Camp Fair State

Camp Fair State

Attention campers, registration is now open for Camp Fair State! We are heading up to Mighty Axe Hops farm for a fully loaded adult summer camp experience. Stuff your weekend with outdoor games, breakout sessions for your brain & hands, campfire, food, and beer! In this special opportunity for Fair State members, we will get an intimate look at the operations of Minnesota’s biggest hop farm. Pitch your tent among the hop vines and dream of all the beer that it will become.

Camp Fair State is held at Mighty Axe Hops farm in Foley, MN.
Camp runs Saturday, July 8th at 9 am to Sunday, July 9th at 11 am.
The registration fee for campers is $99 per attendee.
Space is limited and registration closes midnight Sunday 6/18.


Registration Includes:
Food – Four meals plus snacks.
Beer – We’re bringing the cans. A bunch of them.
Shirt – Camp Fair State ringer t-shirt (camper exclusive).
Pint – Camp Fair State stainless steel pint (camper exclusive).
+ A full itinerary of fun!

9 am: Roll Call
Campers arrive at Mighty Axe Hops farm. Sign in, set up tents, have breakfast.
10 am-12 pm: Skillshare
Attend sessions led by members and staff.
Noon: Sandwich Bar Lunch
1-3 pm: Skillshare
Further sessions led by members and staff.
3-6 pm: HopYard Games
Cracking beers and tossing frisbees, bags, bocce balls, etc…
6 pm: Dinner on the Grill
Grilling up some delicious Gerhard’s Brats.
7 pm: Campfire
Gather around the fire to share stories, song, and s’mores.
8-10 am Break fast/camp
Leisurely wake up to coffee, have some bagels and break camp.
10-11 am Goodbyes
Hugs goodbye as we all promise to write letters and see each other next summer!

The Camp Grounds
This isn’t just any campground. In fact, it isn’t a campground at all, it’s a hop farm! Camp Fair State is held at Mighty Axe Hops farm in Foley, MN, just outside of St. Cloud. Mighty Axe is a leader in the regional hop market. Just this year they added 80 acres to the fold, thus tripling a number of hops to be produced in Minnesota! And that new land is exactly where we are staying. Come be one of the first to check this space out! In addition to staying on the grounds, we’ll hang out with the staff and get a tour of the operations.

What should I pack for camp?
We are camping in tents. BYOT. Yup, bring a tent, sleeping bag, mat, pillow, etc. Dress for a day in the sun, but this is Minnesota, pants are handy at night. Sunscreen, bug spray, flashlight. All good things. A camp chair is recommended for sitting around the campfire.

Who can come to Camp Fair State?
Camp is for members of Fair State Brewing Cooperative. Members are able to bring a non-member along. Camp Fair State is 21+

How do I get to camp?
Camp is in Foley, MN. A 90-minute drive from the Twin Cities. While there is ample parking, campers are encouraged to carpool.
Mighty Axe Hops
8505 95th street NE
Foley, MN 56329

Sharing of Skills!
Staff and members will be leading a host of breakout sessions from hands on homebrewing, to a stretch of yoga, to some caffeinated coffee education. Do you have a skill that you would like to share? Send an email to, and you may get a special deal on camp!

Camp Fair State is made possible with the help of Mighty Axe Hops, as well as:
Tiny Footprint Coffee
Tiny Footprint Coffee is the world’s first Carbon Negative coffee roaster. For every one pound of coffee sold, they sequester 50 lbs of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by funding reforestation. In addition to providing excellent coffee throughout the day, Tiny Footprint will lead a coffee themed session.
Gerhard’s Brats
Authentic old-world bratwurst, made in Minneapolis with no fillers, chemicals, or allergens. Just natural, antibiotic-free pork, hand-made in small batches, with natural casings and time-honored techniques.
Eastside Food Co-op
A neighborhood co-op in Northeast Minneapolis since 2003. An emphasis and organic and natural foods, and a belief that everyone should have access to healthy foods.




Behind the Beer: Hefeweizen


Head Brewer Niko Tonks on Hefeweizen.

Bavarian wheat beer is a very particular animal, with an interesting story. Wheat beers were produced across Bavaria for quite some time before the famous German purity law of 1516 (the Reinheitsgebot) was passed, but after that law (which was in large part a tax grab and an effort at protectionism) went into effect, its production had to be specifically licensed under an exception to the rule. Thankfully, someone of royal descent liked wheat beers, or the whole thing might have gone kaput right then and there.

