A local man has created a way for people to tour some of the best local craft breweries (and taste the goods).
The idea for Richmond Brewery Tours struck Tommy Miller while he was in San Diego, CA on a brewery tour that was part of a friend’s wedding.
“The wheels began to spin as I thought, What a great idea for Richmond,” Miller said. What he saw was a way “to market our amazing city and the emerging craft beer scene.”
So last year he purchased a 14-passenger commuter bus on eBay and spruced it up with a sound system. He’s also recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $6,500 to fund start-up costs for the new business that offers four-hour tours of local breweries.
“The allure is a good time with family and friends while taking in the sites of the Richmond Region and enjoying local craft beer,” Miller said. “Think of it as an interactive urban wine tour that’s more laid back (jeans and sneakers allowed).”
Tours begin at the downtown Capital Ale House. “There we’ll conduct a brief Beer 101 course and provide two complimentary tastings.” Parking is free and available at the 6th Street parking deck.
Brewery tours then proceed to Center of the Universe, Legend, Hardywood, and Midnight breweries.1 Tour goers sample flights of beer; get a personal, detailed tour of one of the breweries;2 and chat with any brewers that might be on hand.
As to sustaining RVA’s craft beer boom, Miller credits the passage of SB604, which allows breweries to sell their own beer on premise, and HB359, which allows breweries to lease their space to new or smaller-scale brewery.
“This gives a huge advantage for new and small breweries to succeed providing an additional revenue stream previously not available,” Miller said. He added that local distributors like Specialty Bev and Brown Distributing have also provided “more awareness about craft beer to the end consumer.”
Miller believes the RVA Brewery Tours will not only give people a taste of these local craft beers, but an appreciation of how they’re made.
“I hope people come away more educated and aware about craft beer while gaining a better understanding of what all the Richmond Region has to offer,” Miller said.
Richmond Brewery Tours currently runs Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and costs $40 per person. Private tours are available. This Saturday, it will offer a special “Maiden Voyage” to Blue Bee Cider for $30.
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photo courtesy of Richmond Brewery Tours