The industry of local brewery tours has exploded in the past year. Just under 1 year ago Tonic Tours became the first in the city. Today we have a total of 5 companies offering tours of various breweries. Fellow Cincy Beer Blogger Jesse Folk wrote a post introducing all 5. Last week the owners invited me to join a group for a tour on the new Craft Connection Brewery Tours. The tours meet at Half Cut in OTR where you can get $2 off a pint before the tour. From there you move to Rhinegeist, Listermann, MadTree, and 50 West. At each brewery you share 3 pitchers of beer each filled with that breweries flag-ship or current seasonal. After filling your complimentary Craft Connection cup with a beer you get a tour of each of the breweries.
Due to the folks I was on the tour with, Jim Ellison from Columbus Brew Adventures and Peter Hilgeman the owner/head brewer at Dayton Beer Company, we didn’t really get the normal tours anywhere. From what I learned the normal tours vary at each brewery. With only one of the tours focusing on the process of brewing, the others will be more about those breweries or other aspects of brewing. This is nice change instead of getting 4 lessons in the process of brewing. Personally I’m always down for seeing each breweries brew house and fermenters. For a process relatively unchanged for hundreds of years there is much variety here. But I understand that the average craft beer enthusiast isn’t as excited by variations in brew houses and will be happy to learn different things at each brewery.
Another thing that differentiates Craft Connections from other brewery tours I’ve been on is that they use a real mini bus instead of a van. I didn’t think it would make a huge difference besides being more eye-catching and better advertising. However, the bus layout, of seats along the edge and back with all seats looking in, really improves conversation with the other riders. Instead of having to turn around to look or strain to hear someone three rows behind you you’re all looking right at each other.
If this is got you interested then the price per person is $55 including beers. If you decide to have more tasters or pints at a brewery then it’s on you, as is food anywhere. The scheduled tour times are:
- Thursday 6pm – 10pm
- Friday 6pm – 10pm
- Saturday 1pm – 5pm
They’re talking about adding a Saturday afternoon tour from 6 – 10 but that hasn’t been confirmed yet. Like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter to stay up-to-date on available tours or go to https://www.cincycraftconnection.com/ to buy tickets.
FULL DISCLOSURE: The owners reached out to me and offered to comp my tour. To our readers, and any companies interested in sending me stuff, giving me free stuff impacts the review in only 2 ways. That I WILL review it and that and I WILL write a blog post about it. Giving me free stuff does not guarantee you a favorable review or that I will tell everyone to go buy it.