News & Updates

Minnesota State Beer… er Fair

gopherIn case you live under a rock, the Minnesota State Fair started Thursday. St. Paul, can I get a collective “Oh shit!”? I used to work on Energy Park Drive and always cringed in the days leading up to the Fair. My company usually had a flood of last minute creative and print work for one of the broadcasting companies AND traffic absolutely sucked. I still can’t figure out why some people choose to go to (or leave) the State Fair during rush hour. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Hungry? Look no further than HeavyTable (Twitter) for State Fair food information. You really don’t need to go anywhere else. Seriously. Stop typing.
Thirsty? Here are a few of our suggestions. Do you have your own? Leave them in the comments.

Fair Exclusives:

lift-bridge-mini-donut-beer-smLift Bridge’s Mini Donut Beer
Our friends at Lift Bridge have produced what is said to be the first-ever mini donut flavored beer. The fruits of the brewery’s labors will be available exclusively at the Ball Park Café.  Expect a malty sweet sipper that weighs in at about 5% abv. Mini-Donut will be served in a glass rimmed with cinnamon and sugar. Suggest pairing: Mini-donuts. Duh. And while it’s been suggested that perhaps Lift Bridge “jumped the shark” with this one, we tend to think that it sounds tasty enough to try before passing judgement.

Summit State Fair IPA
This beer was brewed by our good friend Jeff Williamson. This beer is full of great Minnesota ingredients like wild rice, honey, pronto pups corn and Cascade hops from Hippity Hops Farms. Look for it daily at the International Bazaar. 95 IBUs and 5.5% ABV.

Great Beer Destinations:

Ball Park Café
The Ball Park Cafe is essentially the Minnesota State Fair’s very own craft beer bar with a strong focus on local beers. It’s the only place that you’ll find the aforementioned Lift Bridge Mini Donut Beer and this year they’re making onion rings with a beer batter made with Indeed’s Day Tripper Pale Ale. Other craft beers at the Ball Park Café include Surly Furious, Bitter Brewer and Hell, Lift Bridge Mini Donut, Hop Dish and Farm Girl, Bent Paddle Black Ale, Third Street Jacked Up, Steel Toe Size 7, Mankato Original, Excelsior Bitterschaple, Badger Hill White IPA, Lucid Dyno, Indeed Day Tripper & Midnight Rider and one out-of-towner, Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale.

10kbeersThe Land of 10,000 Beers
The Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild returns to the Agriculture/Horticulture building with an expanded “Land of 10,000 Beers,” featuring beers from 26 Minnesota breweries. Once again the exhibit will showcase craft brewing in Minnesota with brewers, displays and presentations throughout the duration of the Fair.

This week’s presentation schedule:

Thursday, August 22

  • 3pm – Getting to Know the Guild: Clint Roberts, Guild Executive Director
  • 6pm – Beer Tourism: Dan Justesen, Guild President, Vine Park Brewing Co.

Friday, August 23

  • 3pm – Member Showcase: 612Brew, Indeed Brewing Co.
  • 6pm – The Art of the Cask: Tony Digatono of Great Waters Brewing Co.

Saturday, August 24

  • Noon – Homebrewer Award Program
  • 3pm – Primary Fermenter Showcase
  • 6pm – Member Showcase: Surly Brewing Co., Fulton Beer

Sunday, August 25

  • Noon – A Historian’s Perspective: Craft Beer with Doug Hoverson
  • 3pm – Minnesota Hop Star: The U of M’s Charlie Rohwer, Ph.D.
  • 6pm – Member Showcase: Third Street Brewhouse, Boom Island Brewing Co., Flat Earth Brewing Co.

Tracking Down Your Favorite Beers:

Summit Brewing Company’s State Fair Guide

Fulton Brewing Company’s State Fair Guide

August Schell State Fair Beer Guide


  1. Duke says:

    Giggles Campfire Grill up by the lumberjacking area has a nice selection of craft beer as well.

  2. Christine says:

    Kick back at the Grandstand shows with a tasty variety of local brews from Finnegans, Fulton, Lift Bridge, Nordeast, Summit & 21st Amendment. Plus out-of-state selection from Brooklyn, Odell, Rogue, Stone & (of course) Leinie’s.

  3. Ken says:

    The Mini Donut Beer is a scam to force people there in the middle of the day if you ask me. They do not start serving it every day until 12pm and it is gone by 1 pm. EPIC FAIL! Very disappointed.

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