Minnesota Law Cancels Beer Tasting At Deer River Brew Fest

Posted at: 08/06/2013 5:39 PM
Updated at: 08/06/2013 10:39 PM
By: Laurie Stribling

An annual festival out in Deer River will be without one of its main attractions this year. It's a barbecue and brew festival, but people won't be able to try out the homemade hops.

"We were very excited about this year until about a week and a half ago," Deer River Chamber Vice President Wayne Roskos said.

Deer River's Bar-B-Que and Brew Fest will not have beer tasting this year.

"It boils down to a law that's been around for awhile, but nobody really knew about it and interpreted it," Roskos said.

The legislation prevents homebrews from being shared with the public at the city-sponsored event. Roskos said the bad news started brewing while his team was finalizing permits.

"This year it's going to be a little different," Roskos said. "We're challenged by it, but we'll get pass it."

Roskos said they may even do some lobbying at the Saturday event.

"If we have to take it to the state level, we will get the ball rolling now which we have already done," Roskos said.

In the meantime, brewers like David Owens will just focus on their craft.

"Homebrew has a lot more flavor," Owens said. "When you make it yourself, you can make it how you like it."

While Owens wishes he could share his brew with the community, he won't let a little controversy affect his coldies.

"That was a big bummer, but as home brewers we have some ingenuity and we will push through that," Owens said.

The festival will still include homemade beer judging. There will also be a professional vendor selling beers, not to mention lots of barbecued goodies.

If you want to check the festival out this Saturday, it runs from 3 to 8 p.m. at the White Oak Trading Post just outside of town. Tickets are $10.