Taking a tour of a brewery can be a great way to learn more about how beer is made, and also see some of the specific beers you might love being produced. Most breweries give public tours; you either have to schedule one in advance or just show up at a certain time to join in. Regardless of how the specific tour is arranged, here are a few tips you can follow in order to have an even better time.
Go with a group.
Bringing a friend or two along is fine, but if you can arrange to go on the brewery tour with a larger group of friends, that's even better. You'll have more people to bounce jokes and ideas off of. Since beer tours usually include some sampling, you'll have plenty of friends to drink and have a great time with. And you can certainly make a day of it, stopping by another bar for dinner afterward or squeezing several brewery tours into one afternoon.
Say "yes" to the samples.
When you're offered a sample of beer on the tour, say "yes," even if it is not a beer you would typically drink. Even if the beer being sampled is not your favorite, trying it often gives you the opportunity to learn more about the beer and beer-making process. For instance, if the brewer offers you a sample of an IPA while they are discussing hops, tasting the IPA will help you better understand how and why hops are used.
The typical brewery tour ends with your tour guide asking, "are there any questions?" Far too often, the tour group is silent and does not really ask anything. But this is a great chance to speak up! Ask whatever is on your mind, even if it seems silly at the time. A few questions you could ask are:
- Does the brewery plan on introducing any new beers soon?
- What beers sell the best?
- Does the tour guide have any advice for homebrewers?
Often, if one person gets the ball rolling and asks questions, others will follow suit. You can learn a lot from the questions other people ask and from how the tour guide answers them, too.
Brewery tours are fun, and if you follow the tips above, yours can be even more fun than usual. Above all else, remember to relax and enjoy the beer. At the end of the day, that's what it's all about.