Hefeweizen is a deeply idiosyncratic style – unlike most German (or German-inspired) beers, it is intentionally cloudy, has intense yeast character, and is inherently unstable. Its production requires a very long day in the brewhouse, since dealing with wheat is more difficult than barley, and because a multiple-temperature mash regimen is necessary to bring the clove and banana (phenol and ester) flavors into balance.

The yeast we use was originally isolated by the oldest continually operating brewery in the world, and it is the most commonly used hefeweizen yeast on this side of the pond. It ferments quickly, aggressively, and prefers to do its work under at least a little stress. It also prefers shallow, wide vessels, as opposed to tall skinny ones. We ferment ours in an old dairy tank for optimum yeast expression because of course, we do.

Hefeweizen is often regarded as a gateway craft beer, for some odd reason – I find it to be one of the most interesting and potentially difficult to parse beer styles out there. It is very low bitterness, requires a high level of carbonation, and has a super unique flavor profile.

My old boss, Chip McElroy – owner of Live Oak Brewing in Austin, Texas puts it this way:

“American Wheat Beer and Hefeweizen are often lumped together in the same breath, which is a mistake. It’s like this: there’s nothing wrong with a hot dog and cole slaw, but if you ordered a bratwurst and sauerkraut and someone handed you that hot dog and slaw, you might be kinda pissed off. Real deal hefeweizen is like that – you have to pay the price in terms of process to really get the thing right.”

Always pour your Hefeweizen into a glass. It’s unfiltered, so there will be a sediment on the bottom of the can. That is yeast, and also what packs the most flavor. Pour 3/4th of the beer into the glass, then swirl the remaining beer in the can to rouse the yeast, and then pour the rest into your glass.

Find Fair State Hefeweizen in yellow cans at your favorite beer store or on draft at our Taproom in NE Minneapolis now.


Homebrew Member Challenge #2

Have you been searching for a way to bring your homebrew to the next level?

Well, now is your chance!

Last year’s inaugural Homebrew Member Challenge had such great results (remember Kyle Schmidt’s Keller Blanc?), that we’re doing it again. Pretty much the same deal as last year – Submit your homebrew for a chance to have it brewed as a full-size commercial batch on our system (15bbl). We’re looking to try your finished product, in bottle form. So no sitting on your haunches. Get that brew kettle boiling!

We are accepting submissions from June 26-30th during taproom hours.

(4x) 12oz bottles or (2x) 22oz (or 750s) bottles of each beer you submit.
Limit of 4 submissions per person.

Rules are as follows:

This competition is open to member-owners of Fair State Brewing Cooperative.
Not yet a member? You can sign up right here!
Label your beer! (use an avery label/paper tag)
– Your name
– What you’re calling the beer

– A one line description of the beer

YEAST: As long as it wasn’t harvested from a beard, it’s probably fair game.

MALT/HOPS: Feel free to use any malts or hops you want, but be aware that we’re unlikely able to source a bunch of Citra or Mosaic or the like (basically anything from the Southern Hemisphere is out).

ADJUNCTS: Fruits and other adjuncts (either in the mash, kettle, or fermenter) are fine, within reason. We can’t source 200# of Durian or Dragonfruit (please don’t make Durian beers, anyway). For a quick guide, anything available from Oregon Fruit in puree format is totally cool. Locally available things may be ok, but might not be depending on when this slots into the schedule. Herbs and spices are generally no problem.

Kettle or quick sour beers are fine, Beers co-fermented with Lactobacillus and yeast are fine. Brett. fermentation in either primary or secondary is fine, but barrel-aging is out. Not enough room in the barrel room to make it work. This means no Pedio. While we do like sour and funky beer around here, that doesn’t mean we’re any more likely to pick a sour or funky beer than a clean one. Brew what you like, don’t try to conform to what we do just because you feel like you should.

The competition will be judged “best in show” style, and we don’t really care too much about style conventions. The Judging Panel will be made up of our brew team and last year’s winner, Kyle Schmidt.

We’ll brew 15 barrels of the winning beer, with the winner being invited to come sit in on brew day.

