The Guelph.Beer Bus made its inaugural run this past Saturday May 11th. This city bus takes you across the city of Guelph to responsibly taste and learn all about Guelph’s craft beer scene with six stops, including five breweries and a pub. This FREE hop on hop off shuttle is a collaboration between Guelph Transit and Guelph.Beer, which is a unique association open to all commercial brewers in Guelph committed to working together to celebrate and promote Guelph’s unique culture.
With the addition of this bus your brewery adventures this summer just got a whole lot easier.
Guelph is home to some of Ontario’s oldest breweries and the craft beer boom has lead to more great additions. Each stop on the route offers a unique experience alongside the same cool vibe Guelph offers as a city.
The first shuttle loads up at Brothers Brewing at 12pm and heads to Fixed Gear. Since it’s a hop on hop off style shuttle you can choose where to start, finish and who you want to visit along the way and for how long. Breweries involved are Brothers Brewing, Fixed Gear Brewing Co, Wellington Brewery, Sleeman Brewery, Royal City Brewing Co and Fat Duck Pub for food. You can see the bus schedule and dates offered HERE and pretty much count on a bus coming by every half hour for you to choose when to move to the next destination.
You are welcomed by the Bus Monitor as you climb aboard, just like in grade school but these ones know ALL about beer and are happy to chat beer, quiz you for prizes and answer any questions. Be sure to get a handy schedule from them to follow along as the days goes by.
As we toured through each brewery and rode the bus we really enjoyed the new beer friends we were making and the stories we were sharing with each other. Food seemed to be readily available throughout the tour as some breweries had mouth watering food trucks waiting for you at each stop and with the Fat Duck included on the tour it is the perfect place to take a break at and order up some traditional english fare. I highly suggest the Tandoori chicken curry with a pint.
Stories are what made me fall in love with craft beer and the scene years ago. From the conversations at a bar stool to surrounding the campfire beer adds a certain flare. I also enjoy when a taproom tells a story and there is no shortness of this in Guelph, from the nostalgic feeling of the décor at Brothers Brewing and the diverseness and history of Wellington it adds to the experience and the staff are always happy to share a bit about what makes their brewery unique. I was intrigued to see that Sleeman was also included as we tend to have our micro beer goggles on these days when touring. So as we pulled into Sleeman, Guelphs' 2nd oldest brewery, (Wellington is older in case you didn't know!) I was curious to see the changes there as they have a new addition of a taproom, a couple IPA’s on tap and a tour of their huge facility. It is a sight to see how a large brewery operates so I recommend their tour that they are offering as part of the Guelph.Beer Bus on Saturdays.
The beer was fresh and delicious and all I tried could easily find it's way back in to my glass and the variety of beer available would please all kinds of beer drinkers from the hazy IPA hunter to us more traditional beer lovers and all in between. The option of flights is still a great choice to explore what the breweries have to offer and fun to share while you decide on what to buy to take home.
We ended up spending the night in Guelph and rested our heads at Western Hotel a historical boutique style hotel in the heart of downtown Guelph. Though it had a fully equiped kitchen we decided to continue our stay-cation and enjoyed some tasty wings in their restaurant below. After catching up on some posts with their complimentary wi-fi we relaxed by watching some TV in their comfy beds.
Local or visitor, I highly recommend riding the bus and being whisked away on a fun and informative craft beer adventure.
Donations are being accepted on the bus for Autism Behaviour Services and the Guelph.Beer Bus will run select Saturdays (May 11, June 8, July 20 & August 10) for now but maybe with enough of a turnout it will turn into a permanent way to get around!
Thanks to Visit Guelph for the fun opportunity and head over to their Instagram HERE to watch my day on the bus as I took over their Instagram for the day and it is saved as a highlight!