Indiana wineries, breweries to be featured at State Fair

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Indiana beers and wines will be served at the State Fair this year under legislation Gov. Mike Pence signed into law last week.

Indiana State Fair Public Relations Director Andy Klotz said there is no concrete plan yet for how the alcohol sales will work, but there will be a separate area where the alcohol must be consumed. He said that should eliminate the risk of underage consumption.

“What is for sure is that there will be one beer and wine exhibit area, and it will be a 21-and-over area, so you must have a valid ID to get in,” Klotz said. “The alcohol that is served there will stay in that area and not leave that area”.

He said the practice has been used at all of the other year-round events held at the fairgrounds, and they have encountered very few problems in the past.

Klotz said the main focus will be to promote Indiana beer and wine. But he said he is not sure yet if it will be exclusively Indiana alcohol sold due to legal issues.

“It is certainly the intent to allow local growers to tell their stories and have their products available for sampling,” Klotz said.

He said local brewers have been contacted and informed about the new law and opportunity, however the logistics haven’t been figured out yet between the State Fair and brewers.

Jeanette Merritt , marketing director of Indiana Wines & the Purdue Wine Grape Team, said her company is thrilled to have the opportunity to be represented at the State Fair.

“The State Fair is a celebration of Indiana’s agricultural industry. Having Indiana wine available at the Indiana State Fair solidifies our industry as part of Indiana agriculture,” Merritt said. “I am thrilled that we will be represented and able to educate people on the grapes planted and the wines made from those grapes”.

“This really is a growing part of Indiana’s Ag-economy over the last 10 to 20 years, and that’s what this fair is all about; celebrating Indiana’s agriculture,” Klotz said.

Klotz said that he hopes featuring brewers will help give the industry exposure and raise sales for both the brewers and the fair.

“We don’t hide the fact that this could provide us with another revenue stream. This is a very large fair and it continues to grow, and it doesn’t get put on for free,” he said. “So everything we make, all of our profits go back into the facilities and the event, so it’s necessary to continue to find revenue streams in order to maintain the fair at that prestige level that it really is right now.”


  • Honest!
    To "Honest To Goodness Hoosier..." I appreciate your comments very much. You're right, this will only bring in the wrong sorts: people with something in mind other than seein' them thar pigs and them thar cows and laughing and pointing at the them thar various genitalia..." Oh, well, such is life. Personally, I think this is primarily a good idea: but, is it really a good idea to mix beer and wine drinkers in one, likely to be small, fenced-in area? Won't one kill the other?
  • End of the fair... and civilization
    By golly, the devil's drink being sold at the State Fair! I knew this day would come. Probably those hipster Twitter kids causin a ruckus. Next thing you know they'll let the womenfolk vote for President.
  • Good
    I think this can only be a good thing for the Fair. It is definitely another revenue stream, and anyone who doesn't understand that is being way too much of a polyanna about how much it takes to put on an event like this. Plus, I highly doubt there is anyone who is going to go to the Fair for the express reason to get wasted. There are far cheaper ways to do it, and if they do, then they'll be handled just like they are anywhere else.

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.