2022 is the fifth year of my Great Brewery Tour, which is exciting for several reasons:
First, I originally started out on this journey after doing some rough math on a napkin, curious to see if the real-world numbers would match up with my hypothetical ones. I had just recently started gigging regularly again after a pretty long pause, I was enjoying the rise of the craft breweries that were popping up everything, and I was also a little frustrated that nobody was really reviewing them…. The hype at the time was if it’s a new brewery, it’s gotta be great (and some weren’t)! So I figured I could play music in an environment I liked and that happened to be booming, and maybe provide a little context to the breweries as I encountered them. Suffice it to say five years later that my reality has surpassed the initial expectations of my model.
All these miles and shows and years have given the tour a bit of a reputation, and that has caused us to get busier and busier each year. I think on our first tour we were doing 15 or so shows, now we’re up to 40-50 or so per tour (four tours per year, in 2021 I think we did just shy of 150 shows). This year is likely to surpass that. Along the way we’ve been to so many cool breweries, ranging from nano-breweries who fit a few dozen people in their taprooms, to massive places like Sierra Nevada’s Asheville compound (which I call Malt Disney World). We’ve me to thousands of cool people and had countless cool conversations… and of course we’ve had literally thousands of pints of great beer (and a few crappy ones…. But mostly really, really great brews).
People have always been fascinated by my model… not just that I have managed to make a living out of playing music and drinking beer, but the whole adventure that goes with it. A few years ago we started getting questions about doing a podcast or TV show, and last year out of that grew the opportunity to shoot a couple of pilot episodes of a reality show following the tour. Along with this we also have upgraded the tour….my solo shows have evolved into duo shows with my son Brad (of Freak Mythology) now touring, we upgraded to an RV and now live almost fulltime on the road, rarely if ever using hotels anymore….
And the plans for the TV show have matured and developed into plans that we’re very excited about and hope to be able to share with you soon (things move rather slowly in TV development land…).
So all of this now lands on what should be an exciting, busy, hectic, and hopefully wildly fun 2022! We kicked off the year and our Winter Tour in January, in our new RV, with the Texas run, and are now in the midst of our second leg (February in Florida) in the RV, which seems to be going really well. With all the extra room we now have my boxer Django on the road with us, and he’s LOVING it (and we’re loving having his company). We took him for his first swim in the ocean a few days ago.
The RV, as expected, has been a learning experience… we have had to learn how to work all the plumbing systems, the furnace needed some work, we’ve had some odd maintenance/repair jobs that we’ve had to figure out and do on the fly… but so far we’ve nailed them all! As of this time we’re very excited about this new twist to our touring life, and very glad we made the investment. Hopefully that continues!
So with this blog I set the stage for 2022. Brad is now onboard fulltime, and as such we have changed the tour to from Dennis O'Hagan's Great Brewery Tour to Dennis & Brad's Great Brewery Tour.
Brad will also be sharing the blogging duty with me, which we plan to keep doing until the filming (tv) schedule makes it impractical (you’d be surprised how much time we already spend booking gigs, prepping promo materials, sending press releases, doing social media, working on new material, etc. etc. etc. We need a staff… or at least maybe a cute intern to travel and do some of the admin/tour mgmt duties!). We also plan to start capturing more of the tour (at and between the breweries) on video, so PLEASE follow our social media and YouTube channels if you don’t already!
Dennis & Brad's Great Brewery Tour is completely grass-roots. Your support is appreciated, and can be shown by coming to the shows, frequenting the featured breweries, wearing our t-shirts, and via tips at: http://venmo.com/DennisOHagan. For the latest content and news, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to our YouTube channel. THANKS!