By Pat Christman
The Free Press
MANKATO — Mankato’s inaugural Craft Beer Expo probably could have been considered a success even before the doors opened Saturday afternoon. Getting 41 breweries from across the country signed up to show off their creations and 1,500 tickets sold for the event was a good start for organizers.
After the demise of Mankato’s Brew Fest in 2008, organizers had a right to be a bit nervous. They decided to create an event that not only featured beer tasting, but beer creation as well. Seminars throughout the afternoon contained a wealth of information on beer making and home brewing.
Of course, local favorites August Schell Brewing and Mankato Brewery were featured at the expo, but some of the heavy hitters in the craft beer world also made an appearance. The Boston Beer Company (makers of Samuel Adams), Sierra Nevada Brewing and Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing handed out samples at the expo. Breweries from as far away as Alaska and Hawaii showed off their current products at the expo.