It’s a little like taking a taxi – if a taxi held 35 people and the fare also included a sampling of killer beers at each place you stopped. Local beer lovers, meet Brew Hop, event planner Homegrown Huntsville’s craft-beer trolley tour debuting June 26.
Local financial professional Rob Heard, a patron of Homegrown’s signature event Dine & Dash, a monthly trolley tour highlighting different downtown restaurants, suggested the idea that eventually grew into Brew Hop to Homegrown Huntsville owner Ashley Ryals
“He said, ‘You guys should do this but with the local breweries,'” Ryals says. “I knew we wanted to do something like this, but I didn’t know there were enough breweries in our downtown area to do a Brew Hop. Rob educated me on the local breweries, that we have three breweries with taprooms downtown, and then I went and visited them and talked to them about the idea and they were instantly onboard.”
The first Brew Hop will spotlight three Huntsville beer makers: Yellowhammer Brewing, Brew Stooges and Salty Nut Brewery.
Here’s how it works. Three different groups of 35 start at three different breweries at slightly staggered times: Group A meets 5:30 p.m. at Yellowhammer (2406 Clinton Ave. W.); Group B 5:40 p.m. at Brew Stooges (109 Maple Ave. N.W.); and Group C 5:50 p.m. at Salty Nut (4411 Evangel Circle N. W., Ste. A).
“Then city trolley picks up that first group after they’ve been there for about 30 or 40 minutes and takes them to the next brewery, where they pick up the second group and so on, “Ryals says.
Yellowhammer’s beers include the Belgian White, Lost Highway Black Ale, and Rebellion Red Ale. Brew Stooges selections include Dizzy Dame Raspberry Blonde Ale, Knucklehead Porter and Witless Wheat, while Salty Nut’s brews include Hop Naughty IPA, Imperial Moustache Red and Nom Nom Porter, although tap room offerings on any particular day will differ.
Cost for Brew Hop is $22 per person. This includes the trolley rides and a flight of brews – typically four sample-sized glasses of beers, although this may vary – at each brewery stop.
“It gets you in the door and if you want to buy more you can,” Ryals says, “and because of the (Arts &) Entertainment District, if you want to buy a beer before you hop on the trolley and go to the next place you can, which is really cool.” She adds, “We like to do events that help get people downtown and experience new things and we do them at affordable prices.”
There will also be food trucks at each brewery stop, although exactly which trucks has yet to be confirmed as of publishing.
To hop on Brew Hop, limited to 105 participants total, you must register online at homegrownhuntsville.com. Ryals says the debut is already about half-booked and registration will probably be cut-off on June 24.
Like they do for Dines & Dash, Homegrown is renting one of the City of Huntsville trolleys for Brew Hop. (There’s another city trolley so these events do not impact the city’s downtown trolley routes, Ryals says.) Other Brew Hops are scheduled for July 31 and Aug. 28. “If that first one is a success, then we’ll continue to do them the last Thursday of everything month,” Ryals says. “We’re going to see how it goes and possibly do another one in September.”