South Florida Brew Bus Delivers South Florida's Craft Beer Craze

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Photo by Karli Evans
Driver Edgar Revuelta (left), Brew Bus USA events coordinator Aaron Caplan, and Brew Bus South Florida attendants Kimberly Johnson and Matt Davis.
"Drive slow!" shouted several of the more than 20 passengers on a minicoach as it rolled south on I-95 past the sprawling suburbia of southern Palm Beach County. The driver looked back, smiled, and set the cruise control to 55, allowing traffic to pass unabated.

Why the leisurely pace when most people just want to get to wherever the hell they're going? Simple: free beer. As another round of cold ones from Brew Bus Brewing was tossed down the aisle, the adults smiled like kids on Christmas. At the wheel, the driver looked almost preternaturally mellow.

Welcome to the South Florida Brew Bus.

The five-month-old beer tourism operation takes craft-beer-loving citizens on journeys to five local breweries to sample 12 to 16 ounces of beer at each stop, as well as however much they can drink on the bus. The bus has its own line of five beers prepared by Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, such as the award-winning English porter Double Decker, rich with chocolate malt and roasted oat flavors. By the end, sobriety ranges from tipsy to hammered.

See also: Miami's Monthly Sud Swap Is Craft Beer Nirvana

"We're a little different from a regular brewery tour company," Brew Bus event coordinator Aaron Caplan says. "We don't just do brewery tours... We do stories of finding that one beer that keeps you going back."

The concept was hatched in Tampa three years ago, when Florida-born Anthony Derby returned home to the Sunshine State after attending the University of Colorado. While there, he had become infatuated with the craft beer movement and, after attempting to visit three breweries in one day, saw his opportunity. Upon his return in 2011, he teamed up with his mother, who is the acting president of now-iconic Cigar City Brewing, and began the operation that would become the Tampa Bay Brew Bus.

That service started in February 2011 and, with the help of Cigar City, began offering its own beverages in June 2012. The bus hit three of the 29 breweries in the Tampa Bay area, offering passengers three routes.

Last year, Derby hired college friend Aaron Caplan to help with the creation of a similar service in South Florida. By March 2014, they had purchased a 23-passenger bus to travel among three breweries. For $50 a head, they provided pint tickets, beer, and, most important, transportation.

Location Info

Map

Wynwood Brewing Company

565 NW 24th St., Miami, FL

Category: General

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89 comments
frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

...........anyway this whole thing is just another way to screw-the-tourists


this is "practice" on the local-yokels who really are not the "target" consumer because when locals get screwed they complain and sue and demand refunds


tourists have to get back home so they don't stick around to prosecute the scam


anything MIAMI has that's "hot" or "new" or "a craze" is really just the scam-du-jour by shady operators who screw patrons until they fold and close once the season is over and re-open under different circumstances next season

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

......................so once you get bombed after five hours and the BUS drops you off - then what ? do you get into your car ? where are you dropped off ?

Mikey Dee
Mikey Dee

Too bad the website sucks and it takes like 3 weeks to get a refund if the ride gets canceled. Great idea, poor execution. Would love to see this get better and possibly cheaper.. Bridget McHale Jesseca Erin Lee

John Leblanc
John Leblanc

well thats why there liqours store every corner. cant buy beers out here in cali 24 hours.

Patricia Aguilar O.
Patricia Aguilar O.

I think that's a different company. This one doesn't go to the Rum Club. I also got confused trying to get more info. The one on the article is South Florida Brew Bus. The one that goes to the Rum Club is Miami Brew Bus.

Karen Cespedes
Karen Cespedes

I went on the beer bus two weeks ago and it was nothing out of the ordinary. We didn't even receive one free beer at Funky Buddha and the day that we went, the guy running the Miami rum club forgot that there was a tour. The driver had tons of personality but the tour guide barely knew what he was talking about, turns out that he was just a volunteer. I'll definitely save my money and skip the brew bus in the future.

Kasey Kayde
Kasey Kayde

Mark Ali Tara Catanzaro Trisha Slate Sherry Nordgren-Sloan Amanda Garriss Are you ready?? ;)

Joseph Mazon
Joseph Mazon

Yesterday's news, but then again, Miami New Times is usually about 3 months behind the curve. We DID have a 'craze" for a minute, until craft beer makers realized there is ZERO money in it. and precious little praise.

Paulina Sepúlveda Welcker
Paulina Sepúlveda Welcker

Laura Klein Recondo lol beer snob! Hahaha my sister Ivonne did it two weeks ago, and she said it was fun!

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