Job Opening: Taproom Shift Lead

We’re Hiring a Taproom Shift Lead!
Fair State Brewing Cooperative is Minnesota’s first cooperatively-owned brewery. Named the 2015 best new brewery in Minnesota and a top ten new brewery in the world, Fair State is fast-growing and has quickly developed a reputation for high quality beer. Fair State is looking for a new member for our quality team of beer-loving taproom servers. We serve beer via counter service in the taproom, and the seating area will be regularly attended to in order to clear the tables of empty glasses.

Looking for a taproom shift lead for two regular bar shifts per week plus a role in one or two weekly daytime CROWLER packaging shifts at the taproom. The shift lead runs the taproom for his or her shift and is responsible for managing other taproom employees to ensure that they are executing their duties effectively. We are growing quickly so there is a definite chance for advancement and an expanded role in the near future. A flexible schedule to allow for shift coverage on other nights highly valued. Fair State servers and shift leads are guest-focused, flexible, and knowledgeable about every part of the taproom & brewery. Their role is to ensure every guest has a great experience by attending to their needs in a timely and helpful manner, from when they enter the door to when they exit the taproom.

– Takes on a leadership role with other servers and with any incidents that may occur during taproom hours
– Be capable of managing the opening and closing bank
– Maintains knowledge of Fair State’s beers
– Has the ability to lift, move, and tap new kegs in the cooler
– Pours and presents draft beer professionally according to company policy
Buses tables
– Cleans, sanitizes, & stocks glassware
– Cleans taproom, beer garden, & restrooms
– Checks all patrons IDs or handstamps for age verification
– Recognizes intoxication and will refuse service
– Engages with Fair State’s patrons to create the welcoming atmosphere Fair State is known for
– Is available to represent Fair State at special events as needed
– Promotes Fair State’s cooperative ownership model

– Prior service experience required
– Has a passion for and knowledge of craft beer including styles and ingredients
– Has or can obtain TIPS (or similar) certification within 30 days of employment
– Has or can obtain Cicerone Server certification within 60 days of employment
– Can stay up to date on a rotating cast of available styles
– Must be able to read and write English
– Must be able to clearly and cheerfully respond to guests

Job Location
2506 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418

Position Type & Hours
PT/Flex available starting ASAP
Must be available to work Tuesday 3pm-12am, Saturday 5pm- 1am, and Thursday mornings.
A full time opportunity, including health insurance and paid vacation, may become available this summer.
We are open 7 days per week.
Compensation will be dependent upon the applicant’s prior experience, job duties, and additional abilities.

Send a resume to
No phone calls.
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.
Applications due May 5, 2017

Member Week to Remember

Thank you to everyone that came out and took part in our first ever Member Week here at Fair State. All said and done, we had seven back to back days of events. Here are a few of the highlights for me:

Every good day begins with breakfast, and the same holds true of a week. Members filled up the big table with contributions from their kitchens (I brought donuts from Durango’s kitchen).

On Thursday we were joined by our friends at Planned Parenthood, Our April Fair State Cooperates partner. They brought an ample supply of art supplies for our volunteers to get creative with.

In additional to our full roster of Cooperators, a handful of taproom patrons grabbed markers to join in the fun. Our craftiness quickly flowed beyond the big table to satellite tables, benches, and the floor. Dozens of vibrant posters were made and will be used for Planned Parenthood’s annual Solidarity Day.

We closed the week with a party. Opting to forgo the party hats, we focused on the beer. Member-Owners enjoyed half-priced beer from open to close. The day was well attended, and some folks decided to join right then and there! As we always like to see your faces, we also took a bunch of portraits. Keep your eyes to the north side of the taproom to spot all the new additions to the Member Wall. Here is one of my favorites…

introducing Member Week!

We are quite proud of the more than 1,000 Member-Owners that are the foundation of our cooperative. These people have supported our business through patronage, our neighbors through volunteer initiatives, our community through social gatherings, and so much more! To highlight and highfive these great folks, we are throwing our first Member Week. April 1-7th will be packed full of events celebrating membership, cooperatives, and coming together around good beer. Everyone is Welcome!
(members get some special deals)

Members First – Potluck Brunch
& Super Member Happy Hour 12-2pm.
Crowler Debut,
Stand-Up Comedy at 8:30,
Member Happy Hour all day.
Cribbage Night 6-8pm,
1/2 off you first beer with another co-op’s card,
Member Happy Hour all day.
Fair State-sponsored music and $2 off all FS pours at 331 Club. Music at 8:30pm.
Co-op Trivia with Tommy.
Fair State Cooperates Planned Parenthood Poster Party 7-9PM. Sign up here.
Member Thank You Party
1/2 off all pours for member-owners, all day!
Member Wall photobooth 4-8pm.

