If you’re a beer drinker, you better be a Michigan craft beer drinker. While there’s nothing wrong with an occasional $2 cheap special, I myself am fond of favoring local breweries because a) they make an excellent product and b) I enjoy supporting businesses in the D.
Those of you who count Atwater Brewery and the WAB amongst your favorite brewing companies would surely enjoy a Saturday afternoon spent with Motor City Brew Tours. President and founder Steve Johnson started MCBT in 2009 after he was inspired by winery bus tours in other parts of the state. He wanted to offer the same type of all-inclusive tour services in Detroit, and knew that people wanted to explore and learn more about Detroit’s many breweries.
Bus and walking tours take place year round, and bike tours run from May through September. Fall and winter are the most popular times of the year for public bus tours, according to Johnson, and in the spring and summer, MCBT hosts a lot of private bus tours for bachelor/bachelorette and birthday parties.
“We have built up partnerships with many breweries over the five years we have been in business. We try to group the breweries together in groups of three,” Johnson said. “We will visit nearly 20 new breweries this year alone. As new breweries open up, we are working hard to add them to our list of tour options. With over 150 breweries in the state of Michigan, we always have lots of great options to choose from.”
Of those many tours, the downtown Detroit brewery tour route continues to be Motor City Brew Tours’ most popular bus tour offering. In addition to the local trips, day and two day trips to other parts of Michigan are offered and gain popularity each year.
“We find something we like from every brewery we visit. We created this business because we love to travel and explore all of the great beer that Michigan has to offer,” Johnson said. “We love the craft beer community and feel lucky that so many of (our) customers agree and continue to support us.”
If you just can’t wait to participate, consider taking a tour this weekend! The Bumpers & Brews Tour takes place this Saturday, Jan. 24 and features an automotive historical tour of Detroit, along with lunch and a beer at Atwater in the Park. Tickets cost $49.99 each.
Additional future tours include the N.A. Belgian Beer Festival at Ashley’s Westland on Saturday, Feb. 7 and Brewery Bus Tour (on the far west side of Metro Detroit) on Saturday, March 14. For a full list of upcoming tours and events, check the official website.
Since spring will be here before we know it (okay, I’m being optimistic), keep in mind that Motor City Brew Tours will be rolling out several new bike tours this year!
“We are adding a new automotive history bike and brew tour to our 2015 schedule. This bike tour will start and finish at Atwater in the Park in Grosse Pointe Park and take folks to the Jefferson Chalmers area to learn about its automotive past and present,” Johnson said.
This year, the organization will also launch two different charity bike rides, including Cruisin for the Trails and Tour de Hops, the second of which will be a backroads bike ride from the Fenton Valley Winery and Brewery to Top Hops Farm in Goodrich. Two-day Michigan Bike and Brew tours will also be back this year.
“Each year we create a new route for this event that takes advantage of rail trails and country roads to get from one town to the next while enjoying the brewery in each of the towns,” Johnson said. “This year, the bike ride will go from Kalamazoo to Paw Paw and back.”
In case you weren’t able to snag a ticket to Grand Rapid’s Winter Beer Festival on Saturday, Feb. 28, Motor City Brew Tours just may be able to help you out. In partnership with I’m a Beer Hound, the organization is raffling off two tickets to the event, and the winner will be announced on Friday, Feb. 20. Enter here!
For more information on Motor City Brew Tours, and to sign up for tours, visit http://www.motorcitybrewtours.com.