ELIZABETHTOWN — Whether to permit hoisting a frosty mug of beer at the Essex County Fair got another hearing Monday, which resulted in tentative approval from county lawmakers.
Unlike the situation two years ago, this time a majority of the County Board of Supervisors voiced support for what would be a craft-beer and wine-tasting tent during the Essex County Fair, set for Aug. 13 through 17.
Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava (R-Moriah) moved to allow the alcohol sales, and the County Public Works Committee vote in favor was unanimous at 9-0.
The measure gets another preliminary vote on Monday, April 28, before the Ways and Means members. If it passes there, a final vote will be May 5 at the board’s regular monthly meeting.
Both sessions are at 10 a.m. in the Old County Courthouse and are open to the public.
“This was passed by the Fair Board,” Supervisor Daniel Connell (D-Westport) told supervisors before the vote Monday.
“What they’re looking at doing is offering beer and wine, and they (the Fair Board) have a commitment from High Peaks Distributing.
“Hopefully, some of the local breweries will have their product there. They’ve talked to a number of wineries that will come in for wine tasting and talk about wine production.
“They see it as an educational endeavor.”
Scozzafava said he didn’t support the measure last time but does now.
“This is important to the beer and wine industry. I think it’s the right move to make.
“We’re trying to bring people into that fair. People will go, not to get hammered, but to taste the spirits.”
Supervisor Roby Politi (R-North Elba) said the local breweries could use the exposure.
“It’s an opportunity for microbreweries (and) wine producers to show up in a controlled environment and show their products,” Politi said. “I don’t know why we would not ever move in that direction.”