Reasons to Love Minnesota No. 83: Fair State Brewing Cooperative
Grocery stores and REI aren’t the only co-ops that thrive in the North. Minneapolis’ Fair State Brewing Cooperative built its business on a bank loan and the support of 250 early believers (beerlievers?) willing to pay $200 for a lifetime membership and the ability to “drink like they own the place.”
And what a place it is! In the five years since Fair State’s debut, head brewer Niko Tonks (formerly of Live Oak Brewing Company in Austin, Texas) and co-founder/CEO Evan Sallee have attracted a cult following for their fine-tuned flavor profiles and fruity sours — gimmicky ingredients and misguided trends need not apply.
Using a limited palette of malts, hops, water, and yeast, Tonks nails Euro-style beers: a delightfully dry pilsner, a lawnmower-ready Vienna lager, and a biergarten-worthy witbier. Its newly canned Crank!n Foamers collaboration with San Diego’s Modern Times Beer, pictured here, brings that minimalist bent to America, epitomizing its #corniscool ethos with a clean, crisp taste perfect for summer barbecues and ballgames.
Fair State’s appeal doesn’t end with its recipes, either. Its Northeast taproom offers a crowd-pleasing mix of familiar and left-field styles, from a complex kettle sour combo of passionfruit, mango, pineapple, and dragonfruit to a waistline-friendly Hard Water series that courts White Claw fanatics. Continue Reading