The Return of Mirror Universe


Mirror Universe is a Double Dry Hopped Hazy IPA brewed with wheat, oats, and far too many Citra, Mosaic, and El Dorado hops. We’ve really missed this one. So much so, that we decided to bring it back as a year ’round beer.

Mirror Universe is the spiritual successor to Spirit Føul. As such, it’s hazy as can be, brewed with an unusual water profile and a ridiculously high-protein wheat and oat forward malt bill, fermented with the fruitiest of ale yeasts, and double dry hopped with Mosaic, Citra, and El Dorado. This beer explodes with hop aroma: tropical, fruity, juicy, all the things. Soft bitterness and big mouthfeel round out the experience.

As with all beers of this variety, we ask but one thing of you, beer drinker: keep this one cold and drink it fresh. Avoid the temptation to sock one away for later, and don’t worry if you miss that primo ‘gram opportunity because Mirror Universe is here for good. #donthazemebro


Watch Mirror Universe make its return to earth here:


Behind the Beer: Giantsbane



Head Brewer Niko Tonks on Giantsbane Double Stout.

“Style conventions are a funny thing. At their best, they’re useful guidelines – a roadmap to a successful beer recipe. At their worst, they strangle creativity and box people into practices that probably never made sense in the first place (see: crystal malt in pale ales). Brewery portfolios can be the same way. You start out brewing to a personal style, and hopefully, that continues to evolve and change as you go, but you get to be known for a few things. In our case, you’ve probably heard of our lager biers, and our sour stuff. That’s how we like it, but it doesn’t mean that’s all we enjoy doing.”

Giantsbane, our “double stout,” is a solid example of both of these truths. It’s not a beer built to a style designation, and it’s not something that you’d immediately point to as being in our wheelhouse: high alcohol, malty, not afraid to be a little bit sweet. It’s a demonstration of when going outside the norm can be a rewarding thing.

The beer takes cues from the classic “Foreign Export” stout designation, but with a more modern American bent. It’s closer to an Imperial Stout than a standard American Stout (if that’s really even a thing), but it doesn’t rely on a full motor oil consistency to bludgeon you into submission. It’s a beer built for long, dark winters. The magic here is in the combination of specialty malts and grains we employ. Brown Malt and oats are stout secret sauce, and we’ve employed both of them here. Oats buoy the mouthfeel of what could otherwise be a roast bomb, and brown malt is the Goldilocks zone of roasted malts: lots of roast flavors, but none of the ashy char of black malt. It’s a fine line to tread, brewing a big stout that emphasizes harmony, and we hope you agree we’ve managed to stay on that tightrope.


Giantsbane goes on tap at our Northeast Minneapolis taproom on Thursday, November 1. Cans go into distribution in Minnesota in the first week of November and in Wisconsin starting November 6.


City Pages: “Local suds: 5 beers to try in November.”



People Power Pils

Minnesota Breweries Join People Power Beer Campaign in support of the American Civil Liberties Union


Fair State Brewing Cooperative, Bent Paddle Brewing Company, and Modist Brewing Company join a collection of over 70 craft breweries across the country in the People Power Beer campaign, a self-organized grassroots effort to support the American Civil Liberties Union’s work to protect the right of equality for all. Conceived of by Brooklyn-based Threes Brewing, the initiative calls for craft breweries around the country to take the People Power Beer Pledge by committing to brew their own interpretation of a new beer called People Power, then donate 10% of the profits of their version of People Power beer to the ACLU. 

For almost a century the ACLU has defended our rights in the courts. Recently, the organization introduced People Power, a mobilization program intended to effect meaningful policy change at the local, state and national levels. Their 2018 Voter campaign is designed to help voters across the country better understand where their candidates stand on civil rights issues, provide pathways for voters to engage during the election cycle, and ensure that civil liberties are a crucial component of political conversations in 2018. Our People Power Beer campaign is proud to support this essential work.

