Selling These Products At The State Fair Is Still Illegal in Minnesota
Did you know that it's still illegal here in 2023 for these businesses to sell their products at the Minnesota State Fair?
The Great Minnesota Get-Together is one of the greatest state fairs in the country. It's also one of the most popular in the country. But thanks to some still-existing, archaic laws concerning alcohol here in Minnesota, craft distilleries are prohibited from selling their spirits at the Fair.
I'm a big fan of all of Minnesota's craft breweries, distilleries, wineries, and cideries. These small businesses (though some of the breweries are pretty big these days) all work tirelessly to come up with fantastic new brews, spirits, wines, and ciders for Minnesotans to enjoy.
But just not at the State Fair. At least for Minnesota's distilleries, that is. While Minnesota craft brewers and wineries are now allowed to sell their products at the State Fair, Minnesota distilleries are still outside looking in.
Here's more, courtesy of the Minnesota House Research Department:
The State Fair is allowed to license the service of wine and beer for consumption on the State Fairgrounds. It cannot license the service of any other type of alcohol.
Again, you can blame Minnesota's strange, outdated laws on alcohol. While the 'ol Minnesota favorite, '3.2 beer,' had always been available at the Fair, it wasn't until the law changed in 2007 that allowed craft breweries to sell stronger brews at the Fair. Wine became legal at the Fair in 2003.
But how about an Old Fashioned featuring some Minnesota-distilled whiskey or brandy while you're at the Fair? Not so much. Even though many Minnesota distilleries now offer pre-mixed cocktails that contain roughly the same percentage of alcohol by volume as some craft beers, it's still not legal for them to sell them (or for you to drink them) at the State Fair.
Why do Minnesota's alcohol laws remain so archaic and outdated? And why haven't they been changed to help out these hard-working distilleries?
Of course, the Minnesota Distillers Guild, the industry group that represents Minnesota's 26 producers of craft spirits, IS still at the Fair, once again selling their Microdistillery Passports. (Which is a GREAT deal, btw-- check it out below) But wouldn't it be great to be able to sip on one of their fine spirits while at the Fair too?
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