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 you from running. Just the opposite! Please do run for the board. We have 3 seats up for election this year, 2 of which are vacant. However, I wanted to offer a realistic idea of what commitments are expected from board members.
Here’s what to expect:
1 Board Meeting plus 1 Board phone call per quarter. The meetings generally run 2 to 2 ½ hours and the phone calls about 1 hour. These are with the full board.
1-3 additional committee meetings per quarter. Depending on which committees you choose to join, this number will vary. All Board members are required to serve on at least one committee.
1 Board Retreat per year. This is a full-day weekend day.
6-8 hours of onboarding 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. Again, this varies per person, but I would expect to spend anywhere from 5 – 10 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 J
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@example.com
~Julia Gallagher, Member 96A, Chair of the Board of Directors
Board Application Deadline: Wednesday 3/21 at 11:59pm
Meet the Candidates: Thursday 3/29, 6-8pm
Member Meeting/Election: Sunday 4/8, 2-5pm (Production Brewery)
Thank You Party/Board Announcement: Saturday 4/14, 4-10pm
Fair State Brewing Cooperative releases 2018 Brand Calendar
2017 was one hell of a year here at Fair State Brewing Cooperative. We started the year as a 7.5bbl taproom brewery squished into 900 square feet, and ended the year as a 30bbl production brewery that occupies 30,000 square feet (oh, and we kept the taproom brewery, too). We didn’t get to start brewing at our facility in the St. Paul-Midway area until the end of April, 2017, but we still managed to more than double our annual production from 2016. We commissioned our own canning line (and just passed the 425,000 cans filled mark last week), expanded our barrel room capacity by orders of magnitude, and filled up our shiny new lab with all sorts of fancy gizmos.
We know everyone wants more Spirit Foul, our collaboration with Modern Times, and we wish (wish wish) we could give you more of it, but it was based heavily on an experimental hop that is not in full production yet, and we’ve used all of our allotment from this year’s harvest already! We have contracted for a bunch more of it in the coming years, so keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, we’re pretty excited about Mirror Universe as a sequel to Spirit Foul. Keep reading to learn more.
We’re excited about bringing our notoriously unwieldy brand calendar into line in 2018, expanding on lots of the work we’ve done thus far, tightening our grasp on who we are and what we do, and bringing some killer new beers to you. And now, onto the good stuff.
Ladies and Gentleman, your 2018 Fair State Brewing Cooperative Brand Calendar!
Roselle: the beer that first put us on the map, our flagship Hibiscus Kettle Sour. A simple golden ale that we do lots of strange things to: first we make it sour using our house lactobacillus strain, then we add copious amounts of Hibiscus flowers, along with Cascade and Crystal hops. The result is a tart, dry, citrus-forward and floral beer that just so happens to be a brilliant deep pink color. The Rosé of beers. (5.7% ABV, 19 IBU – available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, and 4x12oz cans)
Vienna Lager: We’ve been making this beer since 2015, and we are excited to welcome it to the year-round can lineup in January 2018. This is Beer-Flavored Beer – a simple, nuanced, well-executed lager beer that is best paired with another pint of the same. Amber in color, medium-bodied, malty and delicious. (5.3% ABV, 25 IBU – available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, and 4x16oz cans)
Pils: Our desert island beer. A German-style Pilsner brewed with one hop and one malt and lagered longer than common sense generally allows. Crisp, clean, grassy, and elegant, it’s the beer we have in our fridges at home. (4.9% ABV, 40 IBU – available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, and 4x16oz cans)
IPA: a beer that first went into (big, red) cans in fall of 2017, our IPA has undergone a number of revisions already, and we’re excited about where things are headed in 2018. Clean, dry, pale, and aromatic, our interpretation of the classic American IPA leans heavily on Chinook, Simcoe, and Centennial hops for its tropical piney flavors and aromas. (6.2% ABV, 60 IBU – available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, 4x16oz cans)
