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.
Our mission is to be the leading curator of craft beer experiences for visitors, locals, and the community as both an ambassador and an advocate for the brewing industry.
Where we began
City Brew Tours was founded in Burlington, Vermont in 2008 by Chad Brodsky, a college kid who had fallen in love with craft beer while studying in Vienna. Thirsting for more, he returned home and enrolled in the University of Vermont’s “Beer Making 101” class. Fortunately, Chad quickly realized he wasn’t cut out to brew beer. Instead he bought a used church van, put on his lederhosen, and set off to spread the gospel of craft beer.
Chad’s timing was perfect. MSNBC had recently pronounced Burlington the fourth best beer city in the world, and Americans were starting to get a taste for craft beer. Vermont Pub and Brewery founder, Greg Noonan, was the first to open his doors to the new business, and Burlington Brew Tours was born. At the tender age of 21, Chad became the first to establish a brewery tour company on the East Coast.
Burlington Brew Tours became well known for its unique tours led by beer geeks who doubled as designated drivers. By 2012 Chad had perfected his business model. He left his full-time job in finance and opened a second location in Boston. With tours running in two cities, Chad changed the company’s name to “City Brew Tours” and set off to add more locations.
By the end of 2017, Chad was juggling operations in five cities and needed help. Enter Barry Hansen, Jr., a professional brewer and part time City Brew Tours beer guide who was instrumental in launching operations in Washington, DC a couple years prior. Barry grew into the role of COO, became co-owner and used his background in leadership, biotechnology and the brewing industry to streamline logistics and expand the company.
With Barry on board, City Brew Tours grew quickly. The company opened three new locations and launched a franchising program in a span of just two years.
As of June, 2020, City Brew Tours operates in 11 cities and continues to expand. In April, the company began offering educational craft beer experiences online for the first time, allowing anyone, anywhere to enjoy a cold beer in good company.City Brew Tours jumped to the West Coast in November, 2019, when it acquired a majority stake in BREWVANA, a brewery tour company in Portland, Oregon. BREWVANA’s acquisition made City Brew Tours the only brewery tour franchisor to operate on both U.S. coasts and in Canada.
Founder & CEO – Certified Cicerone®
Chad has always been an entrepreneur. As a child, he started businesses that ranged from convincing his peers to buy other people’s business cards to shoveling his neighbors’ driveways. Chad decided to buy his brother a Mr. Beer kit for his birthday as he thought it would be a great brother bonding experience. The first beer they ever brewed was a Nut Brown Ale, which didn’t turn out great. Between home brewing with his brother and spending a semester studying in Austria, Chad’s passion and excitement for flavorful beer grew immensely. Still not knowing much about craft beer except that he loved drinking it, he enrolled in “Beer Making 101”, an elective which was offered at University of Vermont. After graduating, Chad took a job as a Financial Analyst at a local bank but realized his entrepreneurial spirit was stifled. In 2012, Chad decided to leave his finance job and move to Boston to focus on growing CBT full time. It was in Boston that Chad met his wife, Liana. When not beer touring, Chad enjoys taking his dog, Oliver, to the park, traveling, and trying new types of food.
Chad believes the best way for a person to learn is through experiential education, which is what City Brew Tours is all about! Chad is always brainstorming new ideas on how to spread the gospel of craft beer to masses.
Favorite Beers: Duchess de Bourgogne, Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Lost Nation Brewing – Gose, and any delicious Lactose IPA.
Barry Hansen – Chief Operating Officer
Barry was a biomedical engineer when he decided to travel all the way to Australia for grad school. Coupling a Master’s in biotechnology and a Master’s in leadership, his true passion boomed upon return to the US driving him to start brewing professionally in New York followed by Washington, DC. As a part-time beer guide, while brewing in DC, Barry quickly saw the unique potential of CBT. He is now the company’s COO, and a founding board member of the Craft Beverage Tour Operators Association, on a self-driven ever-evolving quest: to be the top curator of craft beer experiences in the world.
Favorite Beers: Firestone Walker – Wookey Jack, Port City Brewing – Ways and Means, Jack’s Abby – Hoponius Union, and pretty much anything made by RaR.
Isaac Bell – Business Development Manager
Isaac is a citizen of the world but calls Maryland home. With a variety of accolades in graphic design, his thirst was never quenched. He quickly realized that being born with a beard was no medical mistake or miracle, just that he was destined for something beer related. Taking on the role of VP of Business Development, Isaac realized his calling was found, and now wants to bring a City Brew Tour to every city in the US!
Favorite Beers: Hellbender – Double Chazzwazzer, Green Man Brewery – Trickster IPA, Oliver Brewing Company – Burn the Candle & Creator/Destroyer.
