For tour meisters Bill and Alli Seney, it’s been a year of big fun. And what’s not to love? Rolling between local breweries and distilleries in a tricked-out 15-passenger van, making new friends in groups of a dozen or so at a time, all like-minded people coming together to enjoy the best of New Hampshire’s microbrew economy.
In the year since the first tour rolled out, Bill and Alli Seney have found their groove with themed tours — Crafty Fridays, Hoppy Saturdays, Sundaze – and even a fitness vibe during their signature Barre, Brews & Roller Balls tours. As they look ahead to a new year, they see nothing but possibilities, which includes expanding the geographic scope of brewery tours to include Nashua and Concord, and even adding another van to the mix.
There’s a music night out tour planned for May 31, when ManchVegas Brew Bus partners with Jupiter Hall for a live concert — Alli Seney and friends will perform —featuring food from Madear’s Manchester.
But at its core, this is a true love story.
The Seneys love beer, for sure. But they also love each other and their 2-year-old sunshine, Alton. All the love is what led them to take a big and ambitious leap into a family business that would give them more time and space for togetherness.
It’s also resulted in unexpected partnerships with the various brewers, including Tom Neel at Candia Road Brewing Co., where the Seneys last week were perfecting their own brew — to be released for the big birthday bash on Sunday.
There are many other brewers that have made the past year a success, including Jon Young at Pipe Dream Brewing Co. in Londonderry, one of the first breweries to sign on. In the past year they’ve added new stops to the tour route as the microbrew industry expands, like Live Free Distillery on East Industrial Park Drive, not far from another favorite stop, Great North Aleworks.
All of this is cause for celebration, which is why the Seneys have been planning a birthday bash benefit — proceeds will go to UpReach Therepeutic Equestrian Center in Goffstown. Come for music by the Black Pudding Rovers, raffles, gift baskets and stay for the fun and games. Bill Seney, half of “Manchester’s best” trivial duo (as recently acknowledged in the Hippo) for crowd-pleasing Wednesday Trivia Nights with Bill & Cody. at Backyard Brewery, will lead the mind games.
And while trivia nights are a big part of Bill Seney’s side hustle, just as Alli Seney has a full life teaching voice at Berklee and sliding in some gigs at local night spots, the brew bus is everything.
“We’re business partners and life partners, and it’s been incredibly rewarding as a family, to spend more time with Alton. The quality of life for us has been amazing, but also, we love that we’re doing something that’s enriching the community,” Bill Seney says.
They’ve been witness to a wedding proposal, a pregnancy announcement and all sorts of celebrations in between.
“It’s so powerful to connect with the community by providing a service that creates a memory and a moment,” Alli Seney says.
In the coming year they would like to connect with hotels and offer tours to showcase all that New Hampshire offers by attracting visitors who might be looking for a fun night out.
They are some of the biggest cheerleaders for New Hampshire’s brew economy, especially now that they have a beer of their own (they’re keeping the name under wraps until the big reveal), a bucket list thing for them.
“It’s a creative process. Writing a song is a lot like creating a delicious IPA — you don’t really know how it’s going to turn out in the end, but it’s another method of creation and artistic interpretation,” Alli Seney says.
The trust walk that has been the past year, for the Seneys, has helped define them as a couple, she says.
“We have really figured out who we are through this business, and have found an amazing support system in our family and extended family, and the community we’ve created,” Alli Seney says. “We’ve established these roots, and it’s helped us really see how beautiful our city can be.”
There have been only a few small hiccups. For the most part, the Seneys can’t believe how seamless the transition has been, from young family trying to maximize the good stuff, to brew bus tour guides.
“For sure, nothing is perfect. We’ve had some issues and adjustments we’ve had to address, but we’re promoting community and creating a safe place for others to take a break and go on that journey, and not have to drive or think about their troubles,” Alli Seney says.
Join the ManchVegas Brew Bus for a First Birthday Celebration (via Facebook) April 14, 1-4 p.m. at Candia Road Brewing Co., 840 Candia Road.
On the Web: manchvegasbrewbus.com