Lead Brewer Joe Wells goes behind the beer with Dukes of Bakesfordshire…

“Why a pastry stout? Well, to be honest, its because my wife loves these beers. She always asks for more stouts so when given the chance I have to oblige. Emulating a pecan pie seemed like a natural extension for a thick stout, so we built up the rich base beer with Wisconsin maple syrup, Tahitian vanilla beans, and locally roasted pecans. This is not a standard day in the brewery for our team. For a stout like this, we end up maxing out our brewhouse, filled to the brim with malted barley and oats, boiling wort down for 10-12 hours, using obscene quantities of yeast, and allow to rest in the fermenter for double the length of time as any normal beer. It is quite the ordeal. It is a fun change of pace for the brew staff to really stretch the equipment and themselves for the week. This isn’t your normal pastry stout; the finished beer is recirculated on top of the freshly roasted nuts after fermentation with vanilla and maple syrup.”

Why “The Duke of Bakesfordshire”? We like to think that the Queen of England might bestow upon the winner of the Great British Bake Off with such title.”

The Duke is now available at our Northeast Mpls taproom and at a craft beer retailer near you. Listed below are current retailers with Duke of Bakesfordshire. We strongly suggest calling the retailer ahead of time to check their current availability. Special variants (Double Maple Vanilla and Coffee, Cinnamon, and Cardamom) are currently available at our taproom only in 750 ml bottles. 


FSB 2018: Behind the Beer

FSB 2018 | Behind the Beer
Head Brewer Niko Tonks, weighs in on our heaviest beer to date…

“FSB is different every year – 2014 was a smoked RIS, fermented clean in stainless. 2015 was a barrel-aged gigantic stout fermented with Saison yeast, 2016 was a very similar approach but slightly scaled back – that beer was probably the driest imperial stout ever produced – and 2017 was a blend of barrel-aged clean stout and 3 year old Brett. old ale. For 2018, we’re putting FSB in cans for the first time, and we decided to take a pretty serious left turn from our previous approach of cultivating dryness and unorthodox fermentations. This year’s beer is squarely in the ‘pastry stout’ category – it is massively viscous, much sweeter than previous years, with tons of chocolate and roast notes. We also added a trace amount of orange zest, and a pretty big slug of vanilla.

FSB employs a pretty extreme brewing process, involving easily double the amount of malt we use in our regular beers, and some super extended-length boils, to produce the signature viscosity and complex finish. Joe, our resident pastry wizard, spent two overnights at the brewery shepherding the longest and most intense brew days we’ve ever attempted.

FSB was the first beer we ever named, approximately 10 months before we even opened. FSB are our initials, but they’re also the initials of the Russian state security agency that followed the KGB, and so the Russian Imperial Stout connection was too much to ignore. We make a bunch of different stouts throughout the year, but FSB is always the wackiest, biggest, and lowest volume one.”

FSB 2018 is packaged in 16oz cans which are marching out to craft beer stores this week. The taproom will have bottles and draft of an exclusive variant featuring cold press from Duluth Coffee Co, and a double dose of vanilla. On tap Thursday the 13th, and limited bottles Saturday 12/15 at noon.


Brut Squad: Behind the Beer

Brut Squad, our bone-dry IPA is on shelves in Minnesota now!

What is a Brut IPA? Think dry, aromatic IPA with very little residual sugar. We’ve stripped down the malt bill on this one to really let the hops shine.

Head Brewer Niko Tonks, on his decision to brew a Brut IPA:

Really, with this one, I just wanted to try out making a Brut IPA. Most beer trends, to me, seem to come with one downside or another (usually related to the overuse of adjuncts or the reliance on sweetness), and Brut IPA, to me, is just exactly what I’d want in an IPA, to begin with, so it’s cool to have it be a thing people are seeking out. It’s a fun beer to brew, also, which helps. I think one of the interesting, and sometimes frustrating, thing about IPAs is that the style has expanded to be an entire category, and new things are always coming and going. Oftentimes these new trends take the form of “more is more”— the attractive thing about Brut IPA is that it seems more interested in stripping things away and providing a sensory experience more focused on the hops themselves. Dry, effervescent, and aromatic are things that I would always hope to use to describe an IPA (or really, a beer in general), so getting to focus on them is fun for us.

Our goal with Brut Squad was to produce a beer that’s primarily recognizable as a killer, super aromatic IPA. We stripped the malt bill down as far as we could, and added a whole bunch of Citra Cryo and Idaho 7 hops, which make for a tropical, citrus, lemon-y beer that’s easy to crush.


