Member Week to Remember

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)

Members First – Potluck Brunch
& Super Member Happy Hour 12-2pm.
Crowler Debut,
Stand-Up Comedy at 8:30,
Member Happy Hour all day.
Cribbage Night 6-8pm,
1/2 off you first beer with another co-op’s card,
Member Happy Hour all day.
Fair State-sponsored music and $2 off all FS pours at 331 Club. Music at 8:30pm.
Co-op Trivia with Tommy.
Fair State Cooperates Planned Parenthood Poster Party 7-9PM. Sign up here.
Member Thank You Party
1/2 off all pours for member-owners, all day!
Member Wall photobooth 4-8pm.

Introducing Fair State University

From Sarah Williams, Events & Education Coordinator

This year, I’ve had the pleasure of pioneering the role of Education Coordinator at Fair State. Thus far, this role has primarily focused on staff training but beginning in January, we’re bringing the program to you, our members and the general public with our free education series, Fair State University.

Personally, I’m excited to coordinate this program because I have a background in teaching and am fascinated by the process of learning. As a crew, we are passionate about this project because it is an integral part of our cooperative mission. Education is the fifth cooperative principle and we’re seeking new ways to incorporate this principle into our daily lives. At Fair State Brewing Cooperative we strive to both educate and learn continuously. Whether it’s discussing our beer with a taproom customer or collaborating with our industry peers, we strive to gain a better understanding of our industry, our community, and the world around us. Fair State University will be one more opportunity for us to learn from each other. FSU will be hosted in the taproom at 12:30 pm on the last Sunday of every month. The format may range from a seminar, group discussion, panel, or hands-on-learning. FSU instructors may cover beer knowledge, community values, academic or practical knowledge.

For January’s event, we are proud to announce that we’ll be partnering with our neighbors from Water Bar & Public Studio for a tap water tasting and illustrated talk about their work to connect artists, environmental advocates, and local government in and around Northeast Minneapolis.

Our cooperative members have a wide background with a range of knowledge and experience. Are you a member with teaching skills and knowledge to share? Do you know an expert in their field who would be interested in sharing their work with Fair State members and customers? Send your suggestions to me at Join us in the taproom Sunday, January 29 at 12:30 for our inaugural FSU session. Let’s think and drink!

Join us in the Taproom Sunday, January 29 at 12:30 for our inaugural FSU session. Let’s think and drink!

Sarah Williams, Events & Education Coordinator

Berry Pick for Beer


This last Sunday we rallied a bunch of Fair State members and friends at Lorence’s Berry Farm just outside of Northfield, MN. The day was beautiful and the bugs were at an acceptable level. Our goal was to harvest a bunch of raspberries for use in an upcoming sour beer.




With a combination of volunteers and staff, we had a total of 19 pickers. We were at it for about 2.5 hours, but our labors should prove fruitful.



The folks at Lorence’s were a delight to work with. Between the collaborative effort of our members, friends, staff, and a hands-on local harvest, I think we will have something pretty special with this beer.



Keep your eyes peeled for U Pick, a mixed culture barrel-aged sour, re-firmented on 280lbs of raspberries. To be release in 750ml bottles and draft late Fall.

Member Homebrew Challenge Results

Here it is folks, the results from our very first, and quite likely annual, Member Homebrew Challenge!

First off, a note on the process. Our judging panel was comprised of brewers Niko and Caleb, as well as our president Evan. They approached the bottles with clean pallets early on Friday afternoon. We received a variety of styles, though as mentioned before this is a Best in Show competition. There was loads of great stuff and it made for a fun afternoon! As with presidential elections, king of the hill, and highlander, there can only be one. So without further adieu, our winner…

Kyle Schmidt stole our mouth-hearts with his Pale Lager featuring Hallertau Blanc Hops.  We will be scheduling a brewday with Kyle, and you can keep your tastebuds prepped for this upcoming homebrew gone big!

You folks gave us some tasty stuff! There are a few other beers and people that deserve some recognition.
2nd Place:
Tom Berg, Dortmunder Style Lager
3rd Place:
Raymond Boyle, “Hops and Oats,” Oatmeal Stout
Honorable Mention:
Matt Jones, Belgian Golden Saison
A big thanks to all of the members that participated in our first homebrew challenge! It was a great success, and enjoyed seeing what you have been working on. Happy brewing!

Homebrew Member Challenge

  •  Have you been dreaming about seeing your recipe brewed on a commercial scale?
  •  Is that kegerator in the garage no longer enough for your homebrewed awesomeness?
  •  Do you love Fair State, but wish we brewed a ________?

Well, now is your chance!

We are having our very first Homebrew Member Challenge. Submit your homebrew for a chance to have it brewed as a full-size commercial batch on our system (15bbl). We’re looking to try your finished product, in bottle form. So no sitting on your haunches. Get that brew kettle boiling!

We are accepting submissions from June 27-30th during taproom hours.

(4x) 12oz bottles or (2x) 22oz (or 750s) bottles of each beer you submit.
Limit of 4 submissions per person.

Rules are as follows:

This competition is open to member-owners of Fair State Brewing Cooperative.
Not yet a member? You can sign up right here!
Label your beer! (use an avery label/paper tag)
– Your name
– What you’re calling the beer

– A one line description of the beer

YEAST: Has to be a beer brewed with either 3711/French Saison yeast, 007 Dry English Ale yeast (or a yeast you don’t mind being switched out for one of those two yeasts), Hefeweizen yeast, or lager yeast.

MALT/HOPS: Feel free to use any malts or hops you want, but be aware that we’re unlikely able to source a bunch of Citra or Mosaic or the like (basically anything from the Southern Hemisphere is out).

ADJUNCTS: Fruits and other adjuncts (either in the mash, kettle, or fermenter) are fine, within reason. We can’t source 200# of Durian or Dragonfruit (please don’t make Durian beers, anyway). For a quick guide, anything available from Oregon Fruit in puree format is totally cool. Locally available things may be ok, but might not be depending on when this slots into the schedule. Herbs and spices are generally no problem.

Kettle or quick sour beers are fine, Beers co-fermented with Lactobacillus and yeast are fine. Brett. fermentation in either primary or secondary is fine, but barrel-aging is out. Not enough room in the barrel room to make it work. This means no Pedio. While we do like sour and funky beer around here, that doesn’t mean we’re any more likely to pick a sour or funky beer than a clean one. Brew what you like, don’t try to conform to what we do just because you feel like you should.

The competition will be judged “best in show” style, and we don’t really care too much about style conventions.

We’ll brew 15 barrels of the winning beer, with the winner being invited to come sit in on brew day.

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!