Brewery Tours: 3 Ways to Engage the Gawkers
Posted February 12, 2019
“Okay everyone, take a look at this. We put stuff in here and the move it over here. Everyone, look at this. From here we add this stuff and then cook it. Before we put it in here, it goes in there. After that, it goes into something smaller and then eventually into you. (fx. slurp) Any questions?”
That’s about 90% of the brewery tours I’ve been on. Given what I do for work, as well as a beer being a favorite past time, I’ve been on hundreds of brewery tours.
Sure, there are folks that don’t have any education about brewing. In my opinion, pointing at large stainless-steel stuff is enough to keep most patrons engaged while drinking a golden lager or an “adventurous” amber ale. For a beer nerd like me, I want to chug my Screaming Eagle Cabernet Barrel-Aged Saison so I have an out to go back to the tasting room.
I think we all want more. We want passion, community, creativity, authenticity. And, definitely laughter. Make us feel that drinking your beer is an adventure, the sweat of the earth and your civic duty.
I can’t craft your craft opus, but here are three topics that could help you enchant your visitors and captivate the locals:
Why is this brewery here? What’s the head brewer’s story? How did you (tour guide) get to this place and why are you the spokesperson? <<< DO NOT TELL ME YOU ARE AN INTERN >>>
What does it mean to be a brewer/brewery in your community? How do you make your community a better place? What are your opinions (try to keep it positive) of other breweries in your community?
What makes your brewery and beer special? What is the brewery’s philosophy or approach to brewing? What experimental techniques or nuance of brewing are unique to your brewery? What is the craziest pilot beer you’ve brewed and why? What styles of beer are you known for and why did you focus on that genre?
Give me something I can think about or feel besides a bucket of stale hops and 12% ABV. Even if your beer ain’t that great, your tour is a chance to make me like it a lot more.