Fair State Cooperates: Association for Black Economic Power

If you asked someone a few years ago what kinds of cooperatives they knew of, they probably wouldn’t say “brewery.” In fact, before 2014, there weren’t any cooperatively owned breweries in Minnesota. Yet here we are today. That’s because when we started the brewery, we wanted to provide a space for the community to get together, to share ideas and skills, and of course, to drink beer. We are made up of community members, for community members.

So in the spirit of shining a light on organizations with a similar focus on community gathering and change-making, we can look to our February Cooperates Partner– the Association for Black Economic Power.

In 2016, Twin Cities residents got together to form a community organization by the name of Blexit– in efforts to “cultivate the practice of economic civil resistance.” It was through these meetings that the members began to focus on black banking– this lead to the late 2016 launch of the Association for Black Economic Power.

So what are they doing? Well, by 2019 they hope to establish a federally chartered black-led credit union: The Village Trust Financial Cooperative (VTFC).

The leaders of ABEP and VTFC chose the credit union model (rather than traditional banking) because it follows the “not for profit, not for charity, but for service” ideals. The overarching goal for VTFC is to serve the underserved within the Black community who have been previously excluded from traditional financial institutions.


The VTFC name itself was voted on by the North Minneapolis community through a 2017 campaign that ran from April to June.

Part of the establishment process involves collecting pledges from potential members. Through pledge collection on their website, ABEP is able to gather the information needed to make sure they are prioritizing the services that the community most values– and gather the proof needed to show they have significant community support and interest. Their current goal is to gain five thousand pledges from those who are interested in using the credit union once it is open.


If you’re interested in learning more about the organization and the credit union, you can come to the Taproom on February 22. ABEP will host a panel to discuss community buy-in, policy, as well as economic resistance– all within the context of the creation of the Village Trust Financial Cooperative. If you want to pledge to be a part of it all, you can do so online or at this event– pledging is open to all, regardless of race.

Plus, for every CROWLER you buy, 10% of sales will go right back to ABEP and their mission.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to support our neighbors on the Northside — join us!


Photos courtesy of www.abepmn.org 

Jobs @ Fair State: Packaging Technician


Fair State Brewing Cooperative is seeking a part-time (20 hours / week) Packaging Technician to join our production staff in St. Paul, MN. We are growing quickly and need to add staff to help meet demand.


A little about us: Fair State is one of a very few cooperatively-owned breweries in the US. We began operations at our brewery/taproom in Northeast Minneapolis in August of 2014. We were fortunate enough to be named one of RateBeer’s 10 best new brewers in the world for 2015, and recently expanded into a 40,000 sq. ft. production brewery in St. Paul, MN. We focus on traditional German-style beers (especially lager beer), sour beer (ranging from kettle sours to 100% barrel-fermented mixed culture beers), and hoppy beers. We are positioned to grow substantially over the next few years, and as such this position may continue to grow and evolve with the brewery.

Currently we operate a 7.5bbl brewhouse at the taproom location, and a 4-vessel 30bbl brewhouse at the St. Paul location, where we also package our beer in cans and bottles.


A little about you: We’re looking for a dedicated, hardworking, and knowledgeable person to help us stay on track. The ideal candidate would have some experience in the beer industry, or in warehousing/manufacturing generally, and be willing to learn.

This position would report to the Head Brewer and the Packaging/Warehouse manager.



  • Cleaning and filling kegs
  • Operating the canning line, weighing and sorting cans, casing and palletizing finished product
  • Operating the bottling line, labeling, casing, and palletizing finished product
  • Collecting data and maintaining records related to packaging
  • Counting inventory of packaging materials and finished product
  • Performing CIP of canning and kegging equipment
  • Performing general cleaning and sanitation
  • Operating forklifts and pallet jacks
  • Contributing to a safe working environment by following safety procedures
  • Representing Fair State at events, as necessary
  • All the squeegee and mop work that you can handle


Desired skills and experience

  • Willingness to work hard, often at odd hours
  • Dedication to learning, improving, and contributing to a dynamic and growing team
  • Commitment to following company policies and procedures
  • Ridiculous dedication to the aforementioned mop and squeegee work
  • Comfortable with limited supervision and able to make (informed) decisions independently
  • Arithmetic, problem-solving and mechanical skills
  • Strong communication and teamwork skills
  • Experience with beer, food & beverage, or manufacturing is a plus
  • High school diploma or GED



  • Able to stand for prolonged periods
  • Able to stoop, crawl, twist, turn, lift, kneel, climb ladders and stairs
  • Able to manipulate valves and clamps
  • Able to read and follow written English instructions
  • Able to regularly lift/carry heavy objects (55 lbs) repeatedly and safely
  • Able to occasionally move heavy objects (160 lbs)
  • Able to comply with safe chemical handling procedures, including personal protection equipment such as gloves and goggles
  • Able to safely work on ladders and elevated platforms and in confined spaces
  • Able to safely operate vehicles and material handling equipment (e.g., vans, trucks, hand trucks, scissor lifts)



