A new beer-centric business has launched this month: East Coast Beer Tours. It is an idea Scott Olszowiec conceived of after returning from a trip to a Hops Conference that took him through New Brunswick, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. The journey included several craft beer explorations with friends in brewpubs, beer cafe’s and beverage warehouses along the way. He has decided to share his enthusiasm for crafted beer and launch what he affectionately calls “experient-ALE tourism”. The idea is to visit breweries and brewpubs in our region, enjoying what is locally available in craft beer, local music, local food and leaving the driving to someone else! Scott wanted to design something that would be a lot of fun, cover a lot of ground and be affordable. “I really admire the artisanal and entrepreneurial spirit that the craft brewers put into their beer and businesses. East Coast Beer Tours is a way to support craft beer by bringing people to the source right in their backyard and introducing them to good people making good beer.”
The first tour is being held on Saturday, October 11th, Thanksgiving weekend, with a tour to Nova Scotia’s breadbasket, the Annapolis Valley. Departing from the Westin near the Halifax Waterfront, participants will be board a chartered tour bus, make a coffee or tea and will hit the road promptly at 10am (best to show up at 9:30 for introductions and signing in). The first stop is at Meander River Farm and Brewery in Ashdale, where owner and brewer Alan Bailey will take them on a tour of the brewery and guide a tasting of their beer. While onsite, a 10% discount for additional purchases is available. Once back on board, a light lunch of local Valley meat, cheese and bread will be served, to tide you over until your next stop in Wolfville. At Paddys Irish Pub, brewmaster John Fitzgerald will join the group and give a tour of their facilities, while serving up samples of their beer. Additional pints and growlers can be purchased during the hour-long stop. The next stop is the Michelin Sports and Social Club in Cambridge, for a visit with Bad Apple Brewhouse’s Jeff Saunders. Jeff will share Bad Apple’s beers and pair them with local food at the Club, and then the bus will head to Somerset to visit the Brewhouse, to pick up some more beer in bottles or growlers. At 4:30, the bus will head back to Halifax, full of satisfied travellers, and will return to the waterfront for 6pm, still plenty of time to enjoy some additional beers in the downtown core.
You will be riding in style in a modern tour bus complete with entertainment system, restroom and lots of storage space. On board, local musician Mike Aubé will keep travellers entertained with his music and stories. Unfortunately, due to NS laws, no beer can be consumed on the bus. But you’ll have plenty of opportunity to enjoy beer during the stops, so don’t let that put you off!
The tour runs from 9:30-6, and tickets are $99+tax. Considering someone else has to worry about the driving while you listen to some live music and enjoy the complimentary offerings at each stop, that sounds like a great deal to us!
Look for more tours from East Coast Beer Tours in the near future. If you have suggestions for locations to visit, or to put together a private tour, be sure to visit their website, and hit them up on Twitter and Facebook.