BFDP (beginning April 2018): A 100% barrel-fermented Mixed Culture tart Saison. Blended from our favorite barrels in the cellar, varying in age from 4 to 12 months, and naturally conditioned. Oaky, funky, tart, and complex, it is the clearest expression of what we do in our barrel program. Available on draft and in naturally-conditioned 12oz cans (yes, you read that correctly), as part of a 4-pack mixed pack with… (5.2% ABV, 25 IBU – available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, 4x12oz cans as part of Mixed Culture mix pack)
LÄCTOBÄC (beginning April 2018): A Lemon, Ginger, and Lemongrass-infused Mixed Culture sour wheat. Bright, funky, and refreshing, this is one of our very favorite recipes from the last two years. We’re excited to debut it in naturally-conditioned 12oz cans in April. (5.6% ABV, 10 IBU – available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, 4x12oz cans as part of Mixed Culture mix pack)
Mirror Universe (March-May, Oct-Dec): A Hazy IPA for those who think a single dry hop just isn’t gonna cut it. Brewed with Oats, Wheat, and a boatload of Mosaic, Citra, and El Dorado hops. Double dry-hopped, this beer explodes with hop aroma. Tropical, fruity, juicy, all the things. This beer uses almost 6lbs of hops per barrel and utilizes the latest in hop technology (no, seriously, it does). A new foray into the “Northeast” IPA world, Mirror Universe will pop up twice in 2018, so keep your eyes peeled. Learn more about the future of our IPA program. (7.0% ABV, more than zero IBU – available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, 4x16oz cans)
Pahlay’Ahlay (Jun-Aug): Our Citra/Simcoe pale ale (get it? PAH-lay AH-lay?) is reborn in the haze model for 2018, as well. We’ve upped the dose of Oats, and slammed the beer with even more Simcoe and Citra than we previously thought was possible (or certainly advisable). Designed with summer adventures in mind. (5% ABV, 40 IBU – available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, 4x16oz cans)
Festbier (Aug-Oct): We love lager bier, and this is one of our favorites to make. A decoction-mashed (ask us later about lager nerd technology) Oktoberfest lager designed for consumption in liter plus quantities, Festbier is malty but not sweet, bready but not toasty, and crisp as a fall day (pardon the cheese). Available on draft only, and for a limited time. (5.7% ABV, 20 IBU – available in 1/2bbl and 1/6bbl only)
Keller Kazbek (Aug-Oct): An unfiltered Pilsner (or Kellerbier, if you prefer) brewed exclusively with Czech Kazbek hops and the finest Bohemian Barley malt. Crisp, slightly hazy, and best served as fresh as is humanly possible, Keller Kazbek is an even grassier, almost hay-like hop-forward lager that we think pairs well with pretty much everything. Currently sits as the #2 Kellerbier in the world, per RateBeer (not so humblebrag). Also our first 6-pack of 12oz cans! We thought you might enjoy drinking a few of these. Nice of us, we know. (4.9% ABV, 38 IBU – available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, 6×12 oz cans)
In addition to the constant stream of one-off beers we produce at our taproom brewery (where you’ll find a handful of perennial favorites not listed here, as well as the latest in sour beer, IPAs, lager bier, and more), we’ve slotted in a few pretty exciting beers for wider distribution in 2018. They are:
Clarity Of Purpose (April): An IPA brewed in collaboration with a certain local brewery you may have heard of (more details on that soon), Clarity of Purpose is our best faith attempt to demonstrate that hop flavor, aroma, and haze are not necessarily correlated. This beer will be bright as bright can be, and aromatic and juicy as can be, ALL AT THE SAME TIME! No, but seriously, we’re excited about this beer, we hope you will be too. (ABV and IBU TBD, available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, 4x16oz cans)