Breweries are pillars in local communities and gathering places in our neighborhoods, and we, therefore, felt uniquely positioned to raise awareness and bolster civic engagement. We brew beer for the moments we celebrate and the way it brings people together, and, whether big or small, red state or blue, we shared the sense of a moral imperative and patriotic duty to act.

The Beer

Fair State Brewing Cooperative and Bent Paddle Brewing Company came together to create a pilsner with Lemondrop hops and Weyermann pilsner malt. The same recipe was brewed at both locations, with both head brewers working on each beer together. This collaboration highlights the unique water sources of both breweries; Lake Superior for Bent Paddle and the Mississippi River for Fair State Brewing Co-op. Same beer, different water.

Learn More

Click here for more information about the People Power Beer campaign and the participating breweries. Click here for more information on the ACLU People Power Movement.


Fair State’s Spirit Føul Returns

Spirit Føul is a hazy IPA brewed in collaboration with San Diego’s Modern Times Beer. Super juicy, tropical, and dank. 6.3 ABV.

When we released Spirit Føul, our hazy IPA collaboration with Modern Times Beer, we expected it to be a beer that would be pretty popular, and one that might raise an eyebrow or two. Instead, #hazemania struck the Twin Cities and the beer was selling out in mere hours after delivery. We couldn’t be happier or more proud that you all enjoyed the beer so much, and so we’ve decided to re-release it. Learn more about our ever-expanding IPA program here.
Spirit Foul

Spirit Føul returns to draft lines and CROWLERS  in the taproom on Thursday, October 18.

Spirit Føul cans will roll out into distribution starting on October 30– it may be a week before it reaches all of its destinations. We strongly encourage you to call individual locations to confirm when they will have Spirit Føul in stock.

(Beer Locator Coming Soon)


City Pages: “10 locally brewed New England IPAs to keep you on trend.”

The Heavy Table: “Spirit Foul has a funky pineapple charm all its own.”

The Minneapolis Egotist: “Little designed some beer cans. Totally nailed it.”

Pioneer Press: “Fair State’s hazy IPA, a collaboration with San Diego’s Modern Times, is re-released.”

GoMN‘s Melissa Turtinen and Zach McCormick get hazy.

Fair State Brewing Cooperative Announces Jerrod Johnson as Director of Brewing Operations

Fair State Brewing Cooperative Announces Jerrod Johnson, Former Head Brewer of Surly BC, as Director of Brewing Operations

It’s with great excitement that Fair State Brewing Cooperative welcomes Jerrod Johnson, formerly Head Brewer of Surly BC, as the new Director of Brewing Operations at FSBC. In conjunction with Joe Wells, Fair State’s recently hired Lead Brewer, Jerrod will manage operations at the production facility in St. Paul, help develop new and exciting beers, and ensure the consistent execution of the current offerings.

Co-founder Niko Tonks is to remain Head Brewer. With a highly capable team in place at the St. Paul production facility, Niko will focus on recipe and project development at the original Minneapolis brewery, in addition to playing a continued key role in the cooperative’s overall strategy.

“To me, this is a watershed moment in Fair State history,” said Fair State Co-Founder & Head Brewer Niko Tonks. “I think it puts more people in the right places, to make the right decisions, to spur further growth and inventiveness not only in terms of barrels produced but in the chances we can take with our beers. My hope is that 2019 will be the best year in our short history, and I know that Jerrod will be an integral part of making that happen.”

Jerrod’s background in brewing is extensive. He began homebrewing in 2001 and shortly after, took a job as a line cook at Steelhead Brewing in Eugene. Oregon. He became friends with head brewer Jamie Floyd, who later founded Ninkasi brewing, and eventually became the assistant brewer and spent most of his college years cleaning kegs, helping proctor homebrew competitions and helping with other tasks around the brewery.  After graduating with an English degree from the University of Oregon in 2004, Jerrod left the brewing industry to figure out what his ‘adult’ job would be. Within three months, he realized that brewing was the career he wanted to pursue. A passion and a curiosity for craft beer transformed into a career path.

