June 18, 2015
Looking for a unique way to imbibe in all that the Santa Cruz craft brew scene has to offer? Hop on the Brew Cruz and enjoy a ride on “Betty Jane”, the refurbished 1989 Thomas International bus with driver and tour guide Annie Pautsch to discuss beer, local brewery history, and cruise all over beautiful Santa Cruz.
Brew Cruz offers both public and private tours. Public tours last 3.5 hours, and stop at 3 different breweries for 45 minutes each. Each tour includes a pint of beer at each brewery, a tour of the brewing facility when available, and the opportunity to talk with knowledgeable brewery staff. You try microbrews, learn about beer, and meet new friends, while Brew Cruz makes sure you are entertained, safe, and comfortable!
We checked in with Annie to see how the Brew Cruz biz is doing and what inspires her passion for brewery touring.
How long have you been operating Brew Cruz now? How many tours have you done so far?
“I launched Brew Cruz 4th of July weekend 2014. I've done 120 tours so far.”
There are four breweries and several brewpubs located in Santa Cruz that each have a unique style and provide something different for everyone to enjoy. What do you love most about the Santa Cruz Beer Community?
“The people that make up the beer community. Everyone is driven, clever, smart, creative, and kind. They genuinely care about their product, their customers, and each other. They're constantly brewing new and different styles of beer, and are tapped into (literally) the Santa Cruz aesthetic, way of life, and mentality. It's inspiring, and everyone has been incredibly welcoming, encouraging, and communicative.”
Brew Cruz is a unique concept that really fits within the niche of Santa Cruz and relies on connections to promote and grow your business. Are you connected to the business community (outside of the breweries) in any way?
“This is my first business venture! I have had the pleasure of working for some talented entrepreneurs in the past, and learned a lot along the way. In the process of building my business, I received a lot of help and guidance from Keith Holtaway, and utilized the small business development center. The energy and connections happening over at Nextspace is amazing.”
What is it about Santa Cruz that made you want to operate your business here?
“It's a magical place, as we all know, but there's something big happening in Santa Cruz right now. All these new, innovative businesses are popping up - people are utilizing their connections to create cool collaborations and community oriented events. I couldn't be happier to be a part of it all, at the right time.”
“I'm grateful for being able to take risks in life, and with hard work and a vision, see them unfold!”
What are you plans for the future of Brew Cruz? Anything you can share?
“I get asked a lot if there will be a second bus! While I'm not sure I could find the time right now to purchase and refurbish another Betty Jane, I do have some awesome beer-related ideas that have just made their way into a potential plan…”We can’t wait to see what Annie’s plans include! Learn more about Brew Cruz here.