Starting Friday, the Brew Van will offer a shuttle service specializing in local breweries.
While beer tours take a group of customers from brewery to brewery with a guide, the Brew Van will transport customers at a fraction of the cost along a route to brewery hubs. The route will go as far northwest as Dragoon Brewing Company and as far southeast as Harbottle Brewing Company.
“I like the work done by all of the breweries, but as a grad student, there was no affordable and practical way to get between them, and driving wasn’t a safe or legal option,” said Matt Wittal, owner of Brew Van. “So, I fixed it.”
An aerospace engineering grad student, Wittal has resided in Tucson for the past year and a half. As a craft beer fan, he was inspired by beer shuttle services in larger cities and decided to launch Tucson’s first one.
Operating hours are 4:30 – 10:30 p.m. Friday – Saturday and noon – 6 p.m. on Sunday. Four vans will be active on the route on Fridays and Saturdays, while Sunday will utilize two.
Once you arrive at a brewery via shuttle on Friday or Saturday, it would take about 38 minutes for another shuttle to take you to the next brewery. If you needed to backtrack to the previous brewery, the wait would be about 15 minutes. Considering the amount of time it takes to order and drink a beer, the wait is swift.
Customers can pay for service online or in person via credit card. The full schedule will be posted soon on the Brew Van’s website.
The Brew Van is collaborating with geosocial networking service and mobile app Untappd, so screens at participating breweries will indicate if the brew vans are running. Additionally, the shuttle service plans on collaborating with brew tour service Old Pueblo Beer Tours.
To kick things off, the Brew Van is hosting its launch event from 5 – 10 p.m. on Friday, August 31 at Borderlands Brewing Company with giveaways, prizes, and trivia. Furthermore, the service will offer free rides for the event between participating breweries.
Marana, midtown, and east side brewery stops will eventually be added as options. Additionally, the shuttle service is happy to accommodate custom requests outside of regular operating hours.
“If customers call wanting to go to Marana or Tombstone, we can work that out,” Wittal said. “We’re fully licensed and ready to go.”
Jackie Tran is a Tucson-based food writer, photographer, culinary educator, and owner-chef of the food truck Tran’s Fats. Although he is best known locally for his work for Tucson Foodie, his work has also appeared in publications such as Bon...