The craft beer boom has given rise to a new industry — companies offering brewery tours are popping up in major cities across the country, giving beer lovers a way to sample multiple brewers without getting behind the wheel or ordering an Uber.
With 11 breweries now open in Palm Beach County, a Wellington-based company is hoping to capitalize on the craze.
The Damn Good Beer Bus will host its first public tour on Friday, carrying both locals and out-of-town visitors to a handful of south county breweries where they will be treated to a flight of the beer, the story behind the brewer and a behind-the-scenes brewery tour when possible.
“Everything is all-inclusive,” said Jonathan Breines, a local entrepreneur who quit a corporate job in marketing and sales to launch the tour company.
For $65, tourgoers will visit three local breweries on the roughly 3 1/2 hour tour. Guests will also be treated to a few beer tastings on the bus, as well as water and light snacks, Breines said.
The company will offer three different public tours, each visiting a different geographic region of the county — north, central and south. All of the tours start at Accomplice Brewery & Ciderworks in West Palm Beach.
“I want to give every customer a phenomenal experience,” Breines said.
Palm Beach County has at least three culinary tours — offering a sampling of some of the area’s most unique eateries.
But tourism officials say Breines is the first tour operator to offer trips to the county’s local breweries.
“With a total of 17 craft breweries set to be open by the end of 2017 in The Palm Beaches, we think residents and visitors alike will surely enjoy the area’s first beer bus that provides reliable transportation to a few of these local establishments per tour,” said Ashley Svarney, director of public relations and communications at Discover The Palm Beaches, the county’s official tourism marketing group.
The company will also host private tours and offer bus rentals for corporate groups, birthdays, bachelor and bachelorette parties, Breines said. The bus has already been booked for two private wedding events, he said.
“I think the private tours are going to be very large for us,” Breines said.
Breines said he decided to launch the company after quitting his job in marketing and sales for Southern Wine and Spirits.
“I have always enjoyed entrepreneurship,” he said. “I kept coming back to craft beer.”
Breines said he knew about brewery tours in other parts of the country and saw there was no competition in the area.
“I thought there was a need for it,” Breines said.
Breines said he reached out to the owner of Tequesta Tequesta Brewing Co., who helped connect him with other local brewers across the county.
Craft breweries is a growing industry in Palm Beach County. At least two new breweries have opened in the county in recent months including NOBO Brewing Co.y in Boynton Beach and Civil Society Brewing Co. in Jupiter.
In February, Royal Palm Beach council members approved changes that would allow breweries, brewpubs, microbreweries and tap rooms to open in certain commercially zoned areas — a move that could allow the village to become the county’s next craft beer hot spot.
In 2016, there were 5,301 operating breweries in the U.S., up 16.6 percent from the previous year, according to the Brewers Association, an non-profit trade association based in Colorado.
Craft beer is a $23.5 billion industry, with small independent breweries producing 24.6 million barrels in 2016, according to the trade group.