Next stop, beer in Summit County |

Next stop, beer in Summit County

Photo: A Summit County Brewery Tour

Four pairs of eyes gaze at an overturned pint glass. It sits atop four quarters arranged in a circle on a cloth napkin. In the center, under the glass, is a lone dime. One man claims he can retrieve the dime without touching the glass or the quarters and dares the others to figure it out.

That man is Joel Godfrey, founder of the Summit County Brewery Tour. Godfrey’s tour service picks up customers from their front doors and chauffeurs them to each of Summit County’s four microbreweries — Breckenridge Brewery, Backcountry Brewery, Dillon Dam Brewery and Pug Ryan’s Steakhouse & Brewery.

The tour is “a wonderful opportunity to have evening entertainment for folks who want to go out and have some fun and do some drinking … and not have to worry about any blinking red lights in the rearview mirror,” Godfrey said.

Bar tricks

The trip includes a pint of beer at each brewery, dinner and the promise of entertainment in the form of bar tricks, trivia and amusing toasts from Godfrey. In fact, the host carries along an actual “bag of tricks” filled with cards, glasses, straws, domino tiles and other items to entertain guests.

“Our motto at Summit County Brewery Tour is ‘never buy a beer again!’ Get all your friends to buy them for you with all the great bar tricks we’re going to show you,” said Godfrey, who picked up his knowledge of pub prestidigitation from his years touring the world for TWA airlines. From America and Europe to the Caribbean, Godfrey chatted up regulars and bartenders at local watering holes to learn their games and traditions.

“It’s my sworn duty to educate America with all these great nuggets of knowledge,” Godfrey said.

Godfrey isn’t secretive about his tricks. Instead, he takes the time to show his guests how they’re done. He also invites customers to share their own tricks and loves a good challenge himself.

It’s about the beer

Unlike other brewery tours, Godfrey doesn’t take his customers around to the brewing equipment. Instead, it’s more about drinking beer and having fun.

“Don’t think this is a tour where you’re putting on lab coats and inspecting the vats,” Godfrey said. “It’s not supposed to be a scientific investigation into the process of fermentation.”

Essentially, Godfrey drives so guests don’t have to, and he has plenty of tricks up his sleeve to make sure partygoers have a good time. There’s even entertainment on the ride, as the van is fully equipped with karaoke screen and microphone.

“It’s basically go out, enjoy some great beers, have some fun and share some laughs,” he said.

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