Austin bike tour company Bike and Brew ATX owner Adam Watt is a busy man. Not only is he taking care of day-to-day maintenance for the bike tours, but he’s also connecting with new breweries and local food spots, keeping up with local brewery news and testing ideas for new and unique tours.
Watt sat down with me to share a little bit about his passion for his bike tour company, how it came about and what his plans are for the future.
What made you want to start Bike and Brew ATX?
One crazy day, I had finished a book called “The Alchemist.” It impacted me more than most things of that time. Almost immediately after finishing the book, I went for a walk on the Greenbelt. During that walk, my friend called and asked if I wanted to go to South America. This was during my studies, but I knew school wasn't my proper path so I went. From then on, I was in love with traveling. I took every chance I could to go on another adventure. I finally graduated and then moved to Spain. Later, I took a job as a tour guide. I didn't know it at the time but tourism was where I belonged. The one thing I had to complain about traveling and taking random jobs was the fact that I always had to look for a new job afterwards and I didn't like this feeling. I was also beginning to feel a stifling of creativity from my bosses. Now I had some great bosses and some bad bosses, but I could never be as creative as I wanted. I had this huge urge to be my own boss and a badass boss if I was able to hire my own crew. I don’t even like the word boss. Anyway, I had fallen in love with tourism and when I went on a bike tour in San Francisco, I realized that Austin didn't have anything like this. So, I brought it back home with me. Although I never had a "real" office job, I was able to take all those years of experiences at tour outfits, breweries, teaching, distilleries and skydiving and mold it around a business that perfectly fits me. Everyone wants to change the world right? Well this is my way of making people laugh and smile for those 3-4 hour that I get to ride bikes with them .I mean, bikes and beer; what’s not to love?
What’s your favorite beer?
This changes all the time. It depends on the day, the weather, or which brewery I'm at. It’s like asking someone who their favorite kid is. Haha. Although they know they won't really say, but if I was only allowed one beer for the rest of my life, I might be inclined to say Lone Pint Yellow Rose from Magnolia, Texas.
What’s the first thing you do on the day of a tour?
Wake up. Then I eat two breakfast tacos from Pueblo Viejo, or just one from Juan in a Million. Tacos can power you through hours of bike riding.
How long does it take you to get ready for a tour?
About 30 minutes to an hour. We have to eat and prep bikes.
What all do you have to do after the tour is over?
Eat again. Usually, there is a food truck at Hops and Grain, but if Kick Drum burgers are there I definitely eat. They compete with my other favorite, Crown and Anchor, for best burger in town.
What’s your favorite part of this job?
Not driving a car or sitting inside all day. I meet some of the nicest people so that opens up more doors to travel to places I haven't been before. I’m also being paid to drink beer!!
How is it working with so many breweries?
I love it. Breweries are so community oriented, so belonging to an industry with a positive mission is a dream.
Which brewery is your favorite? If you can answer that….
No comment ;)
What made you decide on these specific breweries?
Planning and logistics. I love the breweries that I work with. I would love to use more but I'm limited with a bike.
Which tour is your favorite?
I like the east side a lot (1/2 Heart Tour) because it’s so chill, and I think the east side has so much soul. But I can't help but be so excited when we get a food tour, because we partner with some incredible food trucks that will rock your taste buds. I’m hungry just thinking about it.
You recently launched Bike and Chew. How is the response to that so far?
Haha, well as I said, I'm hungry thinking about it. The response has been great though.
What made you decide on the specific food locations for the Bike and Chew tour?
I wanted to highlight some of my favorite spots and again, like the breweries, involvement in the community. I wanted to pick the trucks with the most friendly and positive vibe.
Do you have any plans on expanding any time soon?
We do have some long-term goals that we’re working toward, and even some new things that will come up soon, but nothing we can announce just yet. Stay tuned!
Speaking of expansion, what does the future of Bike and Brew ATX look like to you?
Being the most fun bike tour company in Austin :)
Have you thought of expanding to different cities?
I think about it a lot, but it is important not to get a head of ourselves.
How did you find your team?
Honestly, they kind of found me. While I was at Uncle Billy’s on Barton Springs, I was complaining to the head brewer about my lack of knowledge of social media. Enter Jimmy Calhoun, Brandi's husband. He interjected about her skill set that I was caught off guard. I couldn't deny his enthusiasm and passion; therefore I had to meet her. Without Brandi, Bike and Brew would still be in the stone ages. Her artistic mind fuels Bike and Brew’s social media presence.
I almost didn't hire Ryan because his email was full of grammatical error, but it turns out he was Hops and Grain racing his friend to send me the email first. They saw my van and wrote me asking about work. I'm so glad I chose to meet him because he has been a critical component to the tours.
Well thanks for taking the time to tell us a little more about yourself and Bike and Brew ATX! I can’t wait to see what announcements you have later in the year ☺
Thanks for having me! I’ll keep you posted when we have more exciting news!