Minnesota on Tap Logo


Minnesota on Tap

He writes about beer.

Five best beers to sample at the Minnesota State Fair

Long gone are the days where you could only find mass produced macro lagers at The Great Minnesota Get Together. Now there are a plethora of options and I’ve highlighted a handful of them for you to seek out as the fair approaches.

  1. Three Hour Tour from Town Hall Brewery – This beer is hard to come by as it’s only released a couple times a year at the brewery, but you can find it at the fair this year. Think of a liquid Mounds bar, chocolate and coconut and a brew that’s almost too sweet. You’ll need to purchase this in a flight at the Land of 10,000 Beers exhibit located in the Agriculture/Horticulture building.
  2. One Five Five from Schell’s Brewing – This well balanced, yet complex amber brew which celebrates 155 years of brewing in New Ulm can be found at the Schell’s Stage. Expect some toffee notes and a nice dry finish on this one, perfect for fair weather.
  3. Excelsior Maple Bacon Brown Ale – One has to be intrigued by this little gem which can be found at Giggle’s Campfire Grill. This has gimmick written all over it—but who can really resist the thought of a smoke laced, maple and bacon flavored treat? How very Minnesotan….
  4. Berryswell from Indeed Brewing – This has been one of my favorite brews this summer which is probably largely due to the Mosaic hops. They call this a Blueberry Mosaic Pale Ale but don’t be fooled by the stigma of sweet fruity beers because this one is a hop explosion in the mouth. Find this at Giggle’s Campfire Grill, and by all means drink this one all day long. I won’t judge you.
  5. Cromulence from Fair State Brewing – Fair State has one of the best sour programs going in the state and you’d be a fool not to try this refreshingly tart darling. Find this as part of a flight at the Land of 10,000 Beers exhibit.


Brewpubs set for debut at Minnesota State Fair exhibit

The state ranked 10th nationally in brewery production finally is allowing brewpubs to pour at the State Fair's "Land of 10,000 Beers" exhibit. The Brewers Association reports that over $741.9 million dollars comes from the production of beer in Minnesota and that number is growing along with those taking up craft beer as a hobby.

In years past brewpubs were not allowed to pour their brews due to legislation that was corrected this year. “Thanks to the Craft Brewers Guild and last session's legislature, brewpub beer can be found at this year's State Fair,” says Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery owner Pete Rifakes. “I'm glad Town Hall has made it this long to see this day. Brewpubs have been so important to the growth of Minnesota craft beer and this will be my favorite State Fair ever.” Town Hall is set to bring One Simple Pale, Three Hour Tour (Coconut Milk Stout), and the ever popular Mango Mama.

Open daily from 9 a.m.-9 p.m., the "Land of 10,000 Beers" exhibit is sure to surpass the 100,000 attendee mark they served last year. With over a hundred breweries predicted to be up and running by the end of the year — it’s easy to see why there is such a reach. “The Minnesota craft beer scene continues to flourish with the addition of new breweries and brewpubs and the creation of exciting and various styles of beers produced by the state’s brewers,” says Dan Schwarz, president of the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild. “The State Fair is an ideal spot to celebrate and discover craft beer to support what is being made and poured here in Minnesota.”

This year you can purchase flights of beer ahead of time here or with cash/card at the exhibit itself. A flight of four brews will cost you $10 and you’ll have six options. Belgian, Lighter, Darker, Hoppier, Minnesota Mix, and now the Brewpub flight. There will be 200 beers available from 57 breweries and brewpubs (25 of which are new) this year which is really quite amazing.

Three Hour Tour and a deep fried candy bar anyone?


Latest Columns