Feb 15, 2013 at 2:21 pm
ST. CLOUD, Minn. (KNSI) - Craft beer is, statistically speaking, the fastest growing genre of beverage in the United States - and St. Cloud entrepeneur Christian Medford wants to harness that "buzz" through the upcoming Craft Beer Tour.
A marketing professional and self-described craft beer fan, Medford has made bringing over 30 brewers and 90 beer varieties to St. Cloud for the one-day tour his full time job.
Medford says many of the brewers he's booked for the one-day show are based in the midwest. It's a part of the country Medford says has exploded with craft breweries - and many the general public has yet to discover.
"The midwest - Michigan, Wisconsin, and now Minnesota - you're starting to see a lot of little breweries pop up," Medford says. "And they're good."
Medford says people may want to try an unfamiliar beer, but aren't clear on where to find it. "You'll get a craft beer directory, showing where in the area you can buy the beers you sample. Because, many times, people just don't know where to find it."
Medford says St. Cloud has historically had a more traditional taste for light beers, but with the boom in restaurants and bars serving the darker and hoppier craft beers on tap, as well as the rise of the tour's featured company, "Third Street Brewhouse" of Cold Spring, he thought this was a good time to develop a large-scale event.
Tour-goers will get to partcipate in more than just sampling - they'll receive a scoresheet where they can rate the beers they sample, and vote for their favorites.
Medford says it's been rewarding to work on bringing exposure to these smaller, independently run companies.
"When you come here, you'll get to meet the guys who brew the beer. Guys who are working for the little guy - not the big guy you think of when you think of beer," he says. "This just makes it more fun. These guys are in love with what they do."
Medford says he's aiming to donate a portion of the profits to charity.
The craft beer tour is on Saturday, March 16th starting at 1:00 p.m. at the River's Edge Convention Center. For more information, visit the St. Cloud Craft Beer Tour's website.