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Fair State Brewing Cooperative Becomes First Microbrewery in US to Unionize

Fair State Brewing Cooperative Becomes First Microbrewery in US to Unionize

Employees of Fair State Brewing Cooperative in Minneapolis, Minnesota have voted to become the first microbrewery in the U.S. to unionize. 

“I am proud of the self-determination our team has shown by taking on the responsibility of organizing to make Fair State better,” said Evan Sallee, CEO of Fair State Brewing Cooperative in a press release. “This is one more step to building the business that we have envisioned from the beginning – one where workers and consumers each have a say and stake in a business, working together to build something beautiful and thriving.” Full details are below.


Minneapolis, Minn. – After more than a year of discussion, yesterday, Fair State Brewing Cooperative becomes the first Microbrewery in the United States to unionize. In a majority vote, eligible employees presented their request to be recognized as a union to CEO Evan Sallee. In consultation with the member-owned Board of Directors, Sallee quickly agreed to voluntarily recognize the union.

“I am proud of the self-determination our team has shown by taking on the responsibility of organizing to make Fair State better,” said Evan Sallee, CEO of Fair State Brewing Cooperative. “This is one more step to building the business that we have envisioned from the beginning – one where workers and consumers each have a say and stake in a business, working together to build something beautiful and thriving.”

Employees will join Unite Here Local 17, a local hospitality union representing more than six thousand workers throughout the Twin Cities. In the coming days, employees will elect leaders in each department (brewing, packaging, retail and administrative) to further the democratic business model that Fair State continues to build.

“I’ve been proud to work at a place like Fair State that doesn’t simply talk about community and democracy but attempts to structure itself to live up to those ideals. Now we get to enter an amazing new phase where that can be matched up with the formal voice of a union to better empower the workers at Fair State,” said Anders Bloomquist a warehouse specialist. “Fair State Brewing Cooperative set a standard for its first six years, and now all of us together will set another standard for the next six years.”

Fair State’s Beer can be found throughout Minnesota and in limited quantities throughout the country. Fair State’s Beer Garden is open Tuesday – Thursday at 4:00 p.m. and Friday – Sunday at 12:00 p.m. For more information about Fair State or to learn about membership, visit fairstate.coop.

About Fair State Brewing Cooperative

Fair State Co-op is one of the first cooperatively-owned breweries in the United States. Fair State Co-op’s consumer members elect its Board of Directors and select nonprofit partners to support through Fair State Cooperates, their community giving program. The Co-op’s professional brewing team focuses on traditional lager beer, sour beer and hoppy beers. Fair State Co-op operates a taproom and its original brewery in the vibrant Northeast neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota and a larger packaging brewery in the Midway neighborhood of Saint Paul, Minnesota.