WIN WIN WIN – see details below on how you can win.
If the way Dave has answered his questions in any way reflects the tone of the tour – I can’t wait to do one, some great stories Dave, it sounds like you might have a few more. (There were a couple more questions I didn’t have room to include). Myaka
Tell us about you?
I’m David Phillips, Owner and Tour Dude at Dave’s Brewery Tours. We’re Sydney’s only Craft Beer and Brewery Tour operator, specializing in giving our guests a true insider’s experience of our local beer scene.
How did Dave’s Brewery Tours come to be?
I was living and working in Thailand running the Asian operations of an Australian Telecommunications Engineering company and I came across two American guys importing Craft Beer into Thailand. At the time I was running a social network and long lunch event for local and EXPAT business leaders which meant we were always looking for different venues, themes and drinks. The opportunity to pair beer with food was too good to miss and it was there that I really opened my mind and palate to craft beer.
Although being from WA, some would say the home of Australian craft beer, I hadn’t linked the beers I grew up on with craft beer until I experienced it via American beers in Thailand. Funny how these things work!
From there I started keeping an eye on the local craft beer scene back home through media articles and web stalking. And as soon as I landed back in Sydney for a trip to “head-office” I got into as many Sydney breweries as I could. From there, I was sold. I just loved the look, taste, smells and sounds of what was going on in the places we found. Fundamentally, local beer is about people doing cool stuff in sheds, which just happens to be brewing beer. And to me, there is nothing cooler than brewing beer in a shed.
I am originally from smallville WA and my father as the local shopkeeper had always impressed upon us the importance of knowing where your stuff came from and supporting your local community. And whilst Bangkok is a mad city, it is also a city of small villages and it was our time there, shopping in local markets, getting our stuff fixed, bought and sold, meeting the local shopkeepers and residents which shook me out of my modern day, globalized consumer view and back into the importance of provenance and local community.
So the tour business basically all started on a plane home to Bangkok where I started to link my past with the present and marrying the importance of supporting local production to my other love – discovery. Beer, local beer become the preferred subject matter, because in all of the goings-on I had become a craft beer fan and developed quite a fondness for it and the stories behind the production.
The EXPAT gig came to an end as all things do and that trip to Sydney actually turned into the first of a series of repatriation sessions which ended with my wife Sue and I returning to Sydney in late 2013. Upon our return I immediately put together a mate’s tour of Sydney’s Inner West breweries and we set about exploring the beer scene with a bus. By the end of the first tour we realized that we may have something on our hands that could work and after a few discussions and beers with the breweries, we put together a website and thought it would be nothing more than a hobby.. One Saturday a month turned into 2, 2 turned into 4, 4 turned into weekdays, and it has gone from there.
We now have a range of tours across Sydney, 7 days a week visiting most of Sydney’s 15 or so local breweries. Along with Sydney, we are on the verge of launching the first of our regional tours and weekend Beer Discovery packages which have our guests exploring the local breweries, distilleries and farm gates in a number of regions. With the growth of the craft beer movement in Australia gaining momentum and the quality of the beers being produced, we are moving our horizons across the country to ensure people can get a true behind the scenes experience at as many of our great breweries as possible, so stay tuned on where to next.
Do you have a “claim to fame”?
Maybe not so much a ‘claim to fame’, however I did walk the Camino de Santiago. Originally meant to be a way to get from where I was surfing on the French Coast at the time to the Running of the Bulls, I got the dates wrong and arrived in Pamplona after a 4 day walk across the Pyrenees to find no bulls and just a bunch of drunk backpackers in the streets. I was a day late for the last running of the year, so I kept walking and after 5 weeks and 800+ km’s I hit the coast. An amazing experience and one which I think about often, and that’s from an Atheist!
Besides that, I have studied Cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu’ and cook a mean Crab Bisque!
What’s next for you and the tours?
For Dave’s Brewery Tours our focus now is about growing our Sydney weekday tours where we visit 3 Sydney beer hotspots in 3 hours. Along with those are our corporate days out, which are a massive hit, so we expect these to go through the roof with a little bit more marketing.. At the same time, we’re launching our regional trips which we’re pretty excited about, there are some amazing drinks producers out in the bush and when combined with the local food, wine and farm gate offerings, makes for an amazing gastronomic getaway.
For me, it’s getting into a balanced position between running the Tour business, the excitement and stress of growth and my life with my loving wife Sue. She is as determined as I am to be a positive contributor to both the Australian Tourism and Local Beer industries and we need to keep a check on how we both manage the work/life balance as we go head-down, bum-up into making our business a success and giving our guests the best possible experience we can.
Best organising tip?
Let Sue do it, that way all we need is packed and neat enough to wear straight from the suitcase…
0404 848 054
WIN WIN WIN
TWO vouchers to be WON
$150 Tour voucher – redeemable for any Tour product,
valid for 12 months.
Draw closes Friday 27th March
2 ways to enter:
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