Hefeweizen (June): Our perennial summer favorite, Hefeweizen is an authentic German-style wheat beer. Brewed with 50% malted wheat, and fermented with a particular (and iconic) yeast strain, Hefeweizen sports a unique combination of clove, banana, and vanilla aromas and flavors. We take great care in authentically reproducing the German version, which is a pain, but we think it’s worth it. (5.0% ABV, 12 IBU – available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, 4x16oz cans)
FSB Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout (December): Each year we make a big Imperial Stout, and every year it’s a little different. What we can say about the 2018 version is that it will be big, black, and aged in 45th Parallel Distilling Rye, Wheat, and Bourbon whiskey barrels. Stay tuned for other details. (available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, 750ml bottles)
Raspberry Roselle (December): We take Roselle, our flagship Hibiscus sour, and add a ton (actually, more like a ton and a half) of raspberries to it. Bright, juicy, raspberry jam, and tart, it’s exactly what it sounds like. The best part is it tastes even better than it sounds. (5.7% ABV, 10 IBU, available in 1/2bbl, 1/6bbl, 4x12oz cans)
7 Principles started as a set of cooperative guidelines. Now, it’s also a beer: A dry-hopped pale ale made with all Minnesota ingredients (hops from Mighty Axe in Foley/Ham Lake, malt from Vertical malt in Fisher, MN). 5.1% ABV, 40 IBU.
“I’m excited about this beer – to me, it’s a bit of a milestone to be able to source quality base malt and pelleted, ready to use hops locally,” Niko, our Head Brewer commented. “We’re sitting at the starting point for an entire industry of small, artisanal producers of raw beer ingredients, and it’s important that breweries support their efforts wherever it is possible to do so. Often local beers lack true locality, a sense (and taste) of place. We have no idea what MN terroir in beer means, but we’re starting to make strides towards figuring it out.”
We used aromatic and pale malt from Vertical malt, which yields a beer with a crisp, slight malt presence and pale golden color. It is hopped in the kettle with Cascade and Columbus hops, and the dry hop is a heavy dose of Columbus. As a result, the beer is pretty dank, with pine and citrus rind in the background.
The name is a reflection of the seven principles that guide our brewery as a cooperative business, operated and democratically controlled by our Member-Owners to meet their common needs and aspirations.
SEVEN COOPERATIVE PRINCIPLES 1. Voluntary and Open Membership Voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use services and accept the responsibilities of membership. 2. Democratic Member Control The Democratic organization controlled by members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. 3. Member Economic Participation Members buy into the cooperative and occasionally receive a return through patronage dividends. 4. Autonomy and Independence In agreements with other organizations, members maintain democratic control and cooperative autonomy. 5. Education, Training, and Information Cooperatives provide education and training at all levels to contribute to further cooperative development. 6. Cooperation among Cooperatives Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together. 7. Concern for Community Working for the sustainable development of communities through member approved policies.
The opportunity to become a Member-Owner of Fair State Co-op is open 24/7. Learn more about membership here and check out this sweet deal available through Sunday, 12.3.
Why a Co-op?
by Fair State Co-op CEO Evan Sallee
People often ask us why we started Fair State as a cooperative. However, in many ways that is a difficult question to answer. Nobody ever asks us, “why a brewery,” and yet from the beginning the two have been inseparable. Without the cooperative, there is no brewery. Without the brewery, there is no cooperative. Rather than dive deeply into the metaphysical underpinnings of Fair State, I think it would be instructive to simply tell our story.
In the spring of 2011, Matt, Niko, and I gathered in Austin, TX. We had been homebrewing partners in Minneapolis but had gone in our own directions in 2009. Niko was a brewer in Austin, at the Live Oak Brewing Company. I was in law school, and Matt was in grad school. Our spring breaks coincided with SXSW, and so Matt and I journeyed down to Austin to reconnect and enjoy significant amounts of both beer and music.
