- Mark Fisher Staff Writer
A local brewery-tour company is expanding both its geographic footprint and its itinerary.
Buckeye Road Trips added two recently opened breweries — Mother Stewart’s Brewing Company in Springfield and FigLeaf Brewing Co. in Middletown — to its visits this month, and is now hosting two Saturday tours, at 11 a.m. and at 4 p.m., according to Buckeye Road Trips founder and owner Tammy Zell.
“For the past two years we have been doing tours starting at 1 p.m. on Saturdays. We have done well, but I realized that for us to grow, we were leaving people out by having the tour mid-day,” Zell said. “I think by starting tours at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., we can accommodate more customers’ schedules.”
The weekend tours rotate from among four different options based mostly on geography. The south tour, for example, includes stops at Lock 27 in Centerville, Crooked Handle in Springboro, and FigLeaf in Middletown, with pickup/dropoff at Chappy’s Social House. In each of the tour groupings, at least one brewpub offers food, and at least one offers a brewery tour.
“I think both of these elements are important in offering the best experience possible,” Zell said.
Buckeye Road Trips also has added a “Sunday Brunch Brewpub & History Tour” that starts at 11 a.m. Sundays at Fifth Street Brewpub in Dayton. Attendees eat brunch at the brewpub, then board the passenger van for a guided tour of Dayton neighborhoods and downtown Dayton, culminating with a stop at another local brewery.
“I came up with the idea for the FSB brunch tours from listening to my customers and in wanting to add a shorter Sunday tour that complements what we do on Saturdays,” Zell said. “From the beginning, a good amount of time on board the bus was spent with me telling stories about Dayton’s brewing history and the how and why we are seeing the growth of the craft beer industry in Dayton. People responded really well and asked good questions. As I gained experience leading the tours I tried to include stops along the route that added another dimension.
“I had so many people tell me they never heard the stories or knew anything about the places I was showing them that I thought combining brunch, breweries, and history was something they would be interested in.”
Zell said she started Buckeye Road Trips two-and-a-half years ago for two reasons.
“The selfish reason is that I enjoy craft beer and decided having a bus and driver to take me and my friends out to the brewpubs would be really fun. The second reason is because I get energized by people who are willing to try something new and take risk. I want to support them any way I can. We have so much to see and do in Dayton and I want to be the person to show it off.”
For more information, check out the Buckeye Road Trips web page at www.buckeyeroadtrips.com.