Registration is now closed for RAGBRAI XLIX. Transfers are now open!

We can skip Kossuth county from now on.

My trip through Kossuth has been fine but they denied all alcholh licences from people like the craft beer tent and beer bus. I’m not a get drunk kind of RAGBRAI’er but i enjoy those stops and Kossuth county can puss off.

36 Replies

dc7603 Cunningham, July 26, 2017 at 1:43 pm

I thought I must have just missed them somehow. If this is really true, I agree with you. I also enjoy those stops.


Jerry Garcia, July 30, 2017 at 12:42 pm

Agreed, every other county we went through had no problems to my knowledge. Iowa has a great craft beer scene going and places like the Iowa Craft Beer Tent and Iowa Beer Bus sell local product, which in turn supports local business, which ultimately supports Iowa. Isn’t that what RAGBRAI is all about? One can’t help but wonder if somehow the big boys(*cough ABinbev, MillerCoors *cough) somehow had their hands in this. I’m fully on board with never going through this county again.


Sam Boyer, July 30, 2017 at 2:19 pm

Allamakee also, For some reason the Medicane Man had a cardboard sign up saying that “Due to county ordinances” they were not allowed to sell. Not sure what that was about but I am pretty sure that they don’t sell beer…

Yeah I know on the last day vendors are light and most don’t do it anyway… with the get-home-itis but there was no one selling, except in the towns? There people out in the country who were was only accepting free will donation or giving things away.


Cory Rood, July 30, 2017 at 4:57 pm

I spoke with the operators at the Craft Beer Tent. He said that Kossuth County is under review from the Iowa Alcoholic Beverage Division. He recommended that if we don’t want to see this expand we should contact them about the situation. He also said the Allamakee county attempted to do the same thing but instead just put an insane price tag on any permit(why you didn’t see many vendors outside of town) He also said that Winnesieck county brought up the issue at a metting aswell but decided against it. In short, 3 counties tried to restrict this kind of thing. One succeeded. If left unchallenged it WILL spread.


JLVanPelt, July 30, 2017 at 9:35 pm

I don’t know if this is the correct place to register my concern with the ABD but this is the link I used:
This is what I sent:
As a RAGBRAI participant, I was truly disappointed that Kossuth County was allowed to ban liquor sales by craft beer trucks along the route. The “safety” explanation isn’t plausible. I would say it is rare that any participants drink more than 2 glasses of beer at any given stop and far more common that only one glass is purchased. It is fairly difficult in late July heat to consume more than moderate amounts and bicycle 50-70 miles a day up and down the hills. In fact, of the “dangerous” things we’ve witnessed during RAGBRAI they had nothing to do with beer trucks. We’ve seen a local man in Mason City drunkenly punch a female companion. We’ve seen a non-cyclist fall down at 4pm drunk on a city street in Clear Lake. We’ve seen many displays at the street festivals of people who likely didn’t mount a bicycle the following day. But not once have we seen anyone get inebriated at the Backpocket stop or Iowa Craft Beer Truck. While I understand that local businesses might want to drive revenues to their cities on the route and not have potential income siphoned by roadside entities, I am confident that 90% of those who have a beer or two during the route never say “oh, I drank two beers 50 miles and 5 hours ago, I’m too full/hydrated/drunk to have another beer tonight” It simply doesn’t work like that and Kossuth County’s behavior is viewed as greedy, short-sighted and possibly unethical. The beer trucks use Iowa based beers which assist revenue statewide. I know that my viewpoint is that I have no need to return to Kossuth County and given alternatives when traveling, I shall avoid spending any of my money in any business in that county. I would encourage the ABD to review this action and consider the overall impact of these decisions and counsel Iowa counties facing these decisions in the future as to the wisdom of making decisions that have far reaching negative impacts for their tax base and revenue producing businesses.


KenH, July 31, 2017 at 7:56 am

It’s probably just a bit of Barney Fifery going on in these northern counties. I did not notice the beer tent “problem” because I don’t drink the stuff. I did see the Medicine Man sign (although I don’t patronize him either) and I know that even Beekman’s Ice Cream had trouble getting permits to set up where they wanted to. But it was a great ride, one of the best I’ve had, and I would happily return to any of these counties, on RAGBRAI and on family vacations.


ppayne1959, July 31, 2017 at 8:24 am

Yeah, skip ’em if they don’t like the fun. No point in dragging them to the party.


Cory Rood, July 31, 2017 at 9:01 am

I agree it was a great rise. I loved every minute of it. But I don’t believe it was Barney Fifery. Or conservative values. It was a money grab plain and simple.


CRtaxman, July 31, 2017 at 9:04 am

I can understand frustration with Kossuth County for their policy, but before calling for a RAGBRAI boycott of the county please consider the effect that this would have on neighboring counties and communities. It makes it pretty hard to get to Winnebago, Hancock, Worth, etc without first going through Kossuth. It makes it a lot less likely that we’d ever get to Cerro Gordo County and the ride along Clear Lake’s north shore again without first going through Kossuth county. It would be a shame to punish these other counties and communities along with future riders because we couldn’t get a craft beer in a farm yard near Algona.


Cory Rood, July 31, 2017 at 9:25 am

It’s more than just being able to get a craft beer in a farm yard. It’s county supervisors over stepping their bounds. I feel bad for neighboring communities but maybe the extra pressure from outside will force a change.


Sam, July 31, 2017 at 10:07 am

Noticed the county sheriffs there felt the need to lecture my group on our evil ways. Totally fine with skipping that county for a while.


Bachetta rider, July 31, 2017 at 11:14 am

We are visitors in any Ragbrai county or town and need to be respectful of their policies and practices. I am there to bike and enjoy the Iowa towns and countryside. No issues with Kossuth County and thank them for wanting to be a part of Ragbrai 2017.


Sunflower, July 31, 2017 at 3:54 pm

I am not going to get excited about this. RAGBRAI has changed over the years to adapt to various new conditions and it will continue to do so. If county supervisors over-reach there will be all sorts of reactions to it that will eventually foil their plans for beer-world-domination. You can’t herd cats.


Melinda Blankenhorn, July 31, 2017 at 8:02 pm

I don’t drink, so was not upset by this. However, as a ‘virgin’, I did notice the lack of any kind of fuel/treats on that portion when I needed them them most! I felt like we had been deserted! It was hot, I was walking the hills and had no place to refuel.


Jerry Garcia, July 31, 2017 at 8:16 pm

The HoQ(I think it’s called) breakfast stop that had the fabulous burritos everyday just out of the start town told me on day 6 that they wouldn’t be serving on day 7. When I asked them why they would skip the last day they replied that the county was charging $1000 for a permit to do business that day and they couldn’t make any money that way. Probably the same reason the Medicine Man wasn’t out that last day.


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