International Women’s Day

Raise Your Glasses to These Lasses

In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting the women who help power Fair State. In a traditionally male-dominated industry, it’s a privilege to work, learn, and laugh alongside such smart, strong, and downright inspirational ladies.

That’s why we’re using today as an opportunity to bring visibility to the many women who dedicate their time and talents to craft brewing. Today we give thanks for these wonderful women—not that we need a special holiday for that! These gals deserve recognition for their hard work every day of the year.

Here are their thoughts on what it’s like to be badass broads in the beer biz and how they got here.



Events & Education Manager

Favorite Fair State Beer: Pils

Sarah came to Fair State via the coffee industry. “After living out-of-state for a year, I was asking around about jobs in Minneapolis upon my return,” she says. A former co-worker at Up Coffee hooked her up with Fair State through his wife, Kayla, then a manager at nearby Indeed Brewing.

“Only recently did I discover that Kayla’s connection was to two other rad ladies, Barb from NorthGate and Hilari from Dangerous Man. Both are women that I now have the pleasure of working alongside as colleagues in the NE beer world. These three women were in the process of forming what would later become NEBDA, the Northeast Brewer’s and Distiller’s Association. These rock star ladies saw a need to connect leaders in this growing industry and made it happen. This is one example of how the women in craft brewing have been quick to build one another up. These women are all backbones for their respective breweries and spend much of their creative energy making this industry a productive and cooperative place. Craft beer (and my career) would not be what it is without these women.” Sarah, in turn, now pays it forward as an exemplary role model and advocate for other women getting their start in the brewing world.




Favorite Fair State beer: Raspberry Roselle

Though Jill came to us with nearly 25 years of bartending experience under her belt, her path to Fair State was anything but direct. When she started working again after taking time out to raise her two children, she says, “I had a hard time finding a job. All the bartenders, especially in Northeast, were either young females under 30 in tight T-shirts, or men. As a mother, I had to start all over.” Jill put in long hours at physically demanding catering jobs for a few years before she joined Fair State’s team. Now, says Jill, “I pour beer and I talk to people.” Lucky for us! Jill puts customers and co-workers at ease with her gift for conversation. In addition to being a mainstay of Jill’s own neighborhood, she values the flexible atmosphere fostered by Fair State’s founders. “They try to work out everything for everybody,” she says,



Assistant Taproom Manager

Favorite Fair State Beer: Vienna Lager (the beer that got me hired at Fair State)

“I got involved with Fair State because of Sarah,” Donelle says, “because she told Matt and Charlie that I was awesome and they should hire me.” It’s true—she is awesome, and she’s been a model of tireless efficiency in our taproom for more than a year now. She’s also a constant support for others, making sure her co-workers know they’re not taken for granted. “I’m lucky to work where I work and am super grateful to be working with this team, and I’m also super grateful to have met all of the awesome people in this industry.”



Office Manager

Favorite Fair State Beer: U-PICK

It was the cooperative model that initially drew Alena to Fair State. Now, it’s the strong community of engaging and conscientious people that keep her passionate. “I’ve met all these impressive and magnanimous people who are eager to teach, share, and use their networks to connect and uplift others.” She’s proud to be part of a brewery that builds social capital and connects her with women mentors within the industry.

“I’ve been lucky enough to jump into a community that values me and makes me feel respected. However, I know that’s not true for everyone everywhere, and I’m often reminded of the work-in-progress we’re witnessing,” she says. “Since the demographics of craft beer drinkers (and brewers) are changing at a rapid clip, I’m hopeful that we’ll get to witness our community grow to include and be enriched by people from every background.”



Brewery Assistant, Jack-of-All-Trades

Favorite Fair State Beer: Like ever? Wild rover. But Vienna is my go to.

