Craft beer at fair: Learn, drink

  • Article by: TOM HORGEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 24, 2012 - 3:26 PM

Minnesota's craft-brewing scene gets its own beer hall at the State Fair this year.

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snowdoggAug. 23, 12 6:35 PM

Thanks for the article Tom, I can't wait to stop in and try a flight.

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JPetersen3Aug. 23, 12 7:39 PM

Congratulations to Mr. Ansari and the other members of the Guild. It is very difficult to get a commercial booth at the State Fair. I hope they have a good location (upwind of the animal exhibits)

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unicorn4711Aug. 23, 1210:12 PM

That's all well and good but the vast majority of beer sold in Minnesota, like 95%, is owned by foreign owned and controlled SAB-Miller (Miller Lite), AB-Inbev (Bud), or Molson-Coors. I always hear about how great MN craft beer is getting. If so, why are so many cases of Busch Lite flying off the shelves when Surly is local and here and way better?

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regexpAug. 23, 1210:49 PM

@unicorn4711 What exactly is your point? We have a booming industry in craft beer that many Minnesotans enjoy and should be celebrated. Who cares if people still buy Busch Lite?

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raywakefieldAug. 24, 1210:06 AM

A beer booth! Yeah, let's get those kids involved. Don't get me wrong, I love craft beer, but an activity for the kids is ridiculous!

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unicorn4711Aug. 24, 1211:53 AM

@regexp Thanks for the comment but my point is nothing is booming. Not even close. Minnesota breweries have virtually no market penetration outside of Minnesota and even within the state account for perhaps 3% of all beer sales. This lack of market penetration was my point. I don't think it's fair to call something "booming" and a major success story just because a few metro locations now sell local beers and there is a nice stand at a state fair. Craft breweries in Minnesota are no where near success. Quite the opposite, and by design. An Oppressive, outdated 3 tier distribution system keeps local breweries down in favor of the internationally owned big boys. What success they've had has come with a massive uphill battle most industries would never face. To call these modest gains a success is both misleading and is a gift to the status quo that protects the big internationals (like Busch Lite's parent company) in that it implies nothing needs to change in the laws because, well, local breweries are already "booming." It's so typical of Minnesota to cut off the true potential of its own success by marveling in its own success.

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thehootieAug. 24, 1212:04 PM

@raywakefield I would guess that the kids activities are meant to give the kids something to do while their parents check out the beer, rather than giving them nothing to do so that they get bored and impatient. I sincerely doubt they're trying to get kids into beer.

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roymercerAug. 24, 1212:39 PM

Any winemakers at the fair this year?

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chuckdancerAug. 24, 1212:40 PM

I occassionaly enter a small "sports bar" and have a couple of beers. The owners have a half dozen places. All the taps are mega-breweries. What do craft beer makers have to do to got a spot in places like that. Do the breweries pay for their spots?

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StarquestAug. 24, 1212:48 PM

There ought to be a booth with someone discussing how we can help repeal Minnesota's ridiculous blue laws.

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