Beer and Cheese Pairings But, Make it Virtual
Updated: Jun 24
Before the pandemic, City Brew Tours, an immersive experience company based out of Newton, Massachusetts was well-recognized for hosting exclusive, behind-the-scenes brewery guides and lively beer-and-food pairing events in cities across the U.S. For over a decade, the company was well-known for their chatty tour guides, insider knowledge of the brewing industry, and strong opinions about which foods to pair with various beers.
When Covid first hit, the company had to furlough its entire full-time staff of 13, as well as over 40 part-time employees. The company used to operate in a motley array of cities they call “some of the best beer cities throughout North America”: Baltimore, Boston, Burlington, Cleveland, DC, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, and South Jersey.
Today they’ve expanded their reach via their new CBT At Home virtual offerings.
There are two primary packages beer aficionados can purchase from CBT: the live homebrew experience and the beer and cheese pairing happy hour. Both options offer assurance that buyers will interact with repurposed tour guides who will bring their usual quirk and niche knowledge to the new offerings.
The live homebrew experiences includes a CBT Homebrew Essentials kit, with “only the essential equipment to get the job done,” as well as a three-hour live and interactive homebrewing guide tutorial, plus all the ingredients to brew 2.5 gallons (equivalent to one case) of beer. CBT guarantees that their typical tour style, full of “humor and history” will continue even in the new virtual format. Prices start at $99 depending on each customer’s selection of bottling options.
The beer and cheese pairing happy hour is an hour of “edutainment” led by a CBT guide, with the option to “stay as long as you like” after the first guided hour. The standard option directs tasters to purchase a few different cheeses and beers from their own local grocery stores, with online guidance on how to choose at least three cheeses ranging from soft to semi-hard to hard, and varying beers of distinct styles. For an additional fee, CBT will ship hand-selected and pre-paired beer and cheese boxes to customers' homes. Additionally, customers can opt for a private experience with family and friends or a corporate team, or a public tasting event to meet new like-minded people.
For those who want to dedicate their quarantine time to learning even more about brewing and drinking beer, the CBT blog now includes entries like “Virtual Happy Hour Best Practices” and “How to Make Beer.”
5% of the proceeds from all CBT events will go directly to Feeding America, so beer aficionados can drink in peace knowing they are helping fight hunger during the COVID crisis.
Is your company home to employees with niche knowledge of your industry that they can share with customers in a virtual setting? And, are there ways your product or service can be “paired” with another to create an at-home experience for your clients? Let us know!