When she was in school, Rose figured she’d get some boring QA/QC job with her microbiology degree. “Boy, was I wrong!” she says. Fully aware of the gender skew within the industry, Rose says, “When I first started at Fair State, I was concerned about seeming too feminine. Like, if I was going to make a bunch of mistakes, better to seem like I don’t care about dumb “girly” stuff, right?

“But now that I’ve been here awhile, I know none of the FS staff could care one way or the other. They’re all evolved and don’t give a damn what’s on their keg washer’s eyelids- so long as they’re wearing goggles when handling caustic.”

“I think beer people care about quality product more than any BS gender norms,” says Rose. “Industry people are always super respectful. That said, I think there is a stereotype that if a woman is in beer, she’s front of house,” says Rose. And, she adds, “I think it’s worth noting that there are hardly any women of color in beer.”

As for the stereotype that women don’t drink beer? “I think it’s because beer bros want a “no girls allowed” sign on the treehouse fort of craft beer. Case in point: men on the Beer People Facebook page always painting their wives as no-fun killjoys who can’t appreciate their beer habit. Like, she’s probably just pissed you blew the weekly grocery budget on Hexit. And she’s probably the one who had to make the budget in the first place, so…”

For more straight talk on beer bros and more, you can catch Rose doing acid titrations or keeping our kegs in top condition.




Favorite Fair State Beer: Pils

Katie kicked off her beer career in Austin, Texas, taking on roles in just about every aspect of brewing. She’s been a brewing assistant and a cellarperson, bartending and doing draft stuff all the while. Before coming to Fair State, she says, “I helped a buddy open his own small brewery,” in Montana.

Now, Katie uses her experience and expertise to make the magic happen in Fair State’s brewhouse. When it comes to gender issues in brewing, she says, “It’s sort of a mixed bag.” Questions of sexism and empowerment, she points out, deserve more space than a blog post can offer. “I don’t feel like I could distill it,” says Katie of its complexities. That’s a sentiment that resonates with many in the brewing industry, and it’s a discussion that demands ongoing, concerted attention.


Because a woman’s place is in the brewhouse—or in the microbiology lab, or behind the bar, or in the office, or having a pint in the taproom, or wherever else she damn well pleases. Happy International Women’s Day, everyone.

Live Art Activation + Silent Auction

Fair StateWHAT: Local artist Donte Mearon will be at presenting his THROWiNG PAiNT activation at the Taproom during Arty Party 2017

WHEN: 6-9 pm, Friday, May 19 + Saturday, May 20

You’re invited to collaborate with him on the public canvases or create your own pieces. The public canvases will remain on display throughout the weekend in the Taproom while a silent auction occurs. Proceeds will go to support the Ronald McDonald house.

Learn about Donte’s story.

Calling All Thirsty Artists


This year Fair State Co-op is stretching the canvas for Art-A-Whirl! In our third year participating, we are placing an even greater emphasis on the art. To do this, we need your help. We are looking for artists to feature on AAW weekend by utilizing their designs in live screen-printing.

WHAT: We are calling upon artists to submit designs that will be incorporated into live screenprinting on AAW weekend. We are seeking art that embodies one or more of the following criteria: Art-A-Whirl, beer, community, and Fair State. Keep in mind that designs should be optimized for screen printing, as elaborate designs are harder to print.

File specifics:
– Must be Photoshop (.psd) or Illustrator (.ai) formats
– Minimum 300dpi
– One color
– Transparent background

HOW: Email your submissions (or any questions) to
Fair State’s AAW panel will select three submissions to feature, including at least one designed by a member.

WINNERS: If your design is one of the three winners, your art will be live screen-printed by Shameless on apparel during Art-A-Whirl weekend. In addition to seeing your art all over town, you will receive a private brewery tour and tasting for you + five friends, plus a piece of apparel featuring your design.

WHEN: All submissions are due Friday, May 5 at 11:59pm.
We will notify winners by Tuesday, May 16th.

Fair State + 331 Club’s Conspiracy Series

Conspiracy Series

Announcing the Conspiracy Series. Fair State + 331 Club every Tuesday.

It’s beer & music. Always friends. Never a cover.

$2 off all pours of Fair State Brewing Cooperative all day + all night.

Live music starts at 8:30 pm.

March Residency: Hannah von der Hoff
with special guests:
Sam Cassidy 3.7
Jesse Damien Revel 3.14
M. T. Foyer 3.21
Molly Maher & her Disbelievers 3.28