Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Beer at the State Fair?

What beer pairs best with a deep-fried Snickers?

Apparently we Hoosiers are going to have the opportunity to find out for ourselves. Many of you have probably heard about the bill Governor Pence signed that allows the sale of beer on the state fairgrounds during the event.

Wait, they don't do that already? Nope. I haven't been to the state fair in a few years to be honest, so this was something I apparently took for granted. I think I've been to any state fair three times total. I grew up near Chicago in Illinois and I never went growing up. Most of my state fair experiences have involved a complete lack of understanding of all things livestock related, eating too much, an checking out the rides. 

So now there's something else to add to my list of things to do. Somewhere between the Tilt-A-Whirl, ice cream and that one ride that has the scantily clad Viking women and the mountains that always seems to be playing Iron Maiden, I'm going to have some craft beer. I'm excited to see what Indiana craft breweries bring to the table and also what comes from nearby states, since legally there can't be a restriction making it only Indiana beers.

One of the primary concerns I think a lot of people have is that the sale of beer will somehow turn the state fair into a dirty frat party. There's definitely going to be that opportunity to overindulge, so be respectful and be responsible. If you've never tried Uber, maybe this would be a good time to test out their service or just plan on having a designated driver in your group. No one wants to see beer only make it one year because people couldn't handle themselves appropriately. Don't be that guy.

That gets me to another thing that I've been thinking about as a result of this bill being passed. The craft beer community is great for so many reasons. People are welcoming and there's an almost instant sense of camaraderie. We've said that before and chances are if you're reading this blog you've experienced this first hand as well.

Having beer available at the state fair puts us in the position to act as ambassadors for craft beer. This is a good thing! You might be at the fair with a friend who's a die-hard Miller Lit guy. Why not encourage him to try something new since it's right there. You may not convert him with just one beer, but it opens the conversation.

I love watching the craft beer community expand, and offer more people the chance to experience all the great brews that are out there. It's easy to forget that some really great beer comes from right in our own backyard. Really in my mind that's what the state fair is about- celebrating the creativity and ingenuity that comes out of Indiana across a variety of industries.

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