We Tapped the Craft-Beer Phenomenon

On the surface, the Prairie Brewfest event held each fall by the Eden Prairie Community Foundation is simply a fun way to raise money and introduce people to the Foundation’s work.

Dig a little deeper, and you might see there’s more to it than that.

For starters, there’s the entrepreneurial spirit embodied in the craft breweries that are springing up all over the Twin Cities, Minnesota and nationwide. According to the national Brewers Association, for example, the overall sale of beer in the U.S. last year was up just 0.2 percent over the year before, while the sale of craft beer — typically defined as a product of small, innovative breweries — was up 12.8 percent.

The Eden Prairie Community Foundation likes to think of itself as entrepreneurial, too, especially over recent years — hiring staff for the first time, flexing its collaboration and leadership muscles, and working harder than ever to engage with a growing number of supporters.

That engagement is another aspect of Prairie Brewfest that’s important. Citing the Brewers Association again, craft-beer consumers have a median age of 39 and are increasingly diverse — the kind of audience the Foundation is seeking to add to its base of support. Its other main event, EP Gives, skews a bit older than that. So, it’s important for the Foundation to reach out and connect with more of Eden Prairie.

Finally, Prairie Brewfest is a low-key way to introduce people to what the Foundation is, and does. What could be less intimidating than a genial conversation outdoors, over a beer sample, with great music in the background?

So, kudos to the founder of this new Foundation gathering — David Lindahl, a former board member and the city’s economic development manager — for introducing a fun event to Eden Prairie’s annual calendar.

If you’d like to know more about Prairie Brewfest and what it’s all about, visit our dedicated website, www.prairiebrewfest.com.

(Photo by SILVERMAN, former Steve Silverman Imaging.)

Categories: Feature, Foundation News

Mark Weber About the Author Mark Weber has been the executive director of the Eden Prairie Community Foundation since October 2013. In this role, he enjoys meeting with Eden Prairie residents, and being an active member of the community. If you’d like to connect with Mark, call him at (952) 949-8499 or email him. You can also read Mark’s full biography.

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