Highlighting the enjoyment of a cold frosty pint, and the friendship that often follows, one area entrepreneur put the wheels in motion, creating Carl‚??s Beer Tours.
Carl‚??s Beer Tours is not a brick and mortar company, but an online business, www.carlsbeertours.com, offering people safe transportation to and from beer and wine festivals and other events.
Carl Achhammer of Sugar Notch developed the idea of Carl‚??s Beer Tours after researching the history of beer and noticing drinking was a social event.
‚??My first thought about a bus trip and a drinking team came from researching beer and its history. I realized drinking has been a social event since ancient Mesopotamian times; everyone would gather in a circle or at a table for community interaction,‚?Ě he said. ‚??I wanted everyone to experience this and get them more exposure to micro or craft beer.‚?Ě
Five years ago, he held his first trip to a festival at Spilt Rock Resort and saw his dream take shape. With 50 participants, all wearing brightly colored shirts saying ‚??Drinking Team,‚?Ě he saw, with a little hard work, his goal could become a reality.
‚??Everyone had a blast and made new friends,‚?Ě he said. ‚??That is why we go out, right?‚?Ě
After navigating through the maze of paperwork to start the business, and developing a marketing strategy, Carl‚??s Beer Tours began to roll along.
Achhammer reaches customers through face-to-face contact, by handing out business cards and with social media.
The tough economy did not stop Achhammer from pushing forward.
‚??I see the economy bouncing back little by little, the gas prices, not so much,‚?Ě he said. ‚??I try to keep the cost as low as possible for my customers. I am staying in the two to three hour trip range right now to ease on expenses.‚?Ě
Achhammer believes craft beer industry will withstand the test of time.
‚??The industry is not going to dissolve like it did in the 1990s,‚?Ě he said. ‚??My goal is to help it stay alive and get people ‚??on the road to great beer.‚?? ‚?Ě
Achhammer, having tried about 6,000 different beers, calls himself a ‚??beer enthusiast‚?Ě and hopes to share his passion with others.
‚??I am making every effort to evolve this concept into something bigger. Craft beer is a passion and I have loved sharing it with people since my first Black Rock beer about 10 years ago,‚?Ě he said.
His next trip will be to the Electric City Craft Beer Festival on April 15. For a cost of $65, participants will receive admission to the festival, a free t-shirt, a bus ride to avoid a DUI and an after party food buffet at Bart and Urby‚??s in Wilkes-Barre, where he is a manager and bartender.
Achhammer is beginning to arrange bachelor and bachelorette parties based on the craft beer industry.
He also is planning trips to baseball games, including one to Baltimore, Md., to see the Phillies and the Orioles game, pub crawls, and concerts with a stop centered around a craft beer, a winery or a unique food destination.
Bigger trips, to Germany for Oktoberfest and to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colo., are on tap for next year.
Those will take a lot of planning and promotion, and Achhammer welcomes help.
‚??I am always looking to do cross promotion with a local company,‚?Ě Achhammer said. ‚??If anyone has somewhere cool to go, let me know and we will make it happen.‚?Ě
To find out about trips to destinations involving craft beer, wine or food, visit www.carlsbeertours.com. For questions on arranging special trips, contact Carl Achhammer at 709-1678 or email [email protected].