Minnesota-brewed beer is big at this year's State Fair
Last year around this time I reported with great fanfare that one vendor at the State Fair had decided to put a selection of craft beers on tap. Among them were brews from several Minnesota beer makers. Minnesota beer would finally get a bigger presence at the Great Minnesota Get-Together. It was big news -- an important sign of validation for previously overlooked small brewers and a testament to how far craft beer had come.
MN brews on display at the MN State Fair
What a difference a year makes. Instead of just a few beers at a single vendor, this year Minnesota craft beer is getting an entire wing of the Agriculture Horticulture Building: the first "Land of 10,000 Beers" Craft Beer Hall, hosted by the Minnesota Craft Brewer's Guild (MNCBG).
The Land of 10,000 Beers Craft Beer Hall is intended to showcase the growing Minnesota craft beer industry. And there's a lot there to showcase. There are now 35 operating breweries and brewpubs in the state, at least eight of which have come online since last year's State Fair. It's definitely a booming scene.
The beer hall will feature a little of everything, for everyone from craft beer newbie to home-brew aficionado. Exhibits will explain the brewing process from farm to glass and give a timeline of the state's brewing history supported by antique brewery artifacts. Another section will detail how to turn your Minnesota vacation into a "brew-cation." Daily presentations on the "Brew Deck" stage will feature Minnesota's top brewers and beer experts, ranging from Beer 101 to how beer is made and how to make it yourself at home.
Of course beer will be available in the hall. Visitors will be able to buy a rotation of four-beer sample flights featuring a varied collection of either light, dark, hoppy, or sweeter Minnesota beers from more than 20 Minnesota breweries. Hand-crafted root beer will be available for kids and abstaining adults.
The Minnesota State Fair opens August 23 and runs until September 3.
A Perfect Pint