This is a part-time hourly position. Compensation is $15 / hr. As a part-time employee, this role will also be eligible for:

  • Paid holidays
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Discounted membership in our cooperative (after 6 months)
  • Credit for Fair State clothing merchandise at hire
  • Annual safety clothing & equipment stipend
  • Employee beer stipend
  • Fair State merchandise and beer discounts
  • Sick and Safe Time Off and Workers Compensation, as required by law

Applications will be accepted until February 23 and interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis. We’re looking for someone to start in March of this year.

To apply, please email your cover letter and resume to jobs@fairstate.coop using the subject line: Packaging Technician.

Fair State Brewing Cooperative is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to excellence through diversity. Employment offers are made on the basis of qualifications and without regard to race, sex, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation.

Fair State Cooperates January: Juxtaposition Arts

Juxtaposition Arts Team

When Fair State began in 2014, we were the first of our brewery-cooperative kind in Minnesota. Joining the ranks of other types of cooperatives in the cities, we wanted to bring a stronger sense of community to the brewing world to share ideas and expand opportunities.

Though it’s not cooperative itself, Juxtaposition Arts (JXTA) values much of the same sentiments around community and professional growth. By inviting students across the cities, and primarily the Northside, to participate and learn within an engaged community, JXTA embodies the spirit of creative opportunity.

This month, to show our support, Fair State has partnered with JXTA to donate ten percent of all CROWLER sales to their programming.

JXTA began in 1995 and has steadily grown over the past two decades. It not only provides a community space for young urban artists to learn and practice their craft but it also offers several pathways for students to learn– through workshops and apprenticeships alike.


Juxtaposition Arts Team

One program, the Visual Art Literacy Training workshop — also known as VALT — gives students a hands-on opportunity to create art with the guidance of industry professionals. This program is the precursor to students joining the Art Lab program, in which they can become a paid artist apprentice. In this program, students choose a specific artistic focus to study and practice– from screenprinting to public art and mural art, from graphic design to environmental design.

JXTA is located on the Northside of the city, and primarily employs students who have some connection to the Northside area. They opened their first location and headquarters on Emerson Avenue in 2004, and later expanded into a building on West Broadway just a few miles from our Taproom. These spaces include galleries, offices, programming spaces, and artist studios.

Last Thanksgiving, JXTA also participated in “Black Friday on Broadway” an initiative to focus on the stores and businesses along West Broadway. At the event, JXTA sold art, t-shirts, and textiles all created by the students in the programs.

Most recently, JXTA was awarded a special $50,000 grant from the Super Bowl Host Committee Legacy Fund. This grant will help them design and build the first skate park in North Minneapolis. Youth apprentices in the Environmental Design Lab will work on the conceptualization and the design of the space, in collaboration with other local organizations.

To learn more about Juxtaposition Arts and their initiatives for 2018, you can visit their website. To help Juxtaposition Arts fund some of those initiatives for 2018, buy a CROWLER and automatically donate 10%.

To the community of creative opportunity — cheers!

Behind the Beer: Vienna Lager

Vienna Lager Cans


Head Brewer Niko Tonks riffs on Vienna Lager.

Here at Fair State Cooperative, we do tend to go on (and on) about lager bier, but bear with us because we’ve got an exciting topic to talk about today: Vienna Lager. This, friends, is Beer-Flavored Beer. It’s beer for those of us who enjoy drinking beer, especially in the company of friends, and especially while in pursuit of the finer things in life. Fair State Vienna Lager has depth, it’s malty but not sweet, it’s crisp and refreshing, and it’s the perfect companion for every beer-drinking occasion.

Beer is a marvelous thing but, in my humble opinion, its virtues are often misstated or just misunderstood. I think that beer is at its finest when brewed in support of the German concept of gemütlichkeit, meaning  “geniality,” “good cheer,” or “friendliness.” Beer is a social beverage–  we do it, and ourselves, a disservice when we treat it otherwise. The best way to get to the core of a beer is to sit down with friends and have a (full) pint or two of it and reserve judgment as best you can, at least for a couple of minutes. Words to live by, really.Vienna Lager

Vienna Lager has been a perennial favorite in our taproom, and it’s the sort of thing we keep in our fridges at home. We are excited to finally bring it to your cooler, fridge, or historically accurate lager cellar (if you have one of those, please call us, we’d like to hang out). This beer-flavored beer is about to be everywhere. You should be able to find it at your local liquor store without worry. Best of all,  we don’t anticipate running out of the experimental ingredients it (doesn’t) rely on for production. Craft beer is an adventure, and while the treasure hunt is an integral part of that adventure, so is the everyday joy of having a simple, reliable pint with friends. We hope you agree, and maybe we can talk it out over a fine lager bier one of these days. 

