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IA Beer Bus and Craft Beer Tent denied licenses on Day 1

Pottawattamie County has (as of June 27th) denied the licenses for the two Iowa Craft Beer Tent locations along the route. Locations were to be between Minden and Avoca, and outside of Marne. They have denied the Beer Bus as well per their response to Facebook questions.

The reasoning is “Potential safety and sanitation issues”. IA Craft Beer Tent says they have agreed to have port a potties (as always) to solve the sanitation issue but they are unsure how to solve the safety “issue”.

This frustrates me as a rider as these are some of the most fun stops on the route and I may be mistaken but I always thought was a very in control smart group of riders enjoying a drink in a shaded acreage.

39 Replies

Uncle Kraig, June 27, 2019 at 10:47 am

Oh boy, here we go again…….2018 2.0


Brady Bisgard, June 27, 2019 at 11:16 am

It frustrates me that they deny these items for safety. If the pull off area is big enough there should not be any safety concerns. The crowds at these tents also seem to be very in control and I’ve never seen anything but a good happy atmosphere around them.


Larry Klaaren, June 27, 2019 at 12:48 pm

I would disagree. A few years ago I got a call that my mom was in the ER and I left work and headed home from Illinois on highway 92. I knew Ragbrai was on, but I did not anticipate the ride taking 92 considering their start and end that day. Between Washington and Sigourney, I encountered riders who had left the beer tent at West Chester. This was about 7 p.m. and it had just quit raining hard but was still sprinkling. Anyway there was a rider rolling down the center line, waving his hands at every car to slow down, fingering each of us and not exactly holding the line. There were a lot of riders leaving the beer tent and crossing the west bound lane to get to the east bound lane. What I saws was a little concerning to me on that day. It is possible that many were holed up at the beer tent for a while while it was raining.


RDaryl Daryl, June 27, 2019 at 1:45 pm

With all due respect, please do not blame these two vendors for your experience. These vendors follow the strict service times and stop sales as per the 2016 schedule
3:00 Sigourney
4:30 Wooden Wheel Vineyard
5:00 West Chester
6:00 Washington


jay williams, July 2, 2019 at 7:13 am

“Safety” is the lie used to take the $$$ away from the popular craft beer stops and push people into overcrowded towns.


tdubya500, July 2, 2019 at 8:00 am

Pot county board meets today, I should take the day off and head over in my #earnedit shirt


jay williams, July 2, 2019 at 10:43 am

View the meeting minutes on page 91:

Here are the Pottawattamie County Board Supervisors. Reach them at 712-328-5644 or 712-328-5770 for thoughtful and constructive feedback.
Tim Wichman (chair), Scott Belt, Marilyn Jo Drake, Lynn Grobe, Justin Schultz


jay williams, July 2, 2019 at 11:02 am

The board meets every Tuesday morning. We still have time to guide them to a better decision. Let’s not have a repeat of last year’s Monona County debacle.


Brady Bisgard, July 2, 2019 at 11:09 am

And please no one make RAGBRAI look worse in peoples eyes – be kind.


Iowa Craft Beer Tent, July 2, 2019 at 9:52 pm

Hello, I want to apologize for not noticing this post earlier. Larry, yeah that wasn’t us. We were located down on G38 (250th) that day, and no where near Highway 92. We didnt event look for spots on 92 due to traffic count. We closed down earlier than our agreed upon time of 5:30 at the request of the State Patrol due to that incoming storm you mentioned.

A humble thank you to everyone that has noticed the effort we put in to make these stops as absolutely safe as possible.

Now, on to day 1 issues. Yes, both of our licenses were denied by the Board of Supervisors. In the weeks following the denial we have worked with the county to get all of the additional forms and have agreed to the increased amount of porta-pots they require (13 compared to the 6 we usually have). We are currently working on the security concerns they have. Those that have been to our stops know that security has never been an issue. But, we are doing our best to play by the rules set in front of us.

Justin Schultz has been key in helping this turn around take place today, and for that we thank him. Hopefully we can get back on the agenda. If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to ask. If you reach out to the Board, I can not stress enough at being civil and to the point in your emails and calls. There is no room for name calling, accusations, and threats.

Thank you,
Iowa Craft Beer Tent Crew


Miss Curmudgeonly, July 5, 2019 at 8:49 pm

This idea that the counties have – shut down sales in between towns so everyone will HAVE to stop in the towns – doesn’t quite work the way they think it will. Last year when this happened, by the time I got to the town selling anything, it was of course packed. Beyond reason. I waited in one really long line for coffee, then decided I didn’t have two hours to spend in one town so that I could get food.

Normally I buy stuff in between towns (water, pork chop, stop at Iowa Craft Beer tent to meet with friends and have a cider), BUT I always make a point of buying stuff in towns as well: corn, pie, bloody mary, souvenirs, etc. If the towns have stuff worth buying, people will buy it (one town last year had an AMAZING bloody mary bar). But if they try to cram us all in and it’s clear the county denied permits to roadside vendors, well, I’m more likely to just move on.


Mark Hartung, July 6, 2019 at 7:26 am

Easy solution going forward…just do not go through Pot county. The Supervisors can punish everyone and can keep the county all to themselves. That still leaves 98 counties…enough for me.


Larry Klaaren, July 6, 2019 at 10:31 am

To be clear, my mom passed in 2015, so it was at some point before that. I do remember that the riders were getting on 92 somewhere east of Hedrick, probably the Pekin/Packwood road,and I also remember the huge crowd of people and the number of bikes at Westchester. That is actually the point at which I started getting interested in RAGBRAI. People may have spent more time than usual drinking that day because of the rain. I know it was pretty late, a lot of bikers had on their lights and I was thinking they will not get to Washington before dark.
I am not against the beer tent, just making a point that there are some considerations that people could make. This seems to be a theme in western Iowa.


jay williams, July 6, 2019 at 12:24 pm

First of all: Larry, I’m sorry you had a bad experience with a few riders at a time which was no doubt emotionally difficult. Please know the majority of cyclists are responsible, motivated, considerate, and fun people. The environment of Ragbrai tends to push the “bike takeover” mentality all week. The rest of the year we all ride terrified of drivers texting or reaching down to pick up a chicken nugget and killing us in a second of distraction.

Secondly, I had a good conversation with Justin Schultz about the license requests, and the strangely burdensome requirements put in place in Pottawattamie County for any event, not just Ragbrai. Turns out Justin is the only one who rides bikes and was born after 1950. The myopic board has cared for their county, but simply has no understanding of the national appeal of Ragbrai, and the ONE day of the year in their county….where their provincial views are wrong.


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