On the local beer scene with Tap Hopper Tours
A review by Natalie Garcia
If you’re into the Triad beer scene you should check out Tap Hopper Tours, the area’s newest brewery tour. I went on a Saturday last month and met up with the owners, Patrick Sanecki and Niels Larsen. The tour gathered at World of Beer in Greensboro and we rode in an air-conditioned bus stocked with snacks and drinks.
Sanecki and Larsen have more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry. The duo came up with the Tap Hopper Tours concept in late 2014 while touring craft breweries in Jacksonville, Florida.
During the tour we had our choice of chips, pretzels and other packaged snacks. Everyone had their own cooler stocked with water. You’re also allowed to bring beer or other purchased drinks onto the bus from the various stops.
As soon as we took off the owners talked about the brewing experience, and introduced us to the different locations. They welcome questions and conversation about beer flows freely.
Our first stop was Greensboro’s long established brewery, Natty Greene’s, at their High Point Road location where they provided tastings including my personal favorite, Wildflower Wit. The warehouse is massive, supplying not only the Triad but the rest of the south as well.
From there we went to the newly opened family-owned Fainting Goat Distillery to try out their liquors, including gin and vodka. It’s smaller but the open layout had an urban feel to it, located in the middle of Downtown Greensboro. They’re passionate about the process and being Greensboro’s only distillery.
The final stop on the tour was Pig Pounder Brewery on Battleground. They have a cool, quirky bar area and the owner was super knowledgeable, he reminded me of a mad scientist wanting to invent different concoctions and always experimenting with the latest in beer making. We started with the tastings spanning light to dark beer, then they took us into the brewery explaining more about the process of selecting the hops and the different types of beer.
Besides the beer, one of the best parts of the entire experience was the people you meet on the tour. It was awesome to ride along on the bus sipping on beer and getting to know one another. It was also very informative. I had no idea about the process behind brewing; not only did they teach us a lot but they shared everything in a fun way. By the end the entire bus felt like longtime friends.
The fee includes transportation, a wealth of knowledge about the beer and liquor process, and seemingly endless tastings, all which make for a worthwhile and unique Saturday afternoon.
Check out their November offerings as their tours are adding breweries and expanding to different cities. Call 336.850.1477 or visit www.taphoppertours.com.