‘Immersive’ Brewery Tour Arrives at Jersey Shore

City Brew Tours operates brewery tours all over the country. That now includes the Jersey Shore, thanks to Darren Blanco.

City Brew Tours Jersey Shore
Tour guide Darren Blanco, all the way to the left, and City Brew Tour passengers stop at Alternate Ending Beer Co. Photo courtesy of City Brew Tours Jersey Shore

Beer lovers, rejoice! Darren Blanco and his City Brew Tours team are bringing a guided beer tour to the Jersey Shore.

City Brew Tours, one of America’s leading craft beer experiences, operates brewery tours all over the country. When Darren Blanco moved to the Jersey Shore full time, his home-brewing experience led him to discover some great local breweries.

This month, Blanco launched the Jersey Shore’s first City Brew Tour, guiding small groups through an “immersive” beer experience. Guests can sip on beers while learning about how they are made. The tours, which run from Thursday to Sunday year-round, transport groups in a 14-person van to spots like Alternate Ending Beer Co. in Aberdeen and Last Wave Brewing in Point Pleasant Beach.

“Beer just tastes better in a brewery,” Blanco says. “Enjoying that with friends is what memories are made of.”

How did you get involved in City Brew Tours?
Darren Blanco: I spent almost 25 years working in construction, and when my wife and I moved to the Jersey Shore, I was looking for a direction change in my career. I do a little bit of home brewing myself and saw City Brew Tours was offering franchise opportunities. It seemed like a good match.

The Jersey Shore is the perfect place for a brew tour!
Totally. A lot of times, I would do my own tours with friends, and we would take Ubers. It just made sense to do this here because there are so many breweries around. There are three more breweries opening in the next month, so there is just a lot of opportunity for the tours to keep growing and improving.

How do the tours work?
Right now, we work with eight breweries and offer two tours to the public. The original has four brewery stops, and one of the stops has a meal and beer pairing. For that, we are currently using Alternate Ending Beer Co. and the Whitechapel Projects. We also have a shorter tour of three stops that just offers some snacks with it. In the future, we want to add more breweries so we can offer more varieties for customers.

What are some of the other local breweries on the tours?
Bradley Brew Project, Jug Handle Brewing, Last Wave, Little Dog, Seven Sons, and we just added Belford Brewing. All of the breweries we work with have been fantastic. Before I started researching, I didn’t know about a lot of them, and I’m really happy with the selection we have now.

After launching this month, how has the local reaction been?
Great! We did have a larger group of 14; the van was full. I have such a fun time doing it even though I’m working. One of our tours was two separate groups of people, and when the tour ended they were getting along so well they ended up at a bar together. It’s a great way to get to know new people.

What do you hope City Brew Tours brings to the Jersey Shore?
There are a lot of spots that people don’t know about, and it’s exciting to share that with them. It’s really an immersive experience, and we get to support the local brewery scene. I really want to provide people with a memorable experience.

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