Long-established East Coast beer tour operators excited to expand to the Northwest
PORTLAND, Ore.––Oct. 30, 2019––BREWVANA Portland Brewery Tours, a pillar of Portland’s beer community for the past nine years, has sold a majority stake to City Brew Tours, the nation’s leading brewery tour operator based on the East Coast. Effective Nov. 1, 2019, the company will become BREWVANA managed by City Brew Tours.
Founded in 2010 by Ashley Rose Salvitti, BREWVANA has been showcasing the history and culture of Portland’s craft beer scene ever since, providing all-inclusive tasting experiences that are both educational and fun. In 2018, the company rebranded as “Portland Through Craft” and expanded to offer tours of other Portland craft specialties, including coffee, spirits, cider, and donuts.
Salvitti has chosen to sell her business to focus on her family, which includes her recently-deployed husband and her young daughter.
“I’ve been a 100% owner for nine years, and it’s time to let someone else handle the business operations,” explained Salvitti. “I will still be a minority owner and plan to continue to lead tours––that’s the fun part and the reason I started the company originally. I love introducing guests to our local craft creators and leaving them buzzing in the euphoric state of BREWVANA!”
According to Salvitti, current BREWVANA employees will stay on under the new ownership. “City Brew Tours has multiple locations across North America, so this arrangement opens up even more opportunities for our staff,” she added.
City Brew Tours was founded by Chad Brodsky in 2008 as Burlington Brew Tours in Burlington, Vermont. Four years later, after perfecting the business model, Brodsky opened up Boston Brew Tours. With two cities under his belt, the name Burlington Brew Tours no longer made sense and it was changed to City Brew Tours.
“Since Ashley founded Brewvana, I’ve been following her success and have always admired her tenacity and creativity. Brewvana’s experience and branding have acted as a model for key parts of the CBT experience. We are so excited to bring Brewvana into the City Brew Tours family.” says Brodsky.
City Brew Tours quickly expanded tour operations into other beer-drenched cities, including Washington, D.C. in 2014, Philadelphia in 2015, and Baltimore in 2016. In 2017, Brodsky brought on Barry Hansen, Jr. as his partner and COO to help streamline logistics and further expand the company.
Hansen had brewed commercially at Capitol City Brewing Co. in Washington, D.C., and Freedom Craft Brewery in New York, before joining City Brew Tours. He has since stewarded the company in additional cities, including Pittsburgh in 2017 and New York City in 2018. BREWVANA will be the company’s first West Coast operation.
City Brew Tours served as an inspiration for Salvitti when she first set up BREWVANA’s business model. She later met Brodsky and Hansen in person at the Beer Marketing and Tourism Conference. In 2018, they worked together to establish the Craft Beverage Tour Operators Assn., a non-profit organized to support craft beverage tour operators and grow their business opportunities by building bridges between members and the craft beverage, tourism and allied communities around the world.
“The booming industry of independent craft beer was built on collaboration: sharing recommendations, best practices, and even ingredients,” said Hansen. “We tried to make that central to the concept of the Craft Beverage Tour Operators Association, and with this opportunity to combine our East Coast success with these West Coast relationships, we think beer tourism is going to only get stronger.”
Founded in Portland in 2010, BREWVANA embraces the city’s “beer Mecca” culture and showcases local breweries by offering a one-of-a-kind tour experience. The company provides all inclusive tours of Portland’s award-winning breweries as well as smaller upcoming breweries, combining a love of beer with an educational tasting experience. Learn more at brewvana.com and engage at @BREWVANA on social media.
About City Brew Tours
Founded in Vermont in 2008, City Brew Tours offers unforgettable all-inclusive tours and beer-focused experiences in some of the best beer cities throughout North America. With over a decade of experience, City Brew Tours has created the ultimate craft beer experience that blends history, beer knowledge, transportation, and great food with unrivaled access to an area’s top breweries and their beer. Learn more at citybrewtours.com and engage at @CityBrewTours on social media.