Maine Brew Bus to tap Boston market this spring

Posted Feb. 19, 2016, at 11:03 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The bright green buses “driving you to drink local” in southern Maine for more than three years are heading south. The Maine Brew Bus announced Friday, “We are expanding our company into Boston, and we plan to begin offering brewery tours and more in the area very soon.”

Starting this spring, The Boston Brew Bus will take guests on behind-the-scenes tours of up to 20 different Beantown craft beer and spirit makers. They already have a website, though routes haven’t been announced.

Since its inception, these guided tours of Maine breweries, distilleries and wineries have shuttled 7,000 guests on three buses to taste and learn the craft. The company plans to hire 10 people for the Boston outfit.

“This seems like an ideal time to expand our Brew Bus business into the Boston market,” said founder Zach Poole in a prepared statement. “By our count there are over 40 breweries and brewpubs currently operating or soon to be open in the area.”

For the last year and a half, owner Poole and assistant principal Don Littlefield scouted locations in Massachusetts, “making key connections and developing plans for tours in Boston.”

Poole plans to expose people to brewers that are “brand new or not even open yet, and do not currently have visits from any tour operators.”

Don’t worry, beer drinkers, there are no plans to hit the brakes in Maine. The beverage bus is doubling down, moving into a larger facility in Portland and adding jobs.

“By no means will we lose our focus here in southern Maine. In fact, we have been hiring additional team members and have plans to soon expand our tour itineraries here in Maine. We are also in the process of consolidating our offices and warehouse space into one space in Portland, a move that will help streamline our entire operation,” said Poole.

As the craft beer market soars across the country, the Boston company that started it all, Boston Beer Co., reported declining revenue and profits yesterday.

A bus for the Boston tours is currently being prepared, and Poole said he’s in the process of acquiring at least one more. The company also plans to use its long-term relationship with the Craft Beer Cellar retail stores to help promote and market this expansion to potential tour guests.

“We are super excited to have Maine Brew Bus in the Boston area,” said Kelsey Roth of Craft Beer Cellar. “They have been a great partner with our store in Portland, Maine, and we are looking forward to working with them here on our home turf. They are real beer geeks who know their beer and take great care of their customers and that’s something we always get behind.”

Details about locations, itineraries and pricing are not final at this time.

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