In 2005  Jerrod took a job with Rogue Ales, cooking, bartending, and working events while he sought out a brewing job, specifically hoping to work under Van Havig (currently the founder of Gigantic Brewing) at Rock Bottom who he respected greatly and knew would help bring him to the next level. Jerrod happened to drop by Rock Bottom again to see if Van had a job for him. Coincidentally, he was interviewing someone else when Jerrod walked in the door. After he finished the interview, Jerrod asked him, “how’d the interview go?” He said, “Terrible. By the way, are you still looking for a job?” Jerrod worked with Van over the next two years. He was a strict, detail-oriented head brewer who never took shortcuts nor excuses. He considers him a great mentor and friend, his Obi-Wan Kenobi, but more short-tempered, less zen, and infinitely more swearing.

As a native North Dakotan with many relatives in Minnesota, Jerrod realized it was time to live closer to his family. He saw a post for a brewer job at Surly Brewing and soon became employee #6. Over the next ten years, Jerrod experienced constant growth with the company, including the transition of opening the destination brewery in Minneapolis. When the new brewery was close to opening, he requested to stay at the original brewery and keep things running smoothly there. He was lead brewer there for several years, then assumed the Head Brewer position at that location when Todd Haug left in 2016.

Fair State Coop is honored to welcome Jerrod to the team. Jerrod is an immensely talented brewer, and he will no doubt do a superlative job of managing Fair State Brewing Cooperative’s rapidly expanding operations.

“I am excited to work with Fair State for many reasons,” said Jerrod Johnson, Fair State Coop’s new Director of Brewing Operations. “First and most importantly, the beer. From the traditional lagers to more experimental beers, Fair State always executes at a high level. I want to make beer that I am proud of and want the world to drink. Second, Fair State has a spirit of giving and community that pervades everything they do. I love my neighborhood (NE Minneapolis) and I love Minneapolis, and Fair State is committed to both. I want my work to help my neighborhood become a better place. Third, I like the people who work at Fair State and am excited to work with them. Also, Roselle is one of my wife’s favorite beers, so she’s on board. Ultimately, Fair State makes great beer and I hope to help them continue to do so.”


Behind the Beer: Keller Kazbek

The brewers here at Fair State are certified lager fanatics. We brew two lagers as flagships, and frequently make short runs of other traditional and experimental lagers we love such as Festbier or Helles and now we are reintroducing our fall seasonal lager, Keller Kazbek.

Keller Kazbek is an unfiltered German-style Pilsner brewed with Kazbek hops from the Czech Republic. The designation “keller” refers to beer served from the conditioning tank without the intermediary step of filtration, so you may notice some intentional haze in this beer . Kellerbiers can be modeled after any lager style – in our case the inspiration is northern German Pilsner. Kazbek is an interesting hop that has a unique “grassy” or almost hay-like aroma, combined with the classic spicy and floral notes you’d expect from a noble hop. Keller Kazbek hits shelves this week in 6 packs of 12 ounce cans.

Our co-founder and head brewer, Niko Tonks, occasionally waxes poetic about Pilsners and lagers in general. He says: “Pilsner is my first true beer love, and maybe my only real one. It contains multitudes, and it might just change your entire mindset about beer if you give it a chance. Pilsner began in the 1840s in Pilsen, in what is now the Czech Republic. It proved so popular that it was adopted, in turn, by the Germans, the rest of Northern Europe, and the world, all by the third quarter of the 19th century. Some perhaps less-than-ideal things have happened to Pilsner between then and now, sure, but we all make mistakes.

At its core, in the form that we do our best to emulate, lager bier is all about restraint, intention, detail, and mindset. Lager is not, as so many people would have you believe, the absence of things. It is, in fact, a deeply idiosyncratic palette upon which only certain things may be accurately projected. It requires selection of only the finest ingredients; a willingness to work them in the ways that they demand; and the patience, forbearance, and skill to ensure that those ingredients and our yeast friends play nice

School Supply Drive


It’s that time again. We can almost smell the freshly sharpened pencils. We’re collecting school supplies in the Fair State Brewing Cooperative taproom from now until August 8th.

