This is heinous.
According to Connie Bradley, Fair manager, "The issue has to do with the judging. Judges are considered the public, and we cannot have the public tasting amateur wine or beer."
Umm, last I knew the State Fair's HBC was a BJCP sanctioned event. This means that the "public" isn't really judging beers; beer judges are judging beer. Beer judges who know their shit. Beer judges who have to take a rigorous exam to get their credentials. Beer judges who don't confuse a terminal gravity ipa, for example, with a mcmenamins hammerhead.
Maybe the BJCP is no longer part of the State Fair, which would lend some credence to Ms. Bradley's comments. But if I'm write, she's a moron.