Behind the Beer: IPA

IPA Cans

Head Brewer Niko Tonks on India Pale Ale.

“IPA” has more or less become synonymous with “craft beer.” I’ve seen White IPA, Black IPA, DIPA, IIPA, Triple IPA, Belgian IPA, Session IPA, Hazy IPA, West Coast IPA, Red IPA, Brown IPA, Milkshake IPA, Fruited IPA, IPL, Sour IPA, Barrel-Aged IPA, Coffee IPA, Chili Pepper IPA, Double Dry-Hopped IPA, Continuously-Hopped IPA, and even the rare old school British-style IPA. To be honest, this proliferation of hop juice wears on us sometimes.

So why, at this late date, did we decide to make a beer that’s just plain old “IPA” and put it in big, bright red cans? Well, long story short, we’ve been watching IPA as a category and we thought we had something to add to the conversation. Our goal with this entry into a crowded field is to cherry-pick all the things we like about IPA as a broad category and put them together in one beer.

We like: IPA you can see through, even if you have to squint (even if we make the occasional one you can’t). IPA that is intensely aromatic: fruity, citrusy, floral, and maybe a bit dank. IPA that isn’t heavy, sweet, dark, caramel-laden, or overly bitter. IPA that is soft, easy to drink, and crisp all at once.

With Fair State IPA, we think we’ve hit on most of these things. It is brewed with German Pilsner and Red Wheat malts, fermented with our house English Ale yeast strain, and hopped with Horizon, Chinook, Crystal, Simcoe, Centennial, and Cascade hops to the tune of almost 4 pounds per barrel. Old school, new school, and the kind of school no one much cared about until now, all wrapped up in one neat, inviting package. We hope you enjoy.

FAIR STATE IPAs

Cans: IPA, Spirit Foul

Bottles: Dorado Gold (Brett IPA)

On draft: IPA, Spirit Foul, Dorado Gold

PRESS

City Pages: “The 10 Best Minnesota IPAs”

The Growler: “The Taste Test: Blind-tasting 53 Minnesota IPAs”

IPA Glass & 4-Pack

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!

-Matt