Colorado is no stranger to craft beers. The Brewers Association has ranked Colorado 3rd in the number of craft breweries, and 6th per capita with 154. On the Front Range specifically, I’ve been watching in awe as breweries are popping up in unique, warehouse-like locations each with their own style and impressive brews.
Just North of Boulder, in Longmont there are nine breweries alone. To support this growing industry in the also growing community of Longmont, David Lewis and his wife decided to launch BrewHop Trolley.
Lewis, a Longmont native (2nd generation) and lover of beer, had been thinking about doing private tours to breweries in Longmont. His wife made the suggestion of dropping them off and going onto the next brewery to keep the route going. They cared about getting people to other breweries and promoting the local (maybe lesser known) breweries in town.
Davis, who last worked in oil and gas and collections with no prior food experience, began researching trolleys online to make this dream happen. They traveled to Philadelphia to look at trolleys to find the perfect one for their endeavor. Purchased for $25,000 the purple, 1997 trolley was sent out on a flatbed.
In effort to stay local, he worked with Longmont Digital Printing who created a vinyl wrap of the vehicle and he came up with the logo himself.
The trolley has been running since Memorial Day Weekend (2016) on Saturday and Sunday starting at Noon and running until 9 p.m. They start at 300 Suns and will stop at every brewery in town. You can get off and on the trolley whenever you want through the wristband you wear for that day. Wherever you get dropped, they’ll always be back in an hour.
The breweries include: 300 Suns, Wibby, Pumphouse, Long’s Peak (Mountain Sun), Shoes and Brews, Grossenbart, Lefthand, Skye, and the Tasty Weasel (Oskar Blues).
Tickets are $15 for a one day pass, which is good for nine hours, or $25 for two days. You can purchase them right on the trolley, or in advance online.
The trolley seats 24 people and there’s more room in the aisle for standing. They also have room for 6-7 bikes if you want to bike to the location, then bike home eventually at the end of your tour.
Dogs and families are welcome on the trolley (most breweries on tour allow dogs, but those that are restaurants do allow you to keep your pup on the outside patio/sidewalk), and they have storage on the trolley for the growlers you pick up along the way.
When I asked what was next Lewis said they’re also available for private events, which would allow you to drink on the trolley (you can’t on public tours though).
They’re also rotating Friday night tours between Gunbarrel, Niwot and Lafayette, playing with that tour so they can stop at the likes of Powder Keg, Bootstrap, Finkel and Garf, Avery and more. This VIP tour would be $35, and you would get $1 off your first pints. It would leave Longmont at 4:15 p.m. on Friday and are testing out the routes.
They also hope to get four trolleys eventually and do weddings, new venues, and even go to places like Red Rocks (although he jokes the trolley tops out at 50 m.p.h. as he chuckles).
This is an incredibly fun way to learn about these local (and some nationally recognized) breweries, while cruising along the trolley around town. I’m a fan. I was also happy to learn they plan to cruise year-round. I’ll be a regular passenger, I’m sure.
Note: All photos from BrewHop Trolley