TOPEKA — Don’t worry. Beer at the Kansas State Fair will again be served in 24-ounce cups.
That’s the size fair attendees have been accustomed to for about a decade in the Kansas Wine and Beer Garden. But in November, the Kansas State Fair Board voted to cut it to 22 ounces. The two-ounce drop might not seem like a lot, but Topeka attorney R.E. “Tuck” Duncan, representing the beer garden, told the board Monday it would be an issue for the beer garden. The 13-member board rapidly amended their earlier decision and returned the size limit to 24 ounces.
Duncan’s sons, Ryan and Spencer, have operated the beer and wine garden for “11 or 12 years,” he said. It began in a small tent and now occupies one of the fairground’s buildings.
He argued the beer garden has served beer in 24-ounce cups the entire time the Duncans have operated it. Additionally, large beer brands like Coors, Budweiser, Michelob Ultra and Corona offer larger cans in 24 or 25 ounces.
“It’s an integral part of our business model,” Duncan said, adding the garden offers one Kansas product for every out-of-state beverage served. “There’s only so much you can do with kegs.”
Duncan said the beer garden has passed Alcohol Beverage Control screenings for drinking age enforcement every year.
“To my knowledge, we have had no problem in the decade or so we’ve operated the garden,” he said.
Steven Abrams, board member at large and a former state senator from Arkansas City, told Duncan a fair board committee had recommended the 22-ounce limit under the belief that was the maximum being sold.
“We certainly didn’t mean to impeded on any product previously being served,” board president Virginia Crossland-Macha said.