This year, it’s all about collaboration.
“Part of being in the industry is that you just end up meeting a lot of people in different places,” says Fair State head brewer Niko Tonks. “You don’t get to drink their beers, and you kinda want to, so we thought, ‘Why not invite our friends and have them bring some beer out to us?’”
Attendees to either of the two Mixed Culture sessions on June 16 are welcome sample beer from 12 breweries from six different states, many of which are not available for distribution in Minnesota.
The complete list of breweries serving at the event is as follows:
Earth Rider Brewery (Superior, Wisc.)
Fonta Flora Brewery (Morganton, N.C.)
Funk Factory Geuzeria (Madison, Wisc.)
Forager Brewing Company (Rochester, Minn.)
Half Acre Beer Company (Chicago, Ill.)
Jester King Brewery (Austin, Texas)
Live Oak Brewing Company (Del Valle, Texas)
Sociable Cider Werks (Minneapolis)
Suarez Family Brewery (Livingston, N.Y.)
Surly Brewing Company (Minneapolis)
Threes Brewing (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Whiner Beer (Chicago, Ill.)
Though seemingly random, the chosen breweries read like entries Tonks’ brewing yearbook.
On the local front, there’s Sociable Cider Werks, where Tonks served as head brewer before going to Fair State, and Surly, who recently collaborated with Tonks on Clarity of Purpose. Then, there’s Earth Rider, whose lead brewer Allyson Rolph has been a friend of Fair State since her Thirsty Pagan days.
Tonks went deep to his roots for out-of-state breweries, inviting Live Oak and Jester King, the first two commercial breweries he ever worked at. Fonta Flora head brewer Jeremy Inzer is also a Live Oak alumnus. And Suarez Family, Whiner, and Threes all host Minnesota natives on their brewing team, making Mixed Culture a homecoming for them as well.
“It seems like [events like these] are happening more and more often,” Tonks says. “As the world gets smaller and there are more and more breweries, why can’t breweries throw festivals? I mean, we go to them all the time.”
Alongside the roster of imports, Fair State will celebrate with 17 new releases of their own, including a slew of small-batch fruited barrel beers, a whiskey cider sour beer, and a smoked apricot sour.
“We pull out all the stops for this event every year,” Tonks proclaims with a laugh.
Mixed Culture will be held in two sessions on June 16, one from 12 to 4 p.m. and one from 5 to 9 p.m. Both sessions will be held at their Northeast beer garden (2506 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis), so space is limited.