Indiana State Fair beer, wine sales to be limited

It’s the first time alcohol will be at the Indiana State Fair since 1946, but officials said there will be a limit to the amount customers can purchase. (WISH Photo)
It’s the first time alcohol will be at the Indiana State Fair since 1946, but officials said there will be a limit to the amount customers can purchase. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — You will be able to buy beer and wine at the fairgrounds when the Indiana State Fair opens on Friday. It will come from Indiana craft brewers and wineries, but sales will be limited.

It’s the first time alcohol will be at the Indiana State Fair since 1946.

The beer hall at the state fair is Grand Hall. It’s right across the street from the Coliseum. To get inside you have to be at least 21, and the alcohol has to stay inside.

The taps will be open starting at 1 p.m. every day with last call at 8 p.m.

Food vendor Joe Colglazier didn’t know until Tuesday that he was right next door. He likes it.

“I do a lot of festivals that have beer gardens and it doesn’t bother us,” he said. “You know, the main thing is keeping a control over when someone gets a little too much, and I’m sure they’ll do that.”

That’s why customers will be limited to 3 beers or 3 glasses of wine apiece. They can sample products, too, as long as they don’t exceed a limit of 36 ounces of beer or 15 ounces of wine.

One goal is for fairgoers to learn a little about the agricultural industry that’s behind the beverages.

“We think they’re coming out to enjoy the fair, and we’re going to continue to have a family atmosphere here,” said Fair spokesman Andy Klotz, “and that’s why we want some controls in place so that people are limited to their drinking while they’re inside the fair.”

Nevertheless, the expectation is that Grand Hall will be a popular site during the fair.

The conservative approach to selling beer and wine could loosen up in the future. There are no concrete plans but it is possible that there will be another beer hall on the other side of the fairgrounds in coming years.

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