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30,000 Fairgoers Had a Drink at the State Fair

Alcohol sales at the Indiana State Fair are exceeding expectations.  More than 30,000 fairgoers lined up to buy beer and wine.  It was the first time in 67 years alcohol sales were permitted.

Ryan Sweet spent three days at the Indiana Beer and Wine Exhibition with Taxman Brewing.  He says the experience was overwhelmingly positive, providing the new Bargersville, Ind., brewery with plenty of exposure. 

He says the only complaint he heard from fairgoers was about the rule against carrying the beer out of the hall.

“Not sure if I agree with that myself, I mean the whole minor thing and kids running around everywhere – I could see how that would be bad,” Sweet said.

Operations manager Denny Newman says the Exhibition far exceeded his expectations.

Each day different Indiana breweries and wineries filled the booths in the Fair’s Grand Hall, allowing Hoosiers to sample a variety of alcohol.  He says the biggest opportunity going forward will be expansion.

“I think, based on the response, that the breweries and wineries that were here themselves will all be back immediately and we’ll hope to have, from what I understand from them, more than one day,” Newman said. “So I believe that there will either be a waiting list or they will have to figure out a way to get more breweries and wineries in here.”

Newman says there were no security issues; only a few underage fairgoers tried to get in and were immediately rebuffed by security at the entrance.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.