“Brut IPA and Light beer have a lot in common”


One really fun thing about Brut IPAs is that they are the lowest sugar, lowest carb, lowest calorie IPAs out there. A 12oz serving of Brut Squad has something like 0.5 grams of carbohydrates more than a Bud Light, for example. Brut IPA and light beer have a lot in common — trying to drive down the finishing gravity/residual sugar in a beer as much as is humanly possible, using a specialized enzyme which is much more effective than the enzymes naturally present in malted barley at turning starches into simple sugars. Yeast are only able to eat certain forms of sugar, and with most beers and most yeast strains they will hit a wall after a while, and be unable to completely digest all of the available sugar. When you add this special enzyme to a fermentation, it moves ahead of the yeast, breaking all of the sugars in the beer down into their simplest forms. This means that yeast can completely digest the sugar that is there, and produce the driest, highest alcohol environment possible, given the starting sugar concentration. In practice, what this means is that your typical Brut IPA will be dry as a bone, with zero residual sweetness, which means that bitterness is pushed towards the fore. We’ve intentionally kept the bitterness level in Brut Squad to a low level, which allows for a balance between dryness and hop aroma without being a punishingly bitter beer.


Read More about the birth of Brut IPA’s in this article from Punch.



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:


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.


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.



Jobs @ Fair State Brewing Cooperative: Street Team

Fair State Brewing Cooperative is seeking multiple part-time Street Team Members to join our sales staff. We are growing quickly and need to add staff to help meet demand in the following geographies:

Bemidji, MN

Brainerd, MN

Duluth, MN

Mankato, MN

St Cloud, MN

Minneapolis – Saint Paul, MN

Rochester, MN

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.

We’re looking for a dedicated, hardworking, and someone wanting to gain more knowledge of our brewery and beer then share with customers throughout the Twin Cities. The ideal candidate would have some experience in the industry (but not required), be willing to learn, and feel comfortable talking with customers.

This position will report to the Off-Premise Sales Manager.


  • Attend (paid) trainings as required
  • Use scheduling software to regularly claim tasting shifts
  • Communicate availability to Off-Premise Sales Manager
  • Follow tasting processes and standards, including: representing Fair State Brewing Cooperative well to liquor store staff and customers, setting up and breaking down tasting area, checking ID’s, serving samples legally and responsibly, following prescribed tasting order, and educating and engaging consumers

Desired Skills and Experience

  • Enthusiasm for talking about Fair State’s beer and cooperative business model
  • Ability to engage with diverse audiences
  • Commitment to following company policies and procedures
  • Comfort with limited supervision and ability to make (informed) decisions independently
  • Strong communication skills
  • Experience with beer or food & beverage


  • Basic familiarity with beer styles
  • Able to stand for 2-4 hours at a time
  • Able to work evenings and weekends
  • Able to lift cases of beer (20 lbs.) repeatedly and safely
  • Able to reliably travel to accounts and event locations on time
  • Able to read, follow, and give oral and written English instructions
  • At least 21 years of age as of time of application


This is a part-time, hourly position. Compensation is $10.22 / hr. As an irregular part-time employee, this role is also eligible for:

  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Beer stipend for each shift worked
  • Sick and Safe Time Off and Workers Compensation, as required by law

Application Process

Please follow these instructions carefully; we may not review submissions that do not follow these instructions.

Email streetteamjobs@fairstate.coop and use the subject line “Street Team – [City]”, where “[City]” is which city you wish to regularly work in. We are hiring for positions in Bemidji, Brainerd, Duluth, Mankato, St Cloud, Minneapolis – Saint Paul, and Rochester. In your email, answer the following questions:

  1. What is your favorite beer and why?
  2. What experience and perspective will you bring to our team?
  3. Why do you want to work for Fair State?

Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis. Interviews will be conducted and offers extended on a rolling basis.

Where no can has gone before…

We celebrated the launch of our Mirror Universe hazy IPA by sending a can of it into the stratosphere!

Fair State employees, friends, and member-owners gathered in a park in Lakeville to see the beer off as they launched it towards space lifted by a weather balloon. We had spent weeks poring over weather data and wind patterns to find a perfect launch trajectory – one that would see the beer launched over 80,000 feet into the stratosphere. Wind patterns change dramatically from day to day and at different altitudes, and we needed to pick a day that would keep the beer outside of prohibited airspace while also keeping it from landing a thousand miles away or in a body of water or large forest.

We named the beer in an homage to Star Trek’s alternate universe and is a tongue in cheek reference to this beer being something of a departure from our core lagers and sours that have made our name for the past couple of years, while also being a fun journey into a new and exciting style. Therefore, we thought it was appropriate for a can of the beer to go on its own journey to go boldly where few cans have gone before.

We tied the can underneath a weather balloon with cameras strapped to it to record the journey and it rapidly made its ascent through the clouds until it was no longer visible. After that point, the we relied on GPS to track it as it moved rapidly south. We chased the beer south as it flew towards Iowa. It followed I-35 south faster than our cars could.

As the beer climbed ever higher, the lower density of the atmosphere caused the balloon to expand until it eventually exploded, floating back down to earth underneath a parachute. We kept following it through its descent, eventually locating the package in a small field near the Iowa border. We quickly poured the beer in a glass and shared it to celebrate its amazing journey.

Check out the video and photos below!


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.