Serve this one in a dimpled mug, lager glass, or shaker pint.


Cans: Vienna Lager (year-round flagship), Pils (year-round flagship), Keller Kazbek (September 2018)

On draftVienna Lager, Pils


BrewBound: “Fair State Brewing Cooperative Launches Vienna Lager in Cans”

Star Tribune: “Great choices for pairing beer and snacks for the Super Bowl”

Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal: “Fair State Brewing’s biggest-ever Launch will add new year-round beer”


Fair State Brewing Cooperative releases 2018 Brand Calendar

Can Lineup

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)Vienna Lager

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)Mirror Universe

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)

Limited Release

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)

Beer Calendar

PDF version here: Fair State Brewing Cooperative 2018 Beer Calendar

Where can you find Raspberry Roselle?

Raspberry Roselle


We’ve put the MN Craft Brewer’s Guild Winterfest 2016 Best Beer winner in cans & kegs. Raspberry Roselle is our year-round hibiscus sour saison re-fermented with a whole bunch of raspberries. The result is a fruit-forward, rose-hued beer that’s distinctly juicy and dry, with increased acidity. 5.8 ABV, 10 IBU.Raspberry Roselle

It may be a week before Raspberry Roselle reaches all of its destinations. We strongly encourage you to call the locations below to confirm when they will have Raspberry Roselle in stock or ask us on Twitter if you want to know a specific store’s anticipated delivery date and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction.


MN Craft Brewer’s Guild Winterfest 2016 Best Beer winner

The Growler’s 2016 & 2017 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Awards Best Fruit Beer


The Heavy Table: “Cheerful, holiday-ready raspberry & hibiscus sour ale that’s equal parts novelty, talent, and fun.”

City Pages: Local Guide to Hipster Beer Styles

MN Craft Brewer’s Guild: Winterfest Snowshoe Award Winners

Beerploma: Top Ten Minnesota Beers for 2016

MN Beer Activists: What (Minnesota beer) I’ve been drinking…

Star Tribune: Best of MN 2016


Roselle 4 Pack-Roselle, the real “champagne of beers.”

-Double Raspberry Roselle, a double-ized version of Roselle with twice the fruit of Raspberry Roselle. 750 ml. bottles are Member-exclusive. On draft at the Taproom on Thursday, December 7. UPDATE: a few cases of Double Raspberry Roselle are available at the Taproom now.

The Annual Board Bake Off: The Tastiest Throwdown

giantsbane cookiesLast year in the taproom, nine board members competed for the sought after title of Cookie Bake-Off Champion. 

This year, they will return once again to the hallowed halls of Fair State competing to see who can make a tastier bake. The Board members will be at the taproom on Sunday, December 10th, championing their delicious desserts from 2 to 5 pm. What better way to get to know the board than with a cookie in one hand and a beer in the other? 

Come see for yourself what beer will pair best with these free, homemade cookies and which dessert will “take the cake.” Will Julia outdo her macarons dipped in dark chocolate ganache and crushed candy canes to hold on to the trophy for another year? Will Evan’s salted caramel chocolate cookies return? Will Sarah bring back the monster cookies that won her the first title? Also among last year’s treats was Kate’s trio of nutty butter balls, Jason’s “stouties” (shortbread cookies featuring FSB ‘15 and candied ginger), and others. 

cookie champion trophy


This event is family-friendly– for the kids, we’ll have some apple cider to wash down those cookies. For the non-kids, we’ll have our full tap line up plus a special cranberry-orange infused Giantsbane Double Stout. 

So join us, and spend some time with the board over a tasty Fair State beer (or two).


More details in the link below:


Behind the Beer: 7 Principles Pale Ale

7 Principles

7 Principles started as a set of cooperative guidelines. Now, it’s also a beer: A dry-hopped pale ale made with all Minnesota ingredients (hops from Mighty Axe in Foley/Ham Lake, malt from Vertical malt in Fisher, MN). 5.1% ABV, 40 IBU.

“I’m excited about this beer – to me, it’s a bit of a milestone to be able to source quality base malt and pelleted, ready to use hops locally,” Niko, our Head Brewer commented. “We’re sitting at the starting point for an entire industry of small, artisanal producers of raw beer ingredients, and it’s important that breweries support their efforts wherever it is possible to do so. Often local beers lack true locality, a sense (and taste) of place. We have no idea what MN terroir in beer means, but we’re starting to make strides towards figuring it out.”

