Fair State's 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.
Fair State's 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.
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