At some point over the week, Niko and I found ourselves at Black Star Brewing Cooperative, the country’s first cooperatively-owned brewery (or, at least, first since the 1930s). It was there that we found that first spark of inspiration that would lead to Fair State. Black Star, it seems, was aptly named. The concept of a cooperatively-owned brewery had a gravitational pull that proved too strong for us to ever escape. Having never heard of one, we had never seriously considered the idea of a cooperatively-owned brewery. But bringing the consumer-focused nature of a cooperative to Minnesota seemed like the perfect fit. Minnesotans love beer. Minnesotans love cooperatives. We had to tell Matt.
You will be hard-pressed to find a homebrewer who has not at least given some small consideration to the thought of opening up their own brewery, and we were no different. However, for myriad reasons, we never seriously considered the possibility. There were already many breweries making fantastic beer, and we did not feel justified in entering that fray unless we had something truly unique above and beyond beer that we could offer the brewing world. However, when the three of us got together later that day we brought up the idea of bringing a cooperatively-owned brewery to Minnesota. As soon as we started talking about it, we couldn’t stop. This is when we started to realize that we might actually be onto something.
We simply couldn’t get the idea out of our head. The next day we drove to Lockhart for Barbecue – more words were spent discussing starting a brewery than the brisket that was in front of us. I remember researching Minnesota cooperative law on my phone in the back of the car all the way back to Austin.
We had a number of unwise or downright silly ideas about what we could do with this business model. The idea spent most of its formative first few months as a hybrid homebrew shop, beer club, and brewery. Throughout all its iterations some core themes emerged – community, quality, cooperation. Throughout our years of being amateur beer geeks, we always lamented that there was not really an easy way to get more involved with our local breweries, few though they were at the time. However, here was a model that would quite literally make the consumer the owner. We could harness the power of democracy to build a brewery of the people and for the people.
And at its core, that has always been what being a co-op means to us. We wanted to build an engaged community of beer lovers of all stripes, and we wanted to build a brewery that would make beer worthy of their commitment. Beer and community for us are akin to the chicken and the egg, two inextricably linked halves of a singular concept. We firmly believe that businesses can and should be forces for good in our communities, that there is more to the bottom line than the bottom line. We strive every day to put this into practice, to live up to the potential that our cooperative has.
We’d love to have you join us in our collective perspective. A lifetime cooperative membership is $200, or $20 over 10 months. Visit fairstate.coop/membership to learn more.
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.
Submit your application to host a National Night Out block party, or find out if one is already happening in your neighborhood.
If you register your event by July 18, you can block your street for free. Registration from July 19-26 is a $100 fee. No registration accepted after July 26. Lucky beer recipients will be notified by the end of July 27.
Thank you to everyone that came out and took part in our first ever Member Week here at Fair State. All said and done, we had seven back to back days of events. Here are a few of the highlights for me: Every good day begins with breakfast, and the same holds true of a week. Members filled up the big table with contributions from their kitchens (I brought donuts from Durango’s kitchen).
On Thursday we were joined by our friends at Planned Parenthood, Our April Fair State Cooperates partner. They brought an ample supply of art supplies for our volunteers to get creative with. In additional to our full roster of Cooperators, a handful of taproom patrons grabbed markers to join in the fun. Our craftiness quickly flowed beyond the big table to satellite tables, benches, and the floor. Dozens of vibrant posters were made and will be used for Planned Parenthood’s annual Solidarity Day.
We closed the week with a party. Opting to forgo the party hats, we focused on the beer. Member-Owners enjoyed half-priced beer from open to close. The day was well attended, and some folks decided to join right then and there! As we always like to see your faces, we also took a bunch of portraits. Keep your eyes to the north side of the taproom to spot all the new additions to the Member Wall. Here is one of my favorites…
introducing Member Week!
