Are you over 21?
Skip to main content
We love being part of this community and need your support. Learn how you can help!

So you want to be on the board


I mean, I totally get it. Being a FSBC board member is pretty great. There are no other meetings I attend on a regular basis that involve a delightful selection of beer. I have so much pride in the product and the company and I love being an ambassador for the brand. It’s a great professional development opportunity. There are great perks (free beer!).

That being said, being on the board of Fair State is a commitment and is real work. We are not a social club; we have fiduciary and fiscal responsibility for the health of the business. As elected officers, we do our best to represent the membership as a whole. Sometimes this means being critical or having hard conversations. Sometimes this means being cheerleaders. This is incredibly fulfilling work (and again, we get to do it with beer in hand), but it is work!

I’m not saying any of this to discourage anyone from running. Just the opposite! Please do run for the board. Fair State is no longer just an awesome taproom, it’s also a commercial production and manufacturing facility that brews beer for multiple distribution markets coast to coast. We need passionate, dedicated, and driven members to step up and help bring Fair State to the next level. This is a turning point in the Co-op’s history and I’m thrilled at the opportunity to bring on a new wave of ideas, perspectives, and skill sets.

Speaking of skill sets, here are some example skills and experiences that will complement the current Board and make serving a more rewarding and fulfilling opportunity:

  • Business leadership and management experience;
  • Non-profit or cooperative experience;
  • Community building and organization experience;
  • Comfort reviewing and analyzing financial statements and other business documents

I also want to offer a realistic idea of commitments and expectations for board members.

Here’s what to expect:

  •  6 in-person Board meetings per year. We meet every-other month at the Fair State production
    brewery in St. Paul. Meetings run 2 1⁄2 to 3 hours.
  • 1-3 additional working sessions or committee meetings per quarter. Depending on the needs of the coop and the committees you choose to join, this number will vary. All Board members are required to serve on at least one committee.
  • 6-8 hours of on-boarding work—this is a one-time thing to get you up to speed on the board policies, procedures, responsibilities etc.
  • Prep and follow-up work from the above meetings and working sessions. Again, this varies per person, but I would expect to spend 5 hours per month on additional board work.
  • Attendance at and participation in various Fair State events. We understand that not everyone can be at every event, but there is an expectation that Board Members SHOW UP! This might mean stepping outside your comfort zone or prioritizing differently.
  • Be a loud and proud ambassador for FSBC. We hope that every member is already doing this, but you will be surprised the sorts of conversations being a Board Member will lead to!
  • Free Beer! We are a volunteer board, so your time is not compensated. HOWEVER, there are certainly some excellent beer perks.

So there you have it! We have several events coming up where you can find out more, but if you have questions, you can contact the board at any time by emailing: [email protected]

Michael Obermire
Chair of the Board of Directors, Member #811


Term Length
Elected Board members serve 3-year terms.

What has the Board been working on?
With the evolution of FSBC from being a taproom to an expansive manufacturing facility, the Board has also been adapting and working to establish a process that sets up future boards for success. This includes providing mechanisms for communication between the Board and CEO.
Providing guidance to CEO while also reviewing and advising on the health of the cooperative.
Working to understand and craft the vision of the co-op for the future.

What’s the Board going to work on next year?

  • Provide an additional perspective to the CEO as FSBC works to achieve its 2021 and future goals.
  • Ensure that business decisions support the long-term vision and sustainability of the cooperative.
  • Hold the CEO accountable to performance objectives.

What does the board do / not do?
In order to govern successfully, we:

  • Practice, protect, promote, and perpetuate a healthy democracy for our Cooperative.
  • Hire, compensate, delegate responsibility to, and hold accountable a Chief Executive Officer.
  • Assign responsibility in a way that honors our commitment to empowerment and clear distinction of roles.
  • Rigorously monitor operational performance in the areas of Ends and Executive Limitations, and Board performance in the areas of Board Process and Board-Management Relationship.
  • Perpetuate the Board’s leadership capacity using ongoing education and training, a robust recruitment, qualification and nomination process and fair elections.
  • Perform other duties as required by the bylaws or because of limitations on CEO authority.

What are Board Meetings like?
We meet (nearly) every month from roughly 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm most often at the production facility in St. Paul. Sometimes we meet via a phone call. Dinner and beer is provided. A packet of reading materials is provided in advance and preparation for the meeting is expected. Committees meet on their own schedule, often on the weekends.

How are Board Members compensated?
Non-management Directors are entitled to:

  • Three (3) crowlers per week
  • Reduced pricing on full and half pours at the taproom
    ○ If the Director is alone: Free
    ○ If the Director is with spouse/family/friends: Industry pricing for group
  • Employee pricing for merchandise
  • One (1) bottle of each special release
  • Free admission/VIP bracelet for Director plus one guest for special events hosted by Fair State (i.e., Mixed Culture, Co-Optoberfest)
  • Employee/member pricing for Guild Events, if available