July 8th 2021
Brew Donkey Tours Set To Open Labour Day Weekend
After being shut down for 11 months, bus tours resume with new safety protocols
OTTAWA, ONTARIO – July 8th, 2021 – Brew Donkey, Ottawa’s first and only brewery tour service, will begin selling tickets for their award winning bus tours to residents and visitors to Ottawa next week. Buses will be back on the road as of September 3rd, 2021, and tickets for those tours go on sale as of July 12th, 2021, with a limited time offer of $30 off all tickets in September and October 2021.
"In October of 2020, I made the hard decision to cancel all scheduled tours as I was seeing the numbers of active COVID-19 cases in our city rise exponentially. It was devastating to shut down a second time, but staying open did not feel right”, says owner and operator, Brad Campeau.
The closure took place at a time when the company had already started planning their 7 year anniversary events, to take place in November of last year, so the company utilized a new virtual platform to pivot to virtual events for the anniversary events. Since the closure, Brew Donkey has offered limited private virtual experiences in order to stay active in the local beer community.
The company made the choice to open in September 2021 based on its experience and lessons learned from reopening in July 2020 for a brief period of time. Owner Brad Campeau found that brewery destinations need to be able to allow both indoor seating, and increased capacity to effectively provide entertaining experiences. Both of these are expected to be present in later stages of Step 3 in Ontario's Reopening Strategy.
The tours will restart safely with enhanced safety protocols, similar to those used on tours in the summer of 2020. Guests can expect access to sanitizer throughout the tour, to be offered distanced seating and to be required to wear a mask while on bus and anytime other than when seated at breweries.
June 4th 2021
Hey there Brew Donkey fans and followers. It has been quite a while since our last post. Thanks for the patience you've shown us as we weather these uncertain times. We are very excited to share that we are beginning the process of reopening for the late summer/fall 2021 season. We will be closely watching the vaccine rollout in the next months and deciding when our first tours will start shortly. We are holding out hope for a mid-August or early September start. Once we start running buses again, you can rest assured that we will follow all local health guidelines to ensure a safe trip.
If you have held tickets or deposits with us, thank you all so much for the trust you have shown us in the last 14 months. You can expect to hear from us very soon about redeeming your tickets for one of the upcoming trips.
Until then, follow our accounts as we start the process of rebuilding Ottawa's only brewery tour service.
June 8th 2020
As you may have heard, this Friday, June 12th, 2020, Ontario Government and the City of Ottawa have given the green light to start opening up both breweries and distilleries (patio only) as well as tours by bus. This is welcome news and an announcement that we have been eagerly awaiting. We are very thankful for the work that government officials and industry associations have been doing behind the scenes to make this happen.
Regarding Brew Donkey Bus Tours - we are taking a measured approach for our restart of service plan and we will begin running our bus tours on July 24th, 2020 (6 weeks from the June 12th, 2020 official open date) to give our destinations, our customers, and our team time to get comfortable in the new reality.
We will be polling you, our customers, as to your comfort levels and needs for participating in tours. We need to be sure we open with a tour where everyone can feel safe while exploring local beverages.
Watch our social media for more information on the return to service with Brew Donkey Tours, including what we will be doing to keep everyone safe.
Now, get excited and start planning your next Brew Donkey Tour!
Help us fill the bus (to the safest levels) for our re-opening.
I can't be the only one who wants to be on this bus?!?
April 3rd 2020
During these unprecendented times we continue to make changes to our business to stay financially healthy and fiscally responsible. We have taken every effort to ensure that Brew Donkey Tours will survive this and that your past or current investment in our company will not be lost.
If you have a ticket that you have booked with us and need to talk please email us at email@example.com or call us at 613-864-3659.
We will get through this together and be touring around the Ottawa beer scene by bus as soon as we can.
March 20th 2020
We are offering virtual brewery tours and if you have loved them and want to support us use the link below to make a donation.
March 17th 2020
In these unprecedented times, we have to change habits for public health as well as our own. Remember to take care of your own health while spending more time at home and conscious of if your habits are changing for the worse.
That being said there are close to 40 breweries that we know you love and each of them that are hurting right now. Taprooms are closing and sales to licensees are all but drying up. Each of them is in a different situation but we want to make it easy for you to figure out how to get their beer.
Today we are starting to catalog the Taproom and Retail status of the breweries in Ottawa and nearby. It will include links to buying beer online, whether there are delivery options, and links to gift cards.
All joking aside, don't hoard but please get the beer you love and support where you can so our favorites will be there WHEN this passes.
You can find the ongoing and constantly updated list on our site.https://www.brewdonkey.ca/pages/brewery-status-covid-19
March 16th 2020
Brew DONKEY TOURS STATUS UPDATE - COVID-19
Today we are sad to announce that we will be suspending our tours for the next 2 weeks (March 30th) at least. The experiences that we have built over the last 6 years have been about supporting the community and if our community is at risk we need to be sure to do our part to keep it safe. If we don't, who will we drink beer with?
Getting to this point was hardest because of the trickle-down effect on our staff, destinations, and catering partners, all of which will be highly affected by the loss of sales, attendees and shifts.
At this time we are putting all tours and tickets for the next 2 weeks on HOLD for use at a future date. We will take guidance on tours running after March 30th week by week as we are updated by Ottawa Public Health. For those that have already invested in future trips with us, know that we will survive this and once it is safe to gather with local IPA's and Stouts we will. Our buses will run every weekend all year round again, meaning that you will be able to choose a new date that is convenient for you and your group.
If you have any questions email us and we will get back to you from the comfort of our home where we are self-isolating and still drinking local beer!Brad Campeau
Owner, Founder and Beer Lover
March 12th 2020
The health of our community is top of mind here at Brew Donkey. We are continually monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19, as is everyone in the tourism industry, and at this time all tours are running as scheduled.
Please note that we have implemented the following internal procedures for our tours to reduce risk of exposure to our staff and guests:
- Beyond existing bus cleaning practices, before the start of each tour, our staff use disinfectant wipes to wipe off the top of all the seats which is the place that customers will touch most on the bus.
- When boarding the guests on to the tour, our staff will be on the bus with the sanitizer pump to offer it to anyone who wants it.
- Instead of handing individuals the lanyards and pens ourselves, we will let the guest know that they are welcome to grab one on their own if they would like from a bin.
- When greeting and saying goodbye to our guests, our staff will use the elbow bump instead of handshakes and high-fives. If you're not sure how to elbow bump, here's a video with one way to do it, as demonstrated by Prince Harry.
- We are asking that guests keep their hands away from their face and remember to wash their hands regularly. If you need a 20-second chorus to sing to, we suggest you use this one.
- Our buses are large sized school style bus which means they have space for 44 adults. Our max tour is 25 guests (attendance is closer to 15-18 at this time) meaning that there will be plenty of space for guests to have distance.
Lastly, we are suggesting everybody take the advice of Ottawa Public Health listed here.
Let's treat each other with the same respect we have for craft beer. Please stay healthy so we can continue to drink local beer together.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org