OK, sure, a better way would be to make them ride bicycles between pubs -- this was an idea I tried to pitch to Dave next door when I was between jobs a few years ago -- but in our lawyer-infested society that simply isn't practical. You couldn't get insured to do it, and you wouldn't chance it without insurance. In fact, those kind of liability issues are what defined the Pubs of Portland model. Originally Marc thought he would do van tours of pubs, but insurance costs led him to look in a different direction. He and Charles guide the tours, but participants pay for their own beer and even their own transit passes. Take that, lawyers and insurance leeches!
Each tour will have at most 12 participants, and costs $25 per person cash ($27 if you pay with plastic). For that you get:
- Walking/transit tour of 3 or 4 Portland brewpubs (about 5 1/2 hours long).
- Expert beer advice and education on the brewing process
- Meet and greet the brewers
- Portland historical information
- A brewery tour if desired
The tours start at 12 noon 6 days a week at Pioneer Square downtown, for easy connection to MAX, streetcars, and downtown hotels. Pubs of Portland will choose the itinerary, but if your group has bought out the whole tour, you can work with them to hit the destinations you want.
I like it that they're just easing into the business slowly -- rather than try and dive in during the frenzy of July, they'll do their first tours starting September 1. Call them for reservations (hey guys, what's with the Austin phone number? You should be in the 503 now, or at least the 1-800). I'm sure they expect mostly tourists, but it's not a bad deal even for locals who have yet to make the rounds of Portland's great pubs and breweries.