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The Rhode Island Brew Bus revs up fall

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Now this is a designated driver: a repurposed school bus, painted blue, that drives from town to town and stops at three-to-five breweries. A knowing guide explains the history and specialty of each destination, and when the bus arrives, travelers debark and try a sampling of various craft beers. But this is more than just a thinly veiled party bus; participants get a thorough lesson in the beer-making process, as well as a close look at the machinery.

The Rhode Island Brew Bus has been transporting beer enthusiasts around the Ocean State since 2014. Last year, the company was taken over by The Maine Brew Bus, a similar operation based in Portland, but the concept remains the same. The bus will continue to host brew tours through the fall (a.k.a. Oktoberfest Season), including numerous stops in Providence and its environs. The tour is also a great way to meet fellow fans, since the bus holds up to 13 riders, who tend to come from all walks of life. There are only two big rules: Participants must be over 21, and there is no drinking allowed in the vehicle.

The most Providence-centric trip is the Beereakfast tour, a morning excursion to Trinity Brewhouse in downcity, Buttonwoods Brewery in Cranston, Long Live Beerworks in the West End, and The Guild in Pawtucket. Have a big celebration coming up? You can book the entire bus.