Photo: Zach Poole (left) of The Maine Brew Bus and Bill Nangle of The Rhode Island Brew Bus after transfer of the company was completed on December 11, 2017. (Photo courtesy The Rhode Island Brew Bus)
Zach Poole, founder of The Maine Brew Bus, LLC, announced that he has acquired the operations of The Rhode Island Brew Bus, LLC, a company providing all-inclusive tours to breweries, wineries, and distilleries in Rhode Island and parts of Connecticut.
Bill Nangle, of North Smithfield, RI, started the Rhode Island Brew Bus in 2014 after being inspired by learning about the Maine Brew Bus. Since the first all-inclusive tours started rolling later that year, thousands of guests have visited many of the 20 different brewery and winery partners that are part of the multiple weekly itineraries.
“The past few years as owner of The Rhode Island Brew Bus have been so rewarding,” said founder Bill Nangle. “Our partnerships have grown and our reviews speak for themselves. I take pride in the product we put on the road every weekend and want to see our tours and partnerships continue to grow. Stepping away from the company was not an easy decision, but I feel it is what is best for my family, career, and the future of The Rhode Island Brew Bus”, he added.
The purchase in Rhode Island adds a major new territory in Southern New England to the growing Maine Brew Bus company based in Portland, Maine. In 2016, they added tours in Boston, MA, under the name Mass Brew Bus, and earlier this year they acquired a competitive tour business in their hometown. Terms of the Rhode Island acquisition were not disclosed.
“I am excited about the opportunity to bring what we have learned about beer tourism over the past five years to an already existing operation in Rhode Island,” said Zach Poole. “After visiting the area and conducting extensive market research, we’ve learned that Providence is a great city and the beer scene is definitely growing across the state. We look forward to bringing more guests through the doors of both new and established breweries in the Ocean State”, he added.
Bill Nangle (left) and Zach Poole during business negotiations in Portland, Maine last month. (Photo courtesy The Maine Brew Bus)
Existing tour operations with the two buses in the fleet will continue as planned, with an expanded tour schedule introduced after the first of the year. The five part-time employees that are currently providing tour operations will continue to work for the new ownership, and it is expected that other staff will be added in the coming months.
All guests that are currently booked on tours with the Rhode Island Brew Bus will also not see any major changes to their beer travel plans. Any unredeemed gift certificates from The Rhode Island Brew Bus will still be honored, and are also available for purchase at this time.
The new owners of the Rhode Island Brew Bus also announced they are opening a Providence business office in the Historic West Side at 383 West Fountain Street, Suite 113, right next to Bayberry Beer Hall.
About The Maine Brew Bus and Rhode Island Brew Bus
The Maine Brew Bus was founded in September 2012 by Zach and Allison Poole, who realized that people visiting Portland might enjoy all-inclusive tours on bright green school buses that provide a behind-the-scenes look at Maine’s craft breweries, distilleries, wineries, and more. Tours are led by expert guides in addition to a knowledgeable non-drinking driver to ensure the best possible experience for participating guests as well as for the businesses with which they partner.
The Rhode Island Brew Bus was founded in 2014 by Bill Nangle. After completing his last semester at the University of Rhode Island, he wanted to start his own business. As a home brewer and a craft beer enthusiast, and after being inspired by learning about The Maine Brew Bus, he started Rhode Island’s first brewery tour company. The all-inclusive tours are run on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays around the state of Rhode Island and parts of Connecticut. Private and corporate tours are available for booking on other days of the week.