What do you do when you have a real passion for craft brewing? Share your passion, exposing others to the ins and outs of brewing and enjoying the Cape's great craft brews. That's exactly what Ryan Higgins is doing with his new company the Cape Cod Brew Bus-a 4-hour tour of various Cape breweries, allowing you to taste a range of beers and learn how it all comes together.
A full-time paramedic and fire fighter in Mashpee, Ryan has been crafting his own beers for over 10 years. He is passionate about beer and set out on a self-education mission to learn not only how to brew a great beer but also how to start his own brewery. It was during that mission that he read a book by Sam Calagione, the founder of Dogfish Head Brewery, who reinforced the need for a unique product or niche if you want to be successful. The lightbulb went off and the idea for Cape Cod Brew Bus emerged-a shift in his original dream but importantly, a way for Ryan to learn more about great beer, share his love for craft brewing, help the growing Cape Cod craft beer business and importantly, for Ryan as a paramedic, provide fellow beer-lovers a safe and responsible way to enjoy these brews.
This new direction required a different kind of education. So when a landscaper friend told him about SCORE Ryan knew he would benefit by "working with people who have real-world experience." SCORE Cape Cod & the Islands set Ryan up with Mike Baker, a longtime SCORE mentor who has extensive experience in developing business and financial plans as well as helpful insights into the path to securing financing. Ryan found Mike to be an invaluable resource, "I'm pretty good with numbers but when I met Mike Baker I realized that I really didn't know what to look for".
Ryan's plan was well-received and Cape Cod Brew Bus became a reality. With one bus, Ryan and his team now run one tour/day to 3 breweries every Wednesday to Saturday where guests enjoy a guided tour, lunch and up to 20 oz. in tastings at each brewery. He plans to keep the bus running year-round with weekend tours during the winter.
Next steps for Ryan? Grow organically and at some point add another bus. And once he has a few more months under his belt he'll be back to SCORE to work with Mike on future plans.
"Without SCORE, the road would have been a lot bumpier," says Ryan. We say, book your ticket on Cape Cod Beer Bus for one very smooth ride!