A lot has changed, and we're sad to go, for now.
Unlike COVID-19, craft beer is refreshing, crisp and leaves you feeling wonderful. Most everyone loves craft beer; no one likes COVID-19 and certainly, no one wants to get COVID-19 while leaning into their love of craft beer, wine, cider or spirits on The Beer Bus.
We're entering uncharted territory here, and as a business owner, it is my responsibility to keep my employees, their families; and you, my guests, safe. Therefore, I have made the very difficult (but I think, right) decision to not reopen our operations this year. Despite putting in countless hours of research into developing our COVID-19 protocols, below, it became quickly evident that the (appropriate) restrictions in place by the Province of Ontario simply don't lend themselves too well to the best possible Beer Bus experience.
We've also heard back from many of our local partners--who have families, loved ones and vulnerable people in their lives--and think that bringing by groups of people (some from "earlier" stages of provincial restrictions) isn't in their best interest or, to be honest, very logistically feasible. Sometimes, a business has to make the right choice, even if it is a painful one! I am sadly considering the (global) reality of today and tomorrow, and the dire warnings from the WHO, as of July 27, are a reminder of the times we live in. At some point, tourism becomes unsustainable and too risky for the host communities. We don't want to contribute to that risk, period.
We hope that you consider your own, safe way of visiting our partners. Stay safe, and we hope to be hosting tours in 2021. In the meantime, we'll be working on some nifty online based services which will be AWESOME.
Our Protocols for when we're back up:
Working with local charter companies to use their larger rides--all tours will now be done on large school buses, to facilitate social distancing between folks, even within your own social circles. No exceptions, and we'll have nifty, funny and of course, CLEAR, signs to make this known.
Requiring all Beer Bus guests and Beer Bus Guides to wear a face mask while on the bus and while participating on an indoor tour at any of our partner locations. If you don't have a face covering with you, disposable masks will be provided. There are absolutely no exceptions here, unless you have a legitimate medical reason not to.
Conducting a health screening questionnaire of everyone prior to boarding, including mandatory hand sanitization prior to each and every bus boarding. Note that our staff, driver and even bus will do the same (yes, the bus will be disinfected by our bus operator before, during and after the tour). If you fail the screening questionnaire, sadly you will be denied boarding and we will not refund your tour.
Loading our buses back to front, and front to back, to minimize bundles of beer-loving enthusiasts on narrow bus stairs. Also--get ready for assigned seating--throughout the tour.
Continuing to offer bottled water and prepackaged snacks on our tours. Hand sanitizing stations will be available on the bus.
Discontinuing handing out our BEER VIP lanyards. Rather, these will be laid out (and sanitized) and each guest will use their freshly-sanitized paws to take one.
Enforcing social circles by way of colourful dots on your lanyard. Ontario currently requires physical distancing with folks beyond your social circle of 10 people. We will assume that your group booking is part of the same social circle, unless you tell us otherwise. Folks within the same circle will have the same dot colour. This will help our partner locations.
Most importantly, we are learning about the new reality. Tourism is a tough one, but we're trying to make it work. Please feel free to contact us if you have any ideas or suggestions to improve our protocols.