Chris Johnson – Customer Success Manager
Chris discovered craft beer when he bellied up to an Amherst bar and took a chance on a Pete’s Wicked Ale while attending Zoomass in the early 1990’s. He’s been hooked ever since. Chris brings with him an extensive customer service and sales background that he utilizes to provide exceptional, white-glove service to our guests. When he’s not doing that, a self-professed Boston Sports fanatic, he can be found in Millbury enjoying a New England IPA while savoring the golden age of Boston sports. This recent success has allowed him to silence the sports lambs that scarred his childhood.
Favorite Beers: Tree House – Julius, Greater Good – Pulp, and Cold Harbor – Indian Summer.
Andrew Smith – Tour Operations Coordinator
Andrew has been a beer guide with City Brew Tours since July 2016 and now brings his particular set of skills to the management side of the business. He is also an actor, writer, and stand-up comic who just wants people to be happy and drink beer, which seems to go hand-in-hand. Andrew resides in Boston, MA with his lovely wife Alanna and he loves drinking whatever is the weirdest beer on tap, preferably cask-conditioned. Also Mai-Tais, which aren’t beer, but are delicious. If you would like a good one, check out Fantasy Island in Salem, MA, ask for Joanne.
Favorite local beers: Night Shift Harborside, Lord Hobo Consolation Prize, Jack’s Abbey Fire in the Ham, and pretty much anything that’s on cask anywhere.
Julie Walker – Tour Operations Coordinator
Julie is a writer, reader, gamer, homebrewer, baker, traveler, proud geek, and community builder based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She’s also the founder of Bright and Brewtiful (www.brightandbrewtiful.com), a blog that empowers women to understand, appreciate, and create craft beer. After spending almost a decade as a nonprofit program manager, she is now bridging her passion for craft beer with her professional skills to coordinate tours in Boston, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh. You can usually find her studying beer, playing games (including ones with lots of dice), or going on adventures with her family.
Favorite Beers: Ommegang Hennepin Saison, Heavy Seas Winter Storm ESB, 21st Amendment Blood Orange IPA, and anything that tastes like a campfire.
Thom Roholt – Tour Operations Coordinator
Thom fell in love with Craft Beer while on a date in 1998. The story is one to be heard while on tour with him, but in the two decades since, he’s transformed that passion into a quest, a film, and finally a career. On August 15, 2015, he was part of a five-person team that set the record of going to 77 breweries in one day. The feat was chronicled on Twitter, was later made into a documentary called PDX: Brew City, and eventually led to this job. Thom’s favorite beer is the one in front of him. He rarely drinks the same beer twice, but if he’s going back to the well it’s usually for a Deschutes Streaking the Quad, a pFriem IPA or a Four Play from Upright Brewing.
Emily Izer – Private Events Coordinator
Emily is from Baltimore and lives in Philadelphia, but she’s a Bostonian at heart. While studying Medieval Art History in Boston, Emily spent weekends visiting local breweries and fostering an appreciation of craft beer. Fortuitously, her art history degree set her up for success in the sales world. Emily began her career selling fine art before moving on to international tours – a perfect precursor to position here at CBT. Emily loves to travel, and even spent a year living in Paris with her cat, Ellie, who entered into a feud with a French pigeon that has never been settled.
Favorite Beers: Brasserie Cantillon – Vigneronne, Night Shift – Matisse, Trillium – Covered in Puppies
Brian Hatheway – Chief Personnel Officer
Brian is a lifelong native of Pittsburgh and has been homebrewing since 2011. He loves everything about beer, especially the brewing process. In his free time, he enjoys watching TV series & movies and exploring the outdoors. He also loves hearing a good yinzer accent.
Favorite Beers: Hill Farmstead Poetica #3, Strange Roots Concord Koel-Aid, Eleventh Hour Archer, and Black Project Habu
Kalimah Mustafa – Customer Service Specialist
Kalimah is a purebred Bostonian with an affinity for cozying up with a warm porter on a crisp fall evening. She used to be one of the “I just don’t like the taste” beer-naysayers, but a sip of her first milk stout changed everything. Since then, she has embarked on an exciting journey through the wonderful world of craft beer, which lead her to join the City Brew Tours team in October 2017. Outside of her beer peregrination, you can always count on Kalimah for comic book recommendations and unsolicited lectures on honey bee anatomy.
Favorite Beers: Night Shift – Awake, Fishtown – The Pepper in the Rye, and pretty much everything by Dogfish Head.
Taylor McCune – Marketing Coordinator
Taylor grew up in the food and beverage industry and jumped into the world of craft beer as soon as she was legally able to. After earning her degree from NC State – and spending many hours drinking from the taps at Flying Saucer Draught Emporium – Taylor moved back home to Beaufort, North Carolina. She has worked in journalism and marketing and is especially fond of the time she spent developing and managing a craft beer program for a local restaurant. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, thrifting, going out in the boat and drinking beer at the neighborhood pub.
Favorite Beers: Fishtowne – Gose Down Easy, Lagunitas – Super Cluster Imperial IPA and Highland – Oatmeal Porter