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Sioux Falls man launches Ale Hop Brewery Tours

Jason Schlechter stands beside the VW van he uses to give tours of breweries in Sioux Falls.
Jason Schlechter stands beside the VW van he uses to give tours of breweries in Sioux Falls.(Shane Trail)
Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 11:13 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Breweries continue to grow in popularity across Sioux Falls, and now one man is offering to help you visit as many of them as you want.

It’s called Ale Hop Brewery Tours.

Meteorologist Aaron Doudna and reporter Scott Engen took a mock tour during the Dakota News Now morning show Tuesday to find out what it’s all about.

Jason Schlechter got the idea to create the brewery tour when he was on a winery tour in the Finger Lakes of New York.

“My wife booked a tour with a gentleman who had a ’73 VW bus, and we ended up picking up a couple of gals from England and spent the whole day with them,” Schlechter said. “It was a great day.”

Now, equipped with his own retro van, he’s taken that concept and made it his own.

“The experience is really meant to be customer-driven,” Schlechter said. “That allows them to be engaged in part of the tour and make it so that they have some ownership over what we’re doing.”

Co-founder of Fernson Brewing Company Derek Fernholz says the idea is something he’s excited about.

“I’ve heard of it being done in different markets, similar type things, but I don’t think I’ve heard of it being done around here,” Fernholz said.

On our tour, we stopped at five downtown Sioux Falls breweries. Part of what makes the tour great is that it’s customizable.

“Customers are allowed to choose their own itinerary, or we can make it up as we go if they aren’t sure what stops they want to make,” Schlechter said.

While Aaron and I planned our route along Phillips Avenue, you can take the van to any of the city’s breweries.

“There are eight great breweries in town, they’re all unique, they all have their own thing to offer, and I’m just trying to shine a light on that,” Schlechter said.

Fernholz says he hopes the idea can help people learn more about local brews and the breweries they come from.

“We love all of it,” Fernholz said. “It’s all about bringing to focus the great craft beer scene we have around (Sioux Falls).”

Through the end of July, Schlechter is offering 10% off with promo code: 10July. To learn more about Ale Hop Brewery Tours, click here.

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