Introducing…Maine Brews Cruise!
After nine years of being known as The Maine Brew Bus, we have aligned our craft beverage tour and activity operations with that of the national company we acquired last year. Please welcome Maine Brews Cruise!
It is now official: our Portland-based companies are now truly recognized as part of the Brews Cruise brand. It signals the move away from the well-known Maine Brew Bus and Maine Beer Tours names.
With that change comes a new name, an entirely new logo, and a refreshed brand image.
Celebrating its fifteenth year in business in 2021, Brews Cruise, Inc. is a company that licenses and supports craft beverage tour operators around the United States.
It was acquired in March 2020 by Vestigo Travel Group, a partnership between Dave Phillips of Sydney, Australia, and Zach Poole of Portland. Poole is the founder of The Maine Brew Bus which first started providing guided tours to local breweries on bright green buses in 2012.
Letting go of the Maine Brew Bus brand and imagery was not an easy decision for Zach. As you can imagine, a tremendous amount of work has gone into the original concept for the start-up company and then building the name Brew Bus in New England and across the country. Over 35,000 people have been connected to Maine’s craft alcohol producers on Brew Bus tours since they began in 2012.
“When we acquired the Brews Cruise brand, I knew eventually I would want to bring all that we had built for The Maine Brew Bus completely into the fold,” said Zach Poole. “We have been working on the rebranding project for the past year, and I am excited to add Maine to the national family that Brews Cruise has been building for the past 15 years,” he added.
Our website and social media accounts have already been updated, and our web presence is now hosted on BrewsCruise.com.
Since this is a major change, our fans may be concerned that we are going in a completely new direction. The truth is that the core of our company continues to be providing expertly guided experiences designed to showcase Maine’s craft beverage industries.
Dave Phillips agreed that very little will actually change with the tours. “It will be the same great people providing high-quality tours and experiences, just under a new name and logo that has a national identity.”
One example is that the Brews Cruise local and national operations continue to be under the management of Don Littlefield of Portland. “He has been with us since the early Brew Bus days, and has played a major role in establishing our lead position in Maine,” Phillips said.
With the addition of Maine, Brews Cruise now has tour operations in eight cities across the country. In 2020, a new licensee was added in Walla Walla, Washington. Later this year, new operators will begin offering craft beverage tours in Greater Chicago and Philadelphia. Prospective licensees are currently being sought to develop tour operations in key cities.
It is expected that Brew Bus tours in Massachusetts and Rhode Island will become Brews Cruise operations later this year.
The new Maine Brews Cruise logo was designed by Maine-based Golden Moustache Designs. Behind the well-recognized Brews Cruise title scroll and hand holding a pint glass, it incorporates well-known features of the state. There are renditions of the iconic Portland Head Light, green pine trees, the rocky coast, the state bird, and the world-famous Maine lobster.
While the pandemic sidelined our tour company for several weeks last year, we actually finished 2020 by connecting over 1,200 guests to local craft beverage producers on various guided tours and experiences.
Starting last July, we focused on offering a variety of open-air experiences that guests could enjoy by walking, biking, running, sailing, and cruising on powered boats.
Maine Brews Cruise is currently conducting walking brewery tours through Portland’s Old Port. Also available for sale now are seasonal bicycle and boat tours and experiences focused on Maine’s craft alcohol industry.
With the expectation that increased levels of immunity will bring us towards fewer restrictions, the plans are to resume bus-based tours with private parties early this summer. We are taking inquiries now for groups that are looking for bus tours starting in June, and guests are able to place deposits to hold dates with tentative bookings for group outings.
Please join us in Portland this year on the all-new Maine Brews Cruise experiences!
Don Littlefield is the Director of National Operations of Brews Cruise, Inc. He enjoyed a couple of cans of Pressed For Time IPA from Sebago Brewing Company while preparing this post. Twitter: @BeerinME