Indigo Creek Outfitters has recently started offering “Medford On Tap” Brewery Tours every Saturday from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. The tours meet at the Indigo Creek rafting center, located at 130 ‘A’ Street near downtown Ashland.
The introduction of the tours is another example of how the craft beer industry has recently exploded in Southern Oregon. “We’ve had multiple breweries open their doors in the past year here in the Rogue Valley – and there are more scheduled to open in the next six months,” says Will Volpert, owner of Indigo Creek Outfitters.
Volpert, whose business has centered around half-day rafting trips on the Rogue River the past two years, says the brewery tours are a great fit for his company. “The majority of our customers are folks who like to get off the beaten path, see something new, and who love an authentic, genuine experience. The nano and micro breweries that we visit provide just that – and the brewers who we meet along the way truly care about their products and customer experiences.”
Having a pint of local brew after a day of rafting sounds like a good idea to the Indigo Creek crew, too. Glen Finch, who is entering his third year with Indigo Creek Outfitters, says that the brewery tours fit well into the rafting culture. “I think you’d find that river guides – and our customers for the most part – are much more inclined to enjoy a cold beer at the end of the day rather than a glass of wine. The tours are down-to-earth, relaxing, and personal. You can even stay in your rafting clothes and hop right into the van for the brewery tour. It’s not a wine tour where you’d have to dress up and ride around in a limo – that’s not what we’re aiming for – it’s a lot more relaxed than that.”
Indeed, brewery tours take a page straight out of the wine industry. “It’s the same idea as a winery tour,” says Volpert. “We’re visiting different breweries, learning about how the beer is made, and meeting the brewers. One difference,” he says with a pause, “…I think we have a lot more fun.” One might say that’s up to the eye of the beholder (or beer-holder).
Cost: $70.00 per person
When: 1:00 – 6:00 p.m. every Saturday
Number of Beers: Over 20 different beers
How to get on a tour: Reservations are required and can be done online or by calling Indigo Creek Outfitters at 541-203-0222.