2017 was one hell of a year here at Fair State Brewing Cooperative. We started the year as a 7.5bbl taproom brewery squished into 900 square feet, and ended the year as a 30bbl production brewery that occupies 30,000 square feet (oh, and we kept the taproom brewery, too). We didn’t get to start brewing at our facility in the St. Paul-Midway area until the end of April, 2017, but we still managed to more than double our annual production from 2016. We commissioned our own canning line (and just passed the 425,000 cans filled mark last week), expanded our barrel room capacity by orders of magnitude, and filled up our shiny new lab with all sorts of fancy gizmos.
We know everyone wants more Spirit Foul, our collaboration with Modern Times, and we wish (wish wish) we could give you more of it, but it was based heavily on an experimental hop that is not in full production yet, and we’ve used all of our allotment from this year’s harvest already! We have contracted for a bunch more of it in the coming years, so keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, we’re pretty excited about Mirror Universe as a sequel to Spirit Foul. Keep reading to learn more.
We’re excited about bringing our notoriously unwieldy brand calendar into line in 2018, expanding on lots of the work we’ve done thus far, tightening our grasp on who we are and what we do, and bringing some killer new beers to you. And now, onto the good stuff.
Ladies and Gentleman, your 2018 Fair State Brewing Cooperative Brand Calendar!
Roselle: the beer that first put us on the map, our flagship Hibiscus Kettle Sour. A simple golden ale that we do lots of strange things to: first we make it sour using our house lactobacillus strain, then we add copious amounts of Hibiscus flowers, along with Cascade and Crystal hops. The result is a tart, dry, citrus-forward and floral beer that just so happens to be a brilliant deep pink color. The Rosé of beers. (5.7% ABV, 19 IBU – available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, and 4x12oz cans)
Vienna Lager: We’ve been making this beer since 2015, and we are excited to welcome it to the year-round can lineup in January 2018. This is Beer-Flavored Beer – a simple, nuanced, well-executed lager beer that is best paired with another pint of the same. Amber in color, medium-bodied, malty and delicious. (5.3% ABV, 25 IBU – available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, and 4x16oz cans)
Pils: Our desert island beer. A German-style Pilsner brewed with one hop and one malt and lagered longer than common sense generally allows. Crisp, clean, grassy, and elegant, it’s the beer we have in our fridges at home. (4.9% ABV, 40 IBU – available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, and 4x16oz cans)
IPA: a beer that first went into (big, red) cans in fall of 2017, our IPA has undergone a number of revisions already, and we’re excited about where things are headed in 2018. Clean, dry, pale, and aromatic, our interpretation of the classic American IPA leans heavily on Chinook, Simcoe, and Centennial hops for its tropical piney flavors and aromas. (6.2% ABV, 60 IBU – available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, 4x16oz cans)
BFDP (beginning April 2018): A 100% barrel-fermented Mixed Culture tart Saison. Blended from our favorite barrels in the cellar, varying in age from 4 to 12 months, and naturally conditioned. Oaky, funky, tart, and complex, it is the clearest expression of what we do in our barrel program. Available on draft and in naturally-conditioned 12oz cans (yes, you read that correctly), as part of a 4-pack mixed pack with… (5.2% ABV, 25 IBU – available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, 4x12oz cans as part of Mixed Culture mix pack)
LÄCTOBÄC (beginning April 2018): A Lemon, Ginger, and Lemongrass-infused Mixed Culture sour wheat. Bright, funky, and refreshing, this is one of our very favorite recipes from the last two years. We’re excited to debut it in naturally-conditioned 12oz cans in April. (5.6% ABV, 10 IBU – available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, 4x12oz cans as part of Mixed Culture mix pack)
Mirror Universe (March-May, Oct-Dec): A Hazy IPA for those who think a single dry hop just isn’t gonna cut it. Brewed with Oats, Wheat, and a boatload of Mosaic, Citra, and El Dorado hops. Double dry-hopped, this beer explodes with hop aroma. Tropical, fruity, juicy, all the things. This beer uses almost 6lbs of hops per barrel and utilizes the latest in hop technology (no, seriously, it does). A new foray into the “Northeast” IPA world, Mirror Universe will pop up twice in 2018, so keep your eyes peeled. Learn more about the future of our IPA program. (7.0% ABV, more than zero IBU – available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, 4x16oz cans)
Pahlay’Ahlay (Jun-Aug): Our Citra/Simcoe pale ale (get it? PAH-lay AH-lay?) is reborn in the haze model for 2018, as well. We’ve upped the dose of Oats, and slammed the beer with even more Simcoe and Citra than we previously thought was possible (or certainly advisable). Designed with summer adventures in mind. (5% ABV, 40 IBU – available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, 4x16oz cans)
Festbier (Aug-Oct): We love lager bier, and this is one of our favorites to make. A decoction-mashed (ask us later about lager nerd technology) Oktoberfest lager designed for consumption in liter plus quantities, Festbier is malty but not sweet, bready but not toasty, and crisp as a fall day (pardon the cheese). Available on draft only, and for a limited time. (5.7% ABV, 20 IBU – available in 1/2bbl and 1/6bbl only)
Keller Kazbek (Aug-Oct): An unfiltered Pilsner (or Kellerbier, if you prefer) brewed exclusively with Czech Kazbek hops and the finest Bohemian Barley malt. Crisp, slightly hazy, and best served as fresh as is humanly possible, Keller Kazbek is an even grassier, almost hay-like hop-forward lager that we think pairs well with pretty much everything. Currently sits as the #2 Kellerbier in the world, per RateBeer (not so humblebrag). Also our first 6-pack of 12oz cans! We thought you might enjoy drinking a few of these. Nice of us, we know. (4.9% ABV, 38 IBU – available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, 6×12 oz cans)
In addition to the constant stream of one-off beers we produce at our taproom brewery (where you’ll find a handful of perennial favorites not listed here, as well as the latest in sour beer, IPAs, lager bier, and more), we’ve slotted in a few pretty exciting beers for wider distribution in 2018. They are:
Clarity Of Purpose (April): An IPA brewed in collaboration with a certain local brewery you may have heard of (more details on that soon), Clarity of Purpose is our best faith attempt to demonstrate that hop flavor, aroma, and haze are not necessarily correlated. This beer will be bright as bright can be, and aromatic and juicy as can be, ALL AT THE SAME TIME! No, but seriously, we’re excited about this beer, we hope you will be too. (ABV and IBU TBD, available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, 4x16oz cans)
Hefeweizen (June): Our perennial summer favorite, Hefeweizen is an authentic German-style wheat beer. Brewed with 50% malted wheat, and fermented with a particular (and iconic) yeast strain, Hefeweizen sports a unique combination of clove, banana, and vanilla aromas and flavors. We take great care in authentically reproducing the German version, which is a pain, but we think it’s worth it. (5.0% ABV, 12 IBU – available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, 4x16oz cans)
FSB Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout (December): Each year we make a big Imperial Stout, and every year it’s a little different. What we can say about the 2018 version is that it will be big, black, and aged in 45th Parallel Distilling Rye, Wheat, and Bourbon whiskey barrels. Stay tuned for other details. (available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, 750ml bottles)
Raspberry Roselle (December): We take Roselle, our flagship Hibiscus sour, and add a ton (actually, more like a ton and a half) of raspberries to it. Bright, juicy, raspberry jam, and tart, it’s exactly what it sounds like. The best part is it tastes even better than it sounds. (5.7% ABV, 10 IBU, available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, 4x12oz cans)
PDF version here: Fair State Brewing Cooperative 2018 Beer Calendar