All donated school supplies will go to Hennepin County students in need. You can donate individual supplies or a backpack full of supplies. We just ask that all donated items are new and unused. Below are suggestions of supplies needed per age group.

Backpack#2 Pencils (no mechanical)
Covered Pencil sharpenersErasers
Colored pencils
Washable markers
Rounded scissors
Bottle of glue
Watercolor paint set
Ruler (no metal)Pencil box
(3) Pocket folders(2) Spiral notebooks (wide ruled)

Elementary School
#2 Pencils (no mechanical)
Covered pencil sharpeners
Colored pencils
Washable markers
Rounded scissors
Bottle of glueRuler (no metal)
Pencil box
(3) Pocket folders
(3) Spiral notebooks (wide ruled)
(1) Composition Notebook (wide ruled)
Basic Calculator
Pens (black/blue/red ink)

Middle School
#2 Pencils
Colored pencils
Washable Markers
Glue stick
Ruler (no metal)
Pencil Pouches
(3) Pocket folders
(3) Spiral notebooks (college ruled)
(1) Composition notebooks (college ruled)
Basic Calculator
Pens (black/blue/red ink)
3-ring binder
Loose-leaf paper (college ruled)

High School
#2 Pencils
Colored pencils
Glue stick
Ruler (no metal)
Pencil Pouches
(3) Pocket folders
(3) Spiral notebooks (college ruled)
(1) Composition notebook (college ruled)
Scientific Calculator
Pens (black/blue/red ink)
3-ring binder
Loose-leaf paper (college ruled)

Why Donate?
This program provides backpacks and basic school supplies for children in need to help them start school with the tools they need to achieve school success. Providing school supplies for children encourages them to perform better in school. Being prepared on that first day of school promotes higher student engagement which leads to successful day to day practices.

Thank you for your help and support of this worthwhile project. We encourage you to play an active role in providing these necessary tools to help generate a successful school year to Hennepin County students.



New Bottle Reservations


Hello out there beer drinking friends! I’m writing to let you all know about Fair State’s new procedure and timeline for bottle releases. In the past we have varied up our plans for such releases, and we are trying to make a more standard, less confusing model going forward so that all you fine folks can know when and how to pick up the hippest, shiniest, and newest Fair State bottles!

All bottle releases will include a Member-Owner reservation element to them. We value all of our patrons, but we really want to maximize member benefits and the member experience! What this means is that while we will still be putting new beers on tap on Thursday (can’t be messing with our New Beer Thursdays!), the only bottles that will be available for sale will be member reserved bottles. All reserved bottles will be available to be picked up starting at 4pm on that Thursday and the reservations will be held until the end of Saturday night (or more correctly until 10pm Saturday due to state law).

The larger (unreserved) bottle release will be available to members and non-members alike starting at noon on Saturday of the release week. Just to reiterate about reservation timing, all reservations are only good between Thursday and Saturday, Members who reserved bottles may of course still buy them after that Saturday if supplies last, but they just won’t be reserved anymore.

I hope this clears up any confusion around the bottle reservation and release procedure at the Fair State Taproom. We want to ensure that everyone has a chance to get their hands on a bottle or two, and balance that out with giving our Members an added perk. I have added a timeline below of what will happen and when. Thanks for your attention, I can barely keep my excitement bottled up for all of our future releases!

– Charlie Tonks, Taproom Manager

– – –

Timeline of the release process:

Two weeks prior to release date:
Membership Coordinator informs Members of the release and reservations are offered up.

Week of release:
Thursday: Beer released on tap, ONLY RESERVED BOTTLES may be picked up, even Members can only pick up reserved bottles.

Friday: Beer on tap, ONLY RESERVED BOTTLES may be picked up, even Members can only pick up reserved bottles.

