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With the Minnesota State Fair not happening this year, something else is also not happening: a lot of craft beer from great Minnesota craft brewers isn't going to be consumed.

Craft beer here in Minnesota has exploded ever since the law was changed in 2011, thanks in large part to the gang at Surly Brewing, who really helped get that law passed that allowed local breweries to sell beer in their taprooms.

In fact, according to the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild, there are now 145 craft breweries operating here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes-- including Rochester favorites like Grand Rounds Brew Pub, Kinney Creek Brewery, LTS Brewing, Forager Brewery, Little Thistle Brewery and Thesis Beer Project.

And that translates to big business at the Great Minnesota Get-Together. This CBS-Minnesota story noted that beer sales at the State Fair topped over $9 million in 2015-- quite an increase from the $2.5 million in sudsy sales from just 10 years ago in 2005.

And Twin Cities blogger Blois Olson noted that the amount was even bigger in 2017. So just how much do we spend on craft beer at the State Fair? Try $11.9 million! Hoo boy! That's a lotta beer! In fact, it's over a 178% increase from back in 2005. I'm getting thirsty just thinking about it.

Now, while those 2017 figures are the most recent I could find about State Fair beer sales, I'm sure there was even MORE beer sold in both 2018 (the last time I went to the Fair and helped add to that total by having a glass or two of Mini Donut Beer) as well as in 2019.

Which makes sense, though. My wife and I LOVE to try all the different craft beers that are available at taprooms across Minnesota and especially at the State Fair. And the various establishments selling all that delicious craft beer are usually pretty busy when we've been to the Fair. Which is ANOTHER reason it totally blows that the coronavirus has canceled this year's State Fair, isn't it?

Listen to Curt St. John from 6 to 10 a.m. on Quick Country 96.5
and from 2 to 6 p.m. on 103.9 The Doc

CHEERS: Here’s Where You Can Get Minnesota State Fair Exclusive Brews and Beverages This Year

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