Fair State Brewing Cooperative
Fair State Brewing Cooperative is Minnesota’s first co-op brewery. We started a brewery because we love great beer. We made it a cooperative because we believe that when people come together, amazing things can happen. We share stories, come up with new ideas, and start to see the world a little differently.
At Fair State Co-op, we’re brewing community. Good beer for good people. Love it. Own it.
Our story starts on the rugby pitch, where founder Evan Sallee, Niko Tonks, and Matt Hauck first met while playing for rival teams. The competition turned into friendship and while homebrewing together the idea of founding a brewery started simmering. Then, the notion of a cooperatively owned brewery came to life when the three founders had beers together at Black Star Co-op in Austin.
Our founders believed the operations of craft breweries were opaque and that there was a gap between being a homebrewer and owning a brewery. The founders’ hope was that the co-op model would provide a way for consumers to be more involved in operations while also bringing co-op values to the Minnesota craft beer scene.
The founders’ vision resonated with family, friends, and neighbors. Early on we received support from local retail partners and nearly three hundred members joined the co-op before the taproom doors even opened. On September 6, 2014, Fair State Co-op became the first cooperatively-owned brewery in Minnesota, and the third in the country. In the years since we opened, co-op members have helped design beer recipes, picked fresh berries for our annual fruited sour, volunteered countless hours through our Cooperates program, and formed meaningful relationships with each other and our staff.
The cooperative’s membership is currently over 1,500 and growing every day. In 2017, we added a 40,000 sq. ft. production facility to meet growing demand in distribution. At the original Northeast brewery, we continue to brew innovative small-batch beers that feature hard-to-source and local ingredients. Often these limited beers are only available at the taproom or through the cooperative’s bottle subscription program, Journeys + Sidequests.
In 2016, we launched our community engagement arm, Fair State Cooperates. Each month we partner with a different nonprofit organization, as selected by our Member-Owners. In our partnerships, we raise funds through beer sales, awareness through social media, and involvement through volunteerism.
Fair State Brewing Cooperative is an independent craft brewer.
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Proud to Support Independent Craft Brewers
For years, small and independent U.S. craft breweries have been turning the beer world upside down. Their ability to take risks, innovate flavors and build better communities has made the U.S. the craft beer capital of the world.
To proudly display that independent spirit, the Brewers Association created a symbol to unify U.S. craft breweries and those who want to support them. This certified mark gives beer lovers an easy way to identify independent craft beer.
Learn more about what it means to be an Independent Craft Brewer by visiting the Brewers Association.