Saturday: Bottles available to the general public, bottle reservations still honored through the end of the day. We will also attempt to keep people updated on social media as to remaining bottle counts in the afternoon/evening.

Sunday: All reservations are only held until the end of bottle availability on Saturday night (10pm due to state law). Starting at noon on Sunday all bottles are available for general sale and are no longer reserved.

Fair State Team Growth


Happy summertime from Fair State. We have been enjoying lots of tropical pale ales and super crisp lagers next to the grill, and we’ve also been making some additions and changes to our team that we’re really excited about. We thought you might be, too:

Some of you came by to celebrate Charlie’s last shift behind the bar. As our Taproom Manager and sometimes promotional model, Charlie has been an outstanding ambassador for the beers and community that are the hallmarks of Fair State. He’s switching to a back-of-house role in order to have more time to lead the charge in taking good care of our physical space and curating a fun and inclusive mix of programming. Charlie is now leading a new group of Beertenders, instilling the spirit of Charlieness throughout the taproom. We are excited to see this team, which now includes Sean Lipinski, Alicia Bird, John Wynn, and Patric Driessen, grow under his leadership.

We’ve been excited to spend more time introducing customers in greater Minnesota to Fair State. We’re currently hiring for our Street Team in Bemidji, Brainerd, Duluth, Mankato, St. Cloud, and Rochester for the first time, in addition to the Twin Cities region. We have also hired a new full-time Sales Representative, Anthony Pukay, to help us be an even bigger part of the outstanding craft beer culture in Twin Cities bars, restaurants, event spaces, and liquor stores.

As our production volume has grown and we’ve introduced new products, the complexity of our brewing operations has greatly increased. As such, we have identified the need to create more nuanced production roles.

To this end, we just posted a Lead Brewer job. Niko will continue to be our Head Brewer and will rely on the Lead Brewer to manage the day-to-day operations of our brewing and cellaring team. This will give Niko the time to focus more on driving innovation at Fair State. He will commit more of his time to new product development (including fun limited-releases in cans and lots more special, taproom-only beer), guiding our brewing philosophy and direction, and managing special projects.


We’ve hired a number of Packaging Technicians over Winter and Spring and now have a great team of skillful, energetic people to get our beer ready for sale. Specifically, we’d like to call out Jake Graham, Chad Hoffer, Anders Bloomquist, and David Anderson for doing a great job putting our favorite beer into our favorite cans. We’re going to lean on them, even more, when long-time employee Jim Pankratz, currently our Warehouse and Packaging Manager, moves to Iowa. We’ll initially hire another Warehouse and Packaging Manager and then split that role out so that we can do more special canning projects and implement some more sophisticated materials handling practices.

IPA Cans

As we adapt and grow, there will surely be more additions and changes, and we’ll look forward to sharing them. In all of this, our goal is to deliver enjoyable beer of outstanding quality and to honor the festive and inclusive community that has supported us for the last three and a half years. We’re so grateful for your work, patronage, and membership.


National Night Out with Fair State

Fair State invites our Members-Owners to be proactive in their communities while also being leaders in demonstrating our cooperative values. National Night Out is an annual nationwide event that encourages residents to get out in the community, holding block parties and getting to know their neighbors as a way to encourage crime prevention.

So, Fair State wants to help throw your National Night Out block party. Here’s how you can have a chance to get FREE BEER to share with your neighbors & friends.

  1. Submit your application to host a National Night Out block party, or find out if one is already happening in your neighborhood.
  2. Fill out our brief Google form here.

Applications for Twin Cities-area Members can be found here:


St. Paul

In Minneapolis, if you register by July 24 you can block your street for free. If you register from July 25 through July 30, there is a $100 fee. You will not be able to block off your street if registering after July 30.

DEADLINE to apply for free beer is July 31.

This opportunity is for Members of Fair State Co-op. Want to participate? Join in our collective perspective.

Beer Bucket