Craft Beer, More Local Wine at 2012 State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair is ramping up its craft beer offerings this year and will even feature an exhibit by the Minnesota Craft Brewer’s Guild.

Beer and wine offerings at the Minnesota State Fair will expand this year.

The fair has added a number of new attractions to its 2012 lineup, including an exhibit by the Minnesota Craft Brewer’s Guild, a local organization that promotes the state’s brewing industry.

Brewers will present on Minnesota’s brewing history, how beer is made, and what’s happening in the Minnesota beer scene. In addition, beer made by 15 craft breweries in the state will be available for purchase.

The State Fair is ramping up its craft beer offerings at a time when the state’s craft beer craze continues to grow and new breweries and beer-centric events are springing up throughout the state. Twin Cities Business Senior Editor Gene Rebeck took an in-depth look at the local beer scene in this recent feature story, which explores why craft breweries are springing up across the Twin Cities and whether demand will keep them all afloat.

In addition to adding local beer, the State Fair this year plans to offer a bigger selection of wines produced in Minnesota in an expanded space. Fairgoers will also be able to learn how Minnesota’s vineyards and wineries produce their wines.

Other new State Fair attractions this year include skateboarding lessons, a sandbox for kids, a laser show, and new rides. In addition, fairgoers—for the first time—will be able to vote for their favorite foods, vendors, and other experiences. The fair will also feature 40 new foods this year, including fried lamb testicles, camel burgers, and bacon ice cream.

The fair, which attracted nearly 1.8 million people last year, will take place August 23 through Labor Day at the St. Paul state fairgrounds. Major musical acts planned for this year include Motley Crue, Rascal Flatts, Alan Jackson, Kiss, Demi Lovato, Bonnie Raitt, and Blake Shelton.