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The State Fair Of Texas Hypes Up Adult Beverage Offerings That Are Just As Gimmicky As Its Absurd Food Fare, Ignoring The State’s Thriving Craft Beer Scene.

Unlike seemingly every other media outlet in Dallas and, to a degree, the whole goddamn state, we here at Central Track aren’t exactly enamored with the State Fair of Texas. Why? Because, for starters, we’re not kids any more, and we’re no longer oblivious to the ways of the world. But also for a litany of other reasons, which we’ll happily run down for you here, one per day, over the entire course of the fair’s 2019 run, adding to the list we ran throughout the fair’s 2017 run.

Previously in this series, we covered the State Fair of Texas’ concerted effort to develop a gross reputation for serving up the greasiest, most disgusting culinary options around.

At best, we’ve always found this to be a curious way of celebrating the fact that Texas boasts among the highest obesity rates in the country. At worst, we see it as a shallow marketing ploy in which the fair thirstily angles for as many clickbait-y slideshows from national media outlets as it can possibly score.

Regardless, this much isn’t up for debate: The State Fair of Texas’ food items are clearly indeed quite intentionally gimmicky.

What’s surprising, though, is that this doesn’t stop at just the food the fair annually slings. In recent years, the fair has also expanded this ploy to its adult beverage offerings.

Here are just a few of the more surreal booze standouts poured on the fairgrounds during the past three years alone:

  • Funnel Cake Ale. Back in 2016, this beverage/mad science experiment was awarded the fair’s Big Tex Choice Awards as the “Most Creative” food or drink addition to the fair’s digestible offerings. Once a State Fair of Texas exclusive, you can now buy it in six-packs directly from its Dallas-based Community Beer Co. creators.
  • Corn Dog Ale. Granbury’s Revolver Brewing introduced this creation at the 2018 fair. It’s intended to taste… well, like a corn dog. It’s even got mustard on the rim! Regardless of how it actually tastes, drinking it sounds about as comfortable as walking by the pig races with a Fletcher’s corny dog in your hand.
  • Cotton Candy Shandy. A new addition to the 2019 fair is this cotton candy concoction brewed by McKinney’s Tupps Brewery. As you might have guessed from the name, this beer has been brewed with cotton candy to enhance its sweet finish.
  • Oreo Beer. Brewed by state fair concessionaire James Barerra, this 2017 fair mutation was a milk stout that was brewed with Oreo cream filling, features morsels of the cookie floating within it and is finally garnished with an Oreo cookie atop the glass before being served.
  • Gulf Coast Fish Bowl. If any item on this list epitomizes the excess of the State Fair of Texas, it’s this 2017 offering — a blue punch cocktail served in a fish bowl, featuring Swedish fish and other candies as its decoration.

Now, we should point out that there’s nothing inherently wrong with brewing up off-kilter drinks. Community Beer Co., the makers of the above-mentioned Funnel Cake Ale, also brews up a genuinely tasty Snickerdoodle Ale that we really dig.

But, seriously, who out there was clamoring for a corn dog-flavored beer? Anyone?

Through its promotion of inane concoctions such as these — especially in conjunction with its gastronomically absurd food offerings — the State Fair of Texas is essentially telling Texas’ strong craft brewing scene that its many celebrated year-round creations aren’t what it wants to get behind.

That’s quite a shortsighted stance for the fair to take when it could just as easily choose to bring into the fold and vehemently promote the many great beers and liquors the state is already producing, in turn strengthening that sect of Texan entrepreneurial ingenuity and following through on its long-stated notions of “celebrating” and “supporting” Texans.

Considering how the fair also goes out of its way to ignore the acclaimed dining scene that exists right in its backyard, we can’t say that its similar position on alcohol is altogether surprising.

But it still leaves a bad taste in our mouths just the same.

More Reasons Why The State Fair Of Texas Sucks:

  1. Its history is super racist!
  2. It’s a major drain on Dallas police!
  3. It’s bad for your health!
  4. It’s so damn expensive!
  5. It’s not the economic driver it says it is!
  6. It’s a super shitty neighbor!
  7. It’s an altar to false idols!
  8. It makes Fair Park useless!
  9. It wastes city funds on out-of-towners!
  10. It exploits cute animals!
  11. Its executives take home too much money!
  12. Everything on the midway is a ripoff.
  13. It has willfully ignored its obligations and allowed Fair Park to fall into disrepair!
  14. It refuses to be transparent about the way it spends public funds.
  15. It can’t handle Fair Park’s long-term needs.
  16. Its lauded scholarship program is a joke compared to those of other, similar events.
  17. It uses fear tactics in its negotiations with the city.
  18. It goes out of its way to shield its crowds from the poor black neighborhood that surrounds Fair Park.
  19. Its low-level employees get burned by its executives’ bad business decisions.
  20. Its ticket-based economy is designed to squeeze even more cash out of attendees.
  21. It cares way too much about parking lots that go unused most of the year.
  22. It’s petty as fuck.
  23. It celebrates humanity’s fucked up relationship with livestock.
  24. It refuses to change.
  25. It can be easily debated.
  26. Its concert bookings could be heated up a few degrees.
  27. It’s tearing the Fletcher family apart!
  28. It’s spent a least $1 million to keep its books out of the public eye. What’s it hiding?
  29. It fired a beloved employee, claiming his request to attend a charity event was a contract violation.
  30. It has become a literal joke.
  31. Who’s buying what they’re selling?
  32. Its racist roots are still being unearthed by national scholars.
  33. It’s in bed with its would-be critics.
  34. It thinks you’re super dumb.
  35. It caters to Dallas’ elite in ways you’ve never even heard of because you’re such a plebe.
  36. No, seriously, its racist past is super troubling.
  37. Its attendance is in decline — to the point where other state fairs that last half as long draw bigger annual attendance figures.
  38. It caters too much to TX/OU weekend.
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