Hop-on, hop-off brewery tour service launches in Sydney

Sydney’s Inner West Brewery Association has teamed up with Dave’s Travel Group to launch a hop-on, hop-off bus tour to promote beer tourism in the area.

Sydney’s ‘Golden Triangle’ will be made available by bus to beer enthusiasts looking to check out breweries in the area.

The service will be trialled for three-months, kicking off on the 23rd June.

Two 11-seater buses will run up and down the area’s brewery trail from midday to 8pm every Sunday, according to Mike Clarke, founder of Sauce Brewing and member if the IWBA.

“It’s something we’ve been talking about for a while in the Inner West Brewer’s Association, which we formed a couple of years ago to lobby the government for a better regulatory environment, and promote the area as a tourist destination,” he said.

“One of our long-term aims was setting up the area as a hub for beer. The distances between breweries can be a bit much, so we thought we’d make it easier and give people a quick way to get around.

“It’ll help boost the tourism aspect and get people to come and check us out.”

Clarke said that working with Dave’s Travel Group, which specialises in brewery tours in the Sydney area, is a symbiotic relationship, as transport which may be out of action on a Sunday can now be put to good use.

“They’ve got the infrastructure and they know the breweries, so it was a perfect match.”

Clarke said that the Inner West area is beginning to evolve.

“Traditionally it’s an industrial area but it is changing, more towards residential and arts industries,” he said.

“It’s a great hotspot with industrial space which is why breweries have found ourselves here. It’s somewhat gentrified, it’s close to the middle and you can get the industrial space [to launch a brewery].

“It ticks all the boxes – it’s got good public transport and close to the airport, which is only 15 minutes away.

“It’s compact here compared to elsewhere – there’s nowhere near the concentration of breweries we’ve got in the Inner West anywhere else.”

Clarke said that if the Sunday bus services are successful, they will look to expanding their plans.

“We’re running a three month trial to see how it goes, on a day when it’s not too busy,” he said.

“Saturdays are big brewery tour days, and most of the breweries are at capacity. We wanted to encourage people to come on Sunday, to smooth out that big spurt in customers.

“The response has been huge. People are getting on board with it and it’s great to see it’s actually being so well received. If it goes well there’s scope to increase it. We could run more or bigger buses and run it on more days.

“Right now it’s just IWBA breweries, but we’ll expand that if it goes well, across to Alexandria maybe and bring in a few more breweries.”

Tickets to the bus can be purchased via the online booking system. Tickets are priced “per leg”, with most legs costing $2.50. Each bus will make the loop every 70 minutes.

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