Mass Brew Bus Hits the Road In November

To charter you to breweries like Barrel House Z, Castle Island, and Exhibit 'A' Brewing.

Mass Brew Bus owner Zach Poole at Night Shift Brewing

Maine and Mass Brew Bus owner Zach Poole at Night Shift Brewing. / Photo by Mike Johnson

You could plan separate visits to Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing in Framingham, Bone Up Brewing in Everett, and Dorchester Brewing Co. Or, you could hop on a bus that takes you to all three.

That’s the business model for Mass Brew Bus, a tour service that charters drinkers to local breweries in all-inclusive trips. The company expects to host its first tour on a Saturday in mid-November, says general manager Don Littlefield.

“For the Boston market, we’re looking to visit small and medium breweries that are predominately new startups or operations, to try and showcase what they bring to the overall scene and brewing industry in Massachusetts,” Littlefield says.

As BostInno noted, this isn’t new terrain for Littlefield and cofounders Zach and Spencer Poole. The team also oversee the Maine Brew Bus, which launched in 2012 to cart drinkers to local breweries around Portland. With the success of their tours up north, the crew hope to introduce Boston-area drinkers to breweries they might not have heard of, and highlight the people behind those establishments.

Every four-hour Mass Brew Bus tour will start and end at Craft Beer Cellar in Fort Point. Once the group is accounted for, a tour guide will load up the bus and drive everyone to three pre-determined breweries, sprinkling in trivia and beer insight along the way. At each stop, drinkers can enjoy a flight of beer and a short tour from brewery staff. So far, Mass Brew Bus has signed on the following breweries:

Though the itinerary of each tour will vary, Littlefield expects each stop on the tour to last around 45 minutes. The company plans to partner with more breweries soon after launching, too, with Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers and Lamplighter Brewing Company among the possibilities, Littlefield says. He even hinted at adding a few cider houses into the mix. No matter where the bus stops, Littlefield promises a diverse experience.

“We’re not going to put three breweries together that are making the same styles of beer, and in direct competition with each other, and the same size,” he says. “We want to compare and contrast.”

To start, Mass Brew Bus will hold tours twice a day on Saturdays. Littlefield envisions those tours running from around 10 a.m.- 3 p.m., then from 3:30 p.m.-7 p.m., though exact times are still being finalized. Eventually, it will scale up to run tours Thursdays through Sundays, with eight tours a week. To make that happen, the company hopes to add a second bus to its fleet by spring 2017.

Littlefield says tours will cost around $80-$100 per person, which includes a beer flight at each stop, water, snacks, transportation, and various gratuities. Once things get rolling, Mass Brew Bus hopes to accomodate larger tours that stop at more breweries and provide lunch, like Pints of Portsmouth does during its New Hampshire tours.

If you’re keen to buckle up before Mass Brew Bus puts its foot on the gas, hitch a ride with the citywide service Boston Brew Tours.