Review: Caramel Corn Cream Ale by Finnegans Brewing at Hildebrand Concessions

The primary thing to note about this new beer is it’s unusual location: this is the first new food or beverage item in recent memory to appear from the concessionaires located inside the ticketed music venue portion of the Grandstand. This means the only way to try this beer is to attend one of the nightly shows held at the Grandstand, the only entertainment at the Fair not included with the price of standard Fair admission. The exception is that the beer will be offered during the Amateur Talent Contest Finals held at the Grandstand on Sunday, September 2nd, which has free admission. Short of going on September 2nd or attending one of the paid shows, you will not be able to get your hands on this beer.

Having gotten all that disclaimer out of the way, time to talk about the beer. This beer’s name is sadly misleading; the “caramel corn” in the name evokes thoughts of caramel-covered popcorn showing up in the flavor profile of this ale, a risky concept in a beer but one that is not out of the question among the inventive craft brews that have taken hold of the Fair in recent years. Instead, “caramel corn” refers to the corn used in the brewing process and the caramel color of the beer itself, that is to say, it looks like most other beers. What results then is a rather boring and understated beer that has tricked you into thinking it will be something so much more. The good news, should you be attending a Grandstand show and look to have a few drinks while you’re there, is that the concessionaire for the Grandstand has revamped their beer offerings totally, and now feature a number of established craft beers, many of which are considerably better than the offering from Finnegans.

Ratings (0-4):

  • Taste: 2
  • Appearance: 1
  • Novelty: 0
  • Value: 3
  • Portability: 4

Overall Score: 10/20 (Better Luck Next Year)

Categories 2018 Minnesota State Fair, Reviews

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