Tim Martini has sought adventure “off the beaten path” for several years through his social media show, Exploring the Obscure.
The independent show with more than 60,000 Facebook followers had Martini venturing across the world to find obscure places of interest and making videos about the global experiences.
But when the pandemic curtailed that and forced trip cancellations, Martini said he sought adventure closer to home in Ontario. As a “beer fanatic,” he started looking for “hikes and pints,” through brewery tours along with outdoor exploration. But he said when he noticed a lack of cross-regional brewery tours, he saw an opportunity to fill that gap.
“Just kind of opening people’s eyes and helping them see what’s around them they didn’t know about,” he said. “There are so many craft beer fanatics. Craft beer is exploding … Every brewery tells a different story, and I love going around and learning about all these breweries.”
Martini launched the Newmarket-based Brew Bus in September, offering trips across York, Simcoe, Muskoka, Halton, Toronto, Peel, Durham and Kawartha. The bus takes patrons to breweries, cideries and wineries, giving them a chance to experience the variety of brews a region has to offer.
The Bradford native said his interest in the sector stems from his time on tour in the music industry. He said they would get unique offerings when travelling and it stoked an interest, furthered after starting the business.
“I really learned to love the passion of the brewers themselves. There’s so much heart and soul. Anyone that’s having a brewery, they’re not doing this for the money, they’re doing this for the passion,” Martini said. “It’s been really fun to go and meet with all these breweries and the brewmasters.”
That effort has seen him visit and partner with breweries throughout the province, including ones in Newmarket such as Market Brewing and Old Flame Brewing Co.
Newmarket’s George Brew House owner Mike D’Angela said Martini has been great to work with.
“It’s a great way to showcase the breweries around the area,” D’Angela said of the tours. “It’s a pretty fun time.”
Martini said the bus has gone well so far, though public health measures the past couple of months curtailed trips. Still, he said bookings are picking up as measures lifted.
He said he tries to connect directly with the patrons taking part in his company’s trips, acting as a host on the bus between stops.
“I just want to see people interact again,” he said. “Meet new people, meet new friends.”
Martini said the business is carrying on, planning new trips to sports games and providing a shuttle service for the Newmarket Winter Craft Beer Festival running March 25 to 27. He said he has also considered getting a second bus.
“I’ve created a lot of friendships through this already,” he said. “More of an experience than just a ride.”
You can book through brewbus.ca.