By: Megan Bormann
Whether it’s a day on the lake, barbecuing with friends and family, or a night at the racetrack, no one celebrates community better than Minnesotans in the summer. In fact, Made in Minnesota Day at Canterbury Park was a classic example of Minnesota revelry and entertainment.
August 13, at Canterbury Park featured the annual Beer Festival with more than 35 different Minnesota-based breweries and 200 different variations of beer samples. Crowds swarmed to get a taste of local breweries and state classics, including Badger Hill Brewing, Shakopee Brewhall, Duluth Cider, Boathouse Brothers Brewing Company, and many more. When vendors were asked why they chose to participate in the festival, the overwhelming consensus was that Beer Fest was a unique opportunity to get out and support the local community.
“Minnesota Nice” a term used all too often by native Minnesotans, takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to Beer Fest. Summit Brewing, a proud sponsor of Beer Fest 2022, expressed how being “Made in Minnesota” meant taking pride in being sourced locally, brewing locally, and keeping things in the community. Fat Pants Brewery, didn’t even consider opening anywhere besides Minnesota when they were starting up their company. The values of supporting the surrounding community and taking pride in where one makes a home for themselves is something that Canterbury Park pushes to reflect in its day-to-day work.
A couple of patrons remarked that they’ve only ever come to Canterbury Park for Beer Fest, and have missed the event since its hiatus in 2020-2021 due to COVID-19. With more than 1,000 guests in attendance this year, it’s safe to say that it was a smashing success.
Beer Fest wasn’t the only exciting event happening at the track that evening. Made in Minnesota Day featured special stakes races including the Minnesota Derby and Minnesota Oaks. In a nail biter, Love the Nest, ridden by Ry Eikleberry won the Minnesota Derby by a nostril against fellow competitor, Cousvinnysacanuck. With a time of 1:42.93, trainer Joel Berndt and Lothenbach Stables, Inc. took home the majority of the $100,000 purse as Bob Lothenbach owns the top two finishers. The fillies also put on a show for the second $100,000 stakes race of the night, The Minnesota Oaks. Featuring 3-year-old fillies, It’s Her Time, won by a staggering lead and a time of 1:44.31. Ridden by Constantino Roman, trained by Mac Robertson, and owned by Warren Bush, It’s Her Time (pictured above) secured her third win of the year.
All in all, the combination of Beer Fest and the Derby and Oaks, Made in Minnesota Day gave racegoers an exceptional experience that only this state can create.