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Episode Info: I’m pretty sure I met Fred in 1993 during my first Great Taste of the Midwest, which would be a formative experience.  It was a few years into the beer business, but roughly two before I’d join the ranks of Midwest breweries.  He has been a magnanimous brewery wrangler that cares deeply about connecting people to experience.  He and his team have kept their festival special throughout decades of change.  I think I speak for everyone in the Midwest brewing community when I say that we all look at “the Great Taste” as the grand daddy of the Midwest beer fest, and the one we try not to miss.  I’ve only missed two in my 23 years running, if it gives you any idea.  Fred has also applied his passion to the distilling world, and I caught up with him on the patio just before Distill America at the Edgewater Hotel in Madison, WI. The Music: “Wealthy Street” on intro and outro, © and courtesy of Drew Nelson Guest Bio:  Fred Swanson has been a High School Special Education teacher for more than thirty years.  He’s also served the Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild, hosts of the “Great Taste of the Midwest” in one capacity or another, including  member, President, Board of Directors, and brewery wrangler since 1990.  He is a founding organizer of Distill America, which celebrates and showcases American distilleries. Fred is also a tireless advocate for strength of communities through his involvement with agencies supporting adults in their homes, providing case management to adults with disabilities, and state organizations advocating for the rights of individuals with disabilities in Wisconsin.
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