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Let’s Go On A Virtual Tour!

Virtual Brewery Tours

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced mandates in the State of Maine that currently prevent our brewery, winery, and distillery partners from hosting any guests on their premises. This means our buses are suddenly parked indefinitely. We do not know how long this will last, but we know that you are thirsty for information about these key Maine businesses. Introducing Maine Brew Bus Virtual Tours!

There is a new normal in life right now. A serious curtailment of regular work, school, and life routines has made an impact on all of us.

Worldwide this is affecting the travel trade. Global tourism stands to take a major hit in what was otherwise shaping up to be a strong year.

Here in Maine, the mandates that are being issued are a matter of life safety to help contain the spread of the virus. Restaurants, cafes, and bars are empty, and the ones that can pivot to take-out delivery, or curbside pickup are adjusting to the new business pattern.

Breweries, wineries, and distilleries are following the same lead. With limited ability to sell through normal distribution channels and with zero guests filling their tasting rooms, they are succeeding in creating new methods of connecting the consumer to their craft alcohol products.

And then there are tour companies such as us who focus only on bringing groups of guests to visit those same craft alcohol-producing establishments. Without being able to visit our partners—we have no tour company.

It may be months before people are legally able to take a small-group tour with us. It will require a safe and healthy environment and the ability for people to travel freely. Groups will need to be allowed to congregate together without fear of disease transmission.

Also, people like you will have to be holding on to a certain amount of discretionary income to allow tourism to rebound, and for tours, attractions, and activities to begin to recover.

We were inspired by an idea out of Canada, that might just help us in this uncertain period. Our friends at Brew Donkey, a tour company in Ottawa, Ontario, began offering interviews and tours of breweries online. After watching the first one, we knew that we could do that as well.

With support from Brad Campeau of Brew Donkey, for the first time ever The Maine Brew Bus has created Virtual  Tours that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home!

Offered daily at 3:00 pm, 4:00 pm, and 5:00 pm, these 30-minute tours will be hosted on Instagram Live (follow us @mainebrewbus) and will feature owners from throughout Maine reporting directly from their breweries, wineries, distilleries, and associated businesses. Learn about how they are reacting to sudden changes, and see how they are able to adapt to new methods to get their craft alcohol directly to the consumers.

Trust us, they will be fun and upbeat…while also discussing the new challenges that each business is facing.

These tours will be led by our owners, management, and tour staff and will be a fun way for everyone to interact with companies all over Maine.

Here’s the basic rundown of the interview:

  • Opening – what are you enjoying in your glass?
  • A brief history of the company.
  • When you decided to close, how customers have helped and the response from customers.
  • Chat about new beverages and show us around the facility.
  • How are you and your team doing emotionally?

Share widely and tune into @mainebrewbus on Instagram.

While you are watching, sit back and enjoy a treat from the featured producer or another local company that is close to you. Be sure to share what you are drinking and ask your questions right on the live feed. We will get as many answers as possible during every tour.

If you like what you see and hear, we kindly ask that you consider putting a gratuity in our tip bucket. You can find that option next to the calendar on our Virtual Tours page on our website.

Help us to support our local partners with our all-new Virtual Tours!

VIRTUAL TOUR SCHEDULE

101 – David Rowland of SoMe Brewing and York Beach Beer Company, York, ME (Recorded 3/21/20)


Watch Tour on YouTube | Listen as a Podcast

102 – Michael Schuler of Nonesuch River Brewing Company, Scarborough, ME (Recorded 3/21/20)

Watch Tour on YouTube | Listen as a Podcast

103 – Chris Morley of Mason’s Brewing Company, Brewer, ME (Recorded 3/21/20)


Watch Tour on YouTube | Listen as a Podcast

104-  John and Tina Bonney of Foundation Brewing Company, Portland, ME (Recorded 3/22/20)


Watch Tour on YouTube | Listen as a Podcast

105 – Paul and Abraham Lorrain of Funky Bow Beer Company, Lyman, ME (Recorded 3/22/20)


Watch Tour on YouTube | Listen as a Podcast

106 – Stephen Genthner of Blank Canvas Brewery, Brewer, ME (Recorded 3/22/20)


Watch Tour on YouTube | Listen as a Podcast

107 – Michael LaCharite of Brewery Extrava, Portland, ME (Recorded 3/23/20)


Watch Tour on YouTube | Listen as a Podcast

108 – Richard Ruggiero of Liberator Brewing Company, Rockland, ME (Recorded 3/23/20)


Watch Tour on YouTube | Listen as a Podcast

109 – Brady Frost of Yes Brewing, Westbrook, ME (Recorded 3/24/20)


Watch Tour on YouTube | Listen as a Podcast

110 – Jim Denz and Tim Francis of Island Dog Brewing, South Portland, ME (Recorded 3/25/20)


Watch Tour on YouTube | Listen as a Podcast

111 – Nathan Sanborn of Rising Tide Brewing, Portland, ME (Recorded 3/26/20)


Watch Tour on YouTube | Listen as a Podcast

112 – Brad and Nancy Nadeau of Stars & Stripes Brewing Co., Freeport, ME (Recorded 3/28/20)


Watch Tour on YouTube | Listen as a Podcast

113 – Will Fisher, Austin Street Brewery, Portland, ME (Recorded 3/31/20)
Watch Tour on YouTube | Listen as a Podcast

114 – Michael Fava, Oxbow Brewing Company, Newcastle, ME (Recorded 3/31/20)
Watch Tour on YouTube | Listen as a Podcast

115 – Peter Bissell, Bissell Brothers Brewing, Portland, ME (Recorded 4/1/20)
Watch Tour on YouTube | Listen as a Podcast

Watch all tours live on the Maine Brew Bus Instagram page!

Please note that tour stops may change without notice due to events and availability of staff at each venue.


Don Littlefield is the General Manager of Brew Bus Tours. He enjoyed a quart of Sebago Lake water while preparing this post. Twitter: @BeerinME