Portsmouth, NH (PRWEB) April 13, 2014
Granite State Growler Tours, New Hampshire’s first and only craft beer tour bus company, is celebrating its first successful year in operation with an anniversary in April, along with expansions and more.
“It’s just been a phenomenal year. Beyond our wildest expectations,” says owner David Adams. “Last summer, when we were just getting rolling, people kept asking us if we would be a seasonal tour company, or if we’d run all year long. We jokingly kept saying, ‘If people buy tickets, we’ll keep offering tours.’ It turned out that December was our best month for the year and this winter is going strong.”
According to Adams, about 800 guests have climbed aboard the 14-seat bus, known as “Greta the Growler Getta,” in the past year for nearly 90 tours of the Seacoast region’s breweries where the craft brewing and distilling industries are booming.
The first official tour rolled out to the breweries on April 13, 2013. Now, as the one-year anniversary approaches, this North Hampton based company is looking toward expanding markets – and more.
“Our next step is adding more breweries. We really want to expand to the Manchester circuit. We’ve done one tour there so far, and it’s certainly a market we’d like to share with our guests,” Adams says.
What began as a weekend-only tour company, Granite State Growler Tours has added a Friday afternoon tour that travels “over the border” to include two new craft breweries in Newburyport, Massachusetts.
“We typically offer four or five stops on a normal tour. Beer stops and often a rum stop mixed in for good measure,” says Adams. “But in all, during the past year, we’ve routinely made stops at over 10 different locations in the Seacoast, two in Newburyport, York Maine, four on the Manchester tour and even made a couple of trips to Vermont, for a day long beer run to get brews we can’t buy in New Hampshire.”
While stops vary from tour to tour, regular participating local businesses include Earth Eagle Brewings, Smuttynose Brewing Company, Coat of Arms British Pub, and WHYM Craft Beer Café, in Portsmouth, Blue Lobster Brewing Company in Hampton, Throwback Brewery, and Sea Hagg Distillery in North Hampton, and Newburyport Brewing Company and RiverWalk Brewing in Newburyport.
Granite State Growler tours has welcomed a tremendously positive response from both guests and the industry. The company was awarded the New Hampshire Magazine Editor’s Pick “Best of New Hampshire” selection for beer tours in 2013, and more recently New Hampshire Business Review’s “Best of Business Awards” this March.
“We set out to help support both established and upstart craft breweries by bringing new customers to them, and I think we’ve accomplished that,” Adams says. “We’ve had guests from as far away as Los Angeles, even a guy from Scotland and about half of our guests come from out of state. Every tour introduces new people to our great local beers and offers the potential for new repeat customers for the breweries.”
“Our guests are always impressed by the great beers but what they’re really surprised by are the stories we tell on the bus,” Adams adds. “More often than not, they tell me that they didn’t expect to learn so much about beer in New Hampshire but it was their favorite part of the tour.”
The onboard “sidekick” as he’s called, Mark Chag Jr., a self-proclaimed history nut offers up the whimsical and entertaining beer history of the Granite State in between brewery stops, even pointing out local legendary sites along the way.
“We can’t show you where George Washington slept, that tavern burned down. But we can show you where he tipped a few beers when he came to Portsmouth,” Chag says with a laugh. “We had to dig down deep to find this stuff. Sometimes you have to read 1,000 pages just to find that one little nugget of useable information – but that nugget may be gold, and those are the stories we share with our guests.”
Following numerous requests to put all these stories in a book, along with others unearthed in his research, Chag has been busy at work on the upcoming official Granite State Growler Tour Beer Story of New Hampshire.
What’s more, the second year for New Hampshire’s beer bus will also include additional seacoast tours on the weekends and expansion to Manchester. There, Adams says the tentative schedule will include tours and beer tasting at Milly’s Tavern, White Birch Brewing, Kelsen Brewing Company and 603 Brewery.
Regular tours run Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with private tours available any day as well. Guests can also be picked up at their hotels in the Portsmouth area, and at homes and businesses for private tours.
“We’ve had all kinds of private and group tours so far,” Adams says. “Birthdays, bachelor and bachelorette parties, corporate team building, you name it. We’ve even had two baby showers on board with the guest of honor abstaining, of course.”
To learn more about Granite State Growler Tours, visit the official website at nhbeerbus.com, or call 603.964.0284, or email at info(at)nhbeerbus(dot)com.