We are quite proud of the more than 1,000 Member-Owners that are the foundation of our cooperative. These people have supported our business through patronage, our neighbors through volunteer initiatives, our community through social gatherings, and so much more! To highlight and highfive these great folks, we are throwing our first Member Week. April 1-7th will be packed full of events celebrating membership, cooperatives, and coming together around good beer. Everyone is Welcome! (members get some special deals)
SATURDAY 4/1: Members First – Potluck Brunch & Super Member Happy Hour 12-2pm. SUNDAY 4/2: Crowler Debut, Stand-Up Comedy at 8:30, Member Happy Hour all day. MONDAY 4/3: Cribbage Night 6-8pm, 1/2 off you first beer with another co-op’s card, Member Happy Hour all day. TUESDAY 4/4: Fair State-sponsored music and $2 off all FS pours at 331 Club. Music at 8:30pm. WEDNESDAY 4/5: Co-op Trivia with Tommy. THURSDAY 4/6: Fair State Cooperates Planned Parenthood Poster Party 7-9PM. Sign up here. FRIDAY 4/7: Member Thank You Party 1/2 off all pours for member-owners, all day! Member Wall photobooth 4-8pm.
Fair State Cooperates: 2016 and Forward
As 2016 comes to a close, so does the inaugural year of our Fair State Cooperates program. We teamed up with twelve different non-profit organizations to raise funds and awareness, while also lending a hand. Everything about this initiative has been made possible by our community of members and taproom regulars.
If you stopped by the taproom to purchase a growler in 2016, then you helped support one of Minnesota’s excellent non-profit organizations. Every growler that went home with a customer was also a dollar that went to a non-profit. Several thousand dollars donated, just by buying beer.
In addition to growlers, we also used work gloves. Every organization has its own unique needs that we did our best to accommodate. Each partnership provided a different experience for members, staff, and regulars to come together and get our hands dirty. Monthly volunteer events ranged from landscaping to bike wrenching, to preparing food, to crafting art with kids.
One day that readily comes to mind, was working with Friends of the Mississippi River back in July. A dozen volunteers gathered in the Beer Garden. Adam and Trevor from FMR gave us a quick lesson on the water table, the river, and the stuff that goes through our drains. We then split into three groups and covered the brewery’s surrounding neighborhood. Each group was equipped with a stencil, paint, and informational brochures. We cleaned and stenciled each storm drain with the message DUMP NO WASTE, DRAINS TO RIVER. It was a beautiful day, and neighbors became curious about the folks in red shirts cleaning and decorating drains. The Fair State Cooperators enthusiastically spoke to the importance of clean storm drains, shared a brochure, and made a plug for the local brewery’s volunteer program. In addition to doing some work in the wonderful weather, the day was great because we met some neighbors, and people seemed genuinely appreciative of the effort. The day finished with the new tradition of gathering back at the taproom for a couple pints on the house, and some delicious replenishing snacks donated by Eastside Food Co-op.
2016 was a great first year for the program. We had fun, made connections, and found areas to improve upon. If you have not already joined us, I hope that this is the year you spend some time with Fair State Cooperates. This Fall at our annual meeting, member-owners selected our non-profit partners for the 2017 year. Without further adieu, the line-up for next year is…
College Possible Center for Victims of Torture Friends of the Mississippi Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery Family Tree Clinic Planned Parenthood Animal Humane Society Eastside Neighborhood Services SACA Food Shelf Free Arts Minnesota Can Do Canines Children’s Cancer Research Fund
This project has been a fun one to develop, and I am excited to see what it becomes. If you are interested in learning more, wish to get involved, or nominate future Fair State Cooperates non-profit partners, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Way to Join!
All great things take time. Just ask the stuff sitting in the lager tank. Now that we are in year two as a cooperative brewery, we’re looking to make it even easier to join!
Up until recently we asked people to pay a one-time sum of $200 for an individual, or $300 for a household, to become lifetime member-owners. While the one-time payment is still an option, there is now an option for monthly payments! People asked, and we answered.
For $20/month (individual) or $30/month (household) you can now own a part of your local cooperative brewery. The payments will be spaced over ten months, but your membership will begin immediately and last a lifetime! …Join here…
If you have any questions about joining, or are wondering about monthly payments for gift memberships, please contact email@example.com