We used aromatic and pale malt from Vertical malt, which yields a beer with a crisp, slight malt presence and pale golden color. It is hopped in the kettle with Cascade and Columbus hops, and the dry hop is a heavy dose of Columbus. As a result, the beer is pretty dank, with pine and citrus rind in the background.

The name is a reflection of the seven principles that guide our brewery as a cooperative business, operated and democratically controlled by our Member-Owners to meet their common needs and aspirations.

1. Voluntary and Open Membership
Voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use services and accept the responsibilities of membership.
2. Democratic Member Control
The Democratic organization controlled by members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.
3. Member Economic Participation
Members buy into the cooperative and occasionally receive a return through patronage dividends.
4. Autonomy and Independence
In agreements with other organizations, members maintain democratic control and cooperative autonomy.
5. Education, Training, and Information
Cooperatives provide education and training at all levels to contribute to further cooperative development.
6. Cooperation among Cooperatives
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together.
7. Concern for Community
Working for the sustainable development of communities through member approved policies.

The opportunity to become a Member-Owner of Fair State Co-op is open 24/7. Learn more about membership here and check out this sweet deal available through Sunday, 12.3.

How to have a Trypto-fantastic Thanksgiving



Turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes. No other holiday’s cuisine can match the non-stop hits that Thanksgiving delivers. Yet plate after plate of the holiday’s festive foods can leave you feeling as stuffed as your turkey.

Here’s a few Fair State favorites for the lighter side of your palate, all available in CROWLERs to-go this week.

It’s Gold, Jerry!, a fresh hop golden ale

It's Gold, Jerry!
Our fresh hop pale ale with 650 lbs. of freshly-picked local Mighty Axe hops. $7/CROWLER


Shoulder of Orion, a dry-hopped pale wheat lager

Shoulder of Orion
Collaboration with Modern Times Beer. Featuring a little haze yet still crisp with a juicy hop flavor to accompany the bitterness. $7/CROWLER


Cromulence, a sour wheat beer

Modeled on the classic Berliner Weisse, Cromulence is a perfectly cromulent rendition of a classic style. Tart, refreshing, and bready. $9/CROWLER


Roselle, a hibiscus sour

Our signature canned sour is infused with hibiscus flower at flame-out, resulting in its distinctive pinkish hue, ethereal fragrance & citrus flavor. $9/CROWLER

As always, save $2 when you buy a 3-pack of CROWLERs. You can save it for a rainy day, or donate your discount to benefit our monthly Fair State Cooperates partner.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Fair State Cooperates November: Free Arts Minnesota

Creativity plays a big part in beer. Without it, we probably wouldn’t be drinking kettle sours and it’s almost certain that our house lactobacillus strain used in the Roselle wouldn’t exist. No creativity means no great collaboration beers like Dr. Spaceman and Spirit Foul. And let’s face it, Pahlay’Ahlay sounds far better than Beer No. 465.

free arts mn volunteersNeedless to say, we at Fair State believe in creativity. So in the month of November, we partnered with an organization that cares deeply about creativity: Free Arts Minnesota.

Free Arts Minnesota is an organization that has been providing art mentorship to youth at residential treatment centers, domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters and community centers in low-income neighborhoods since 1997.

Though the program was started over 30 years ago by an Art Therapist in Los Angeles, it was brought to Minnesota in 1997 as a project of the Junior League of Minneapolis. These days, Free Arts reaches over 2,000 youth at 25+ different partner sites in Minnesota. And in 2018, Free Arts will be partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters to expand their program, and Follow The Art.

Currently, Free Arts runs three main programs for the community youth to inspire creativity and artistic expression: a weekly mentorship program, CREATE Workshops, and Free Arts Days. The mentorship program adopts team style mentorship, which allows kids a more pressure-free and flexible environment with different mentors. Each week, there are over 40 groups that meet throughout the community.

The CREATE Workshops offer more time-flexible artistic opportunities to children through a semi-regular arts mentorship program. This program is especially helpful for families who are not in permanent housing and may not be able to commit to a weekly mentorship program. Lastly, Free Arts Days provide outside community organizations and businesses to work with kids as part of an Art Buddies program.


Earlier this month, Fair State took a group of members, patrons and staff to People Serving People in Minneapolis to join Free Arts Minnesota in an afternoon of creation. As art buddies, each volunteer was paired with a child to work on a specific art project together, under a “game” theme. Volunteers and kids rotated to different stations creating puzzles, ring tosses, and chess games.

Since Free Arts Minnesota is a non-profit organization and entirely free for the kids to participate in, having both volunteers and enough funding is an essential part of making the mission possible. With that, we’d like to thank our Cooperators for joining us in volunteering and for helping support our community.

Want to help even more? All month long, we’re donating 10% of all CROWLER sales to Free Arts Minnesota. Bring a CROWLER home to help support them and let’s all get creative.