2nd tour firm covers craft alcohol
They stress process, not party, in making rounds at Richmond breweries
A new competitor has entered the tour market that has sprouted alongside the Richmond area’s craft beverage industry.
Drink Richmond, a tour provider founded in Williamsburg, started offering tours in Richmond in early September.
“We think we are hitting a unique market of people who want to go out for corporate events, family reunions, things like that — it is a fun outing,” said Adam Theis, who co-founded the business with Lance Zaal. They started a similar tour service, Drink Williamsburg, in 2016.
“We want to cover all different aspects of craft alcohol,” Theis said. “We want to include meaderies, distilleries, cideries and breweries. We feel like we can cater to a larger group of people that way.”
The company is offering 1 p.m. tours daily, as well as 5:30 p.m. tours Tuesdays through Saturdays. It has a 14-seater tour bus that departs from Union Market in Church Hill. Each tour lasts about 3½ hours and visits three local craft beverage makers. Tickets are $60 and include the cost of the tastings.
Drink Richmond isn’t the only tour business catering to craft beverages. Richmond Brewery Tours has been offering bus tours of the local craft beer scene since 2013.
Richmond Brewery Tours also has a 14-seater bus and offers tours on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, visiting three breweries on each tour.
“We have a strong relationship with the breweries. We think we have the most educational experience that you can get,” founder Tommy Miller said. “We really want to support the whole Richmond brewery scene, and we want to give a fair rotation to as many breweries as we can.”
He noted that craft beverage tour services have popped up in several markets around Virginia. In Richmond, both companies promote themselves not as “party” services but as educational tours of local craft beverage makers, delving into their stories and production processes.
“Pushing responsibility is a big thing for me,” Theis said. “I want to make sure we are doing this responsibly.”
Drink Richmond, a craft beverage tour service founded in Williamsburg by Adam Theis (left) and Lance Zaal, began offering tours in Richmond in early September. Theis and Zaal started Drink Williamsburg in 2016.