When I think about the Indiana State Fair, I think of enormous elephant ears, 4-H competitions, and rides that, now, make me extremely dizzy –but my four-year-old loves. Absent from that list is one of the great respites from the heat of an August afternoon in Indiana: beer.
Until 1947, one could travel to the Indiana State Fair and enjoy a cold, sudsy beverage. Inebriated fairgoers, though, created their own demise by littering the fairgrounds with beer bottles. As a result, a ban was placed on all alcohol sales throughout the Fair that remained until 2014. Indiana and North Carolina were the only two states in the Union to prohibit alcohol sales to state fair visitors.
Last year, amidst the growing demand for locally made ales and lagers, Governor Mike Pence signed a law revoking the ban from 1947. People can now enter with a valid ID and purchase a few cold ones from one of the highlighted Indiana breweries. These breweries rotate on a daily basis throughout the entirety of the fair so fairgoers can get a glimpse of all the various breweries willing to have their beer served.
For the second straight year, Bloomington Brewing Company is participating in the State Fair Beer and Wine Exhibition. There’s no better day to pour than opening day. This Friday, August 7, 2015 from noon until 9pm, we’ll be pouring our Ruby Bloom Amber and 10-Speed Hoppy Wheat in the Grand Hall, across from the Coliseum. You can sample beers in 4 ounce taster glasses or purchase a full, 12 ounce beer.
We’re honored to participate in this Indiana State Fair tradition and to share our beer with hundreds of thousands of people who want great local beer. Over 80% of the money exchanged for purchasing each beer goes back into the local economy. Just as a local farmer reaps the rewards from their prized crop, the same goes for the local brewer creating your favorite IPA or amber.
As you eat your next fried Snickers on a stick, save some room for a glass or two of locally made beer. We’d love to see you at the Grand Hall on opening day this Friday, August 7th and enjoy a glass of BBC 10-Speed or Ruby. Say hello to our owner, Jeff Mease, if you get the chance. He loves good company.