How to run a craft brewery tour


The UK craft beer industry has grown massively over the past decade, with once independent breweries like BrewDog now competing with the biggest brands in the alcoholic beverage market.

The microbrewery scene has also steadily grown in the UK, with almost 2000 active microbreweries registered in 2019.

2020 saw a significant challenge to the hospitality industry which fundamentally impacted the operations of craft breweries across the country. 82% of independent breweries saw a drop in sales as a result of lockdowns in the UK and 65% stopped brewing entirely. Recovery from the pandemic will be difficult, if not impossible, for some independent breweries. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel in the UK with hospitality settings reopening leading into the summer.

New Revenue Streams

For some, the key to recovery from the events of the past year will be finding and developing new revenue streams to reinvigorate business. Brewery tours are a viable option for many independent breweries and would unlock an entirely new revenue stream directly from the consumer.

Running a brewery tour may be a challenging task if you have no prior experience of doing so, but here a few key elements to get you started.

Key Elements of a Brewery Tour

The Tour Guide

The tour guide is a pivotal part of a successful brewery tour. Enthusiasm, knowledge and passion are key to engage your visitors and build the right atmosphere for your tour. Whether it’s the owner, head brewer or a hired hand, the tour guide should understand the relevant processes, ingredients and equipment with a real passion and interest. A simple tour agenda would include welcoming guests, a walk through the brewing process and a tasting session to round off.

The Brewery

Your brewery should appear to be in operation for authenticity, but you still want a clean and tidy environment to welcome guests into. Getting up close and personal with tanks, vessels and pipes (where safely possible) will provide an engaging and exciting experience. If you’re comfortable allowing visitors to operate certain elements of your production process, then this can further add to the experience you are providing.

Health and Safety

Ensuring the safety of your visitors, workers, facilities and product is of the upmost importance. Providing appropriate PPE like shoe covers, hairnets and protective clothing (where needed) will prevent any incidents occurring and should put your visitors at ease.

The Tasting Session

Perhaps the most important element of any brewery tour is the tasting session. Visitors should be treated to samples of the products witnessed in production to round off the tour. Experiencing ingredients and products in incremental stages can be a great way to engage visitors and take them on a journey through the brewing process. For example, smelling and handling raw ingredients and then tasting the finished product will provide an intriguing insight into the production process.


Whether you are an independent or microbrewery, a brewery tour may be a good option if you are exploring new revenue streams. Not only can you connect with consumers directly, but you can involve and educate them in the production process which can develop your brand image and resonance.


About Author

Leave A Comment