Interview with Alan Soles, owner of McMinnville Brewery Tours in McMinnville, Oregon

Tell​ ​us​ ​a​ ​bit​ ​about​ ​your​ ​business:  What​ ​does​ ​your​ ​business​ ​offer,​ ​and​ ​how​ ​long have​ ​you​ ​been​ ​around?​ ​ 

McMinnville has five breweries located within their downtown area. So McMinnville Brewery Tours decided to pick three of these fine breweries to offer you a taste of what’s brewing today. Our walking tour will take you on a journey from one brewery to another to another. Along the way, our tour guide will regal you with historic lore, beer-centric information, and suggestions for enhancing your visit to our “Disneyland for Adults”. Be prepared to tour a brewery (and learn how to brew beer), hear about McMinnville’s past, and, oh yeah, sample eleven of the finest seasonal beers offered!

How did you decide to get involved in this line of work?  How did your business get started?

I’ve been an Oregonian for the past 25 years. After I retired from my career as a music psychotherapist I decided to pursue my passion for beer. I starting working with BeerQuest Tours in Portland as a beer guide and I liked it so much that I started my own beer touring company based in McMinnville. With five breweries within walking distance of each other in downtown Mac, it was a no-brainer to realize we needed a way for folks to explore the beers and history of this area. McMinnville Brewery Tours is my way to offer a guided group experience with tons of stories and plenty of good beer.

Tell​ ​us​ ​a​ ​couple​ ​things​ ​you​ ​are​ ​proud​ ​of​ ​about​ ​your​ ​business.​ ​  What​ ​are​ ​you known​ ​for?​ ​What​ ​separates​ ​you​ ​from​ ​the​ ​competition?​

The area surrounding Third Street McMinnville is perfect for walking, shopping, exploring history, and drinking beer! We now have a way for locals and folks from out of town to gather together to explore McMinnville’s beer scene with a knowledgeable guide leading the charge. A nonalcoholic option is also offered!

McMinnville Brewery tours offers a “behind the scenes” look at the brewing process and will go behind the facades of historical buildings to give guests a peek into McMinnville’s past. For instance: do you know many of our businesses are family owned? And some have been in the same family for 50 years or more!

What is your favorite part of running this business?

I run a business where I meet people from all over the world, great people. And they are here in McMinnville looking to have fun. As an “old retired guy” I have the best job in the world…I get paid to drink beer and tell stories. What old guy doesn’t want to drink beer and tell stories?

Marilyn Affolter Fine Art Gallery

Who is your ideal customer/client? Who do you serve best?

You must be 21 years old to enjoy this tour. And it helps if you (or your partner) enjoy beer. There are short walks between breweries. All of the businesses visited on this tour are ADA compliant.

Marilyn Affolter Fine Art Gallery

Are there any special promotions, annual sales, or special events that you’d like to mention? 

Now is the best time to sign up for a tour. Rates are low to attract business. Eventually the price will increase.

Is there any other information you’d like your potential customers/clients to know about your business?

If you are local to McMinnville- here is a unique activity to share with your out of town visitors. If you are visiting McMinnville and are tired of researching things to do online- here is your chance to “hear it from a local”. Where should we eat? What wineries should we visit? Is there hiking near by? Or say you have a bachelor or bachelorette party to plan. Or you need a team building activity for your business. As a trained former psychotherapist Alan can organize a private tour to meet your expectations.

How​ ​do​ ​you​ ​see​ ​your​ ​business​ ​growing​ ​and​ ​improving​ ​over​ ​the​ ​next​ ​couple​ ​of years?​ ​

First I need to offer tours on the weekends! Then expanding private tours to include breweries outside of downtown McMinnville. Maybe adding a brewcycle one day. Also we need to expand our touring options! What’s needed is a way to combine the various fantastic yet diverse offerings of downtown Mac. Let’s have a coffee, pastries, donuts, beer and distillery tour. What if we had a couple visiting Mac with one partner who likes wine and the other prefers beer. Okay, we have several wineries and breweries within shouting distance of each other. Within the Granary District alone we have wine, beer, and coffee mere feet from each other. Let’s have a combined wine/beer/coffee tour.

Marilyn Affolter Fine Art Gallery

For more information about McMinnville Brewery Tours, visit their business profile page on Keep It Local Mac HERE!