping like-minded travellers navigate the phenomenal beer landscape of this hilly part of New England.
The hotel couldn’t help noticing the growing interest in beer in recent years. It was receiving more and more inquiries about which breweries to visit, what beers were the best, and how to plan a trip in order to experience as much of the Vermont beer scene as possible during a single trip. Recognizing how important beer tourism has become, the hotel designated Canning – also the hotel’s front desk manager – as its first beer concierge in May of 2014, and tasked him with combining his hospitality experience and his beer and brewery knowledge to create a unique beer tourism program for guests.
“A lot of people tell me I have the best job in the world,” Canning says. “I agree … but insist that it is not all fun and games. There are countless hours of laborious research and development.”