The Beer Garden is Growing

beer garden, patio, fair state, beer, minnesota

As many of you know, we recently opened our beer garden behind the brewery. Building this has been a long process, that has taken the help of many members as well as Northeast Minneapolis businesses.

We here at Fair State Coop, like everyone in Minnesota, enjoy outdoor drinking in the summer. So this spring we started putting the pieces together to build this beer garden. It started with a conversation with our neighbors in the building to our north, to see if they would rent part of their large parking lot to us, they agreed, and we started work almost immediately.

We recruited members to help build picnic tables, and got them done in record time. Creating an impromptu picnic table assembly line, and churning out all the tables we need, and some extra frames to build more if the need arises.

bags, cornhole, lawn games, beer garden

With the help of Northeast Tree Service and TerraVista landscaping, we were able to dig down 18 inches and fill the area with gravel, starting with large fist sized chunks and ending with pea gravel. This was designed by one of our members to create excellent drainage both for roof areas and for the ground itself. Tested during some big storms, has never showed any signs of flooding.

The first look many people got of the beer garden was during Art-A-Whirl, when we were able to host a great party Friday night, complete with a mini-golf hole designed and built by member, Tim Martin. Our first Art-A-Whirl was a great success, and it was a great way to show off the work in progress.

hops, sorachi ace, beer garden, community hops

Slowly the garden part of the beer garden will grow. Community Hops generously planted 18 hop plants that will serve as a beautiful privacy fence, and in a few years will produce enough hops that we can make a batch or two with them every fall. There still is a lot of work left though. We need to dig out and plant the rain garden, build some planters for trees and flowers, and ensure that the hops stay healthy.

Thank you to all the members and businesses who helped us get here!



rooftop, zoo animal, art-a-whirl, fair state, music
Once we landed in NE MPLS, there was never any doubt that we chose the right spot. And as if we needed any more convincing, this last weekend with Art-A-Whirl, solidified our love of this community. There was a ridiculous quantity of art, music, and food this weekend, and here is a little recap of the excitement on our end.

J.E. SundeWe partied all weekend, but Friday was the big day at Fair State. An awesome lineup of local bands kicked off with the indie folk of J.E. Sunde.

art-a-whirl, fair state, screen printingPosters & Pints brought a series of print artists for Friday and Sunday. Friday night they curated a strong comic theme, and then Sunday was their mobile pop-up show, hosted in the taproom.

rock, art-a-whirl, fair state, musicRock duo JiLL took to the stage second, and blended some blues, grunge, and pop to make a tasty high-energy/low-fat concoction for the crowd.

art-a-whirl, fair state, musicSun Gods to Gamma Rays stripped down the rock and put on a few more layers. A slower, moodier sound, but even more intense. Nice.

Jewelery, art-a-whirl, fair stateAnna, of To Be A Tree Jewelry, brought a lovely array of jewelry made from bark, stones, and various natural findings. When she had a moment, you could catch her crafting some more fine items. And if you wanted to become some art yourself, Michelle of Lets Henna was on hand to do a little body art. Recovery Bike Shop hosted some bike part statue welding. Just sign up with whatever idea you had, and their guy would make it a repurposed reality.

pie, art-a-whirl, fair state, foodFriday and Saturday we were fortunate to be fortified from the sweet and/or savory options of Shoofly Pie. Keep your forks prepped for their upcoming location.

zoo animal, art-a-whirl, fair state, musicZoo Animal was the first band we booked, and it happened like all good things, over a beer and conversation. They brought all of the energy and charisma that the audience came to see. No instruments or musicians were harmed in any of the stage antics.

haley bonar, rock, art-a-whirl, fair state, musicTo close out our Friday night, and Fair State’s inaugural concert, Gramma’s Boyfriend treated us to the kind of show you’d stumble into at New York’s CBGBs in its heyday.  If you are not yet familiar, Gramma’s Boyfriend is the punk project of singer/songwriter Haley Bonar. And here is where the evening meets its culmination, with a little artful punk rock, an ever present crowd, and the binding agent of beer made not a hundred feet away.

brewery mini golf, art-a-whirl, fair state,Saturday was sunnier than any of us expected, and a fine day for outdoor games. With much excitement, we debuted the initial holes of the NE brewery-designed mini golf project. Currently there are holes from Bauhaus Brew Labs, Sociable Cider Werks, and Fair State Co-op. The project is a fun collaboration with our neighbors, so keep your eyes peeled for additions from other breweries in the months ahead.

rock, pale ale, tallboy, retribution gospel choir, art-a-whirl, fair state, music, alan sparhawkSo many firsts for one weekend. We teamed up with our buddies at Sociable Cider Werks in becoming the beer sponsor for the events happening over at the 331 Club. It was a perfect opportunity to debut our first run of tallboy cans, Hefeweizen and the limited edition Three Three One pale ale (aka Artsy Fartsy). It’s pretty neat to stand in a crowd and see our cans all over the place.

Dangerous Man invited us to be a part of a NE Beer Garden in the lot behind their taproom. The effort brought together Chowgirls, Northgate, Sociable, Gumball Collective, Electric Fetus, and a handful of others for music, food, art, and drinks. Collaborations all around!

gramma's boyfriend, art-a-whirl, fair state, musicWe at Fair State Brewing Cooperative, had an amazing first Art-A-Whirl weekend, and look forward to many more. All of it was made possible by the talented people donating their time and efforts. Thank you to the artists, musicians, food vendors, Poster’s & Pints, Recovery Bike Shop, stage crew, member volunteers, 331 Club, Sociable, Bauhaus, Dangerous Man, all the new customers, and anyone we may have forgotten here.

And above all, thank you yeast.