Fair State, Surly highlight Minnesota beer rankings

To what should be no surprise to anyone who enjoys beer around the Twin Cities, a few local breweries were recently acknowledged by RateBeer.com’s annual rankings.

Fair State Brewing Cooperative in Minneapolis was named the 10th best new brewery in the world – quite the feat considering more than 5,400 new operations were eligible. Fair State was also named the best new brewery in Minnesota.

Ratebeer.com highlighted Fair State’s creation of some of the best new craft beer, as well as its cooperative business model, allowing members to get happy hour discounts, collaborate on beer recipes and exclusive access to special releases.


Founded in 2014, Fair State is spearheaded by president and CEO Evan Sallee, head brewer Niko Tonks and director of operations Matt Hauck.

“This award belongs to the entire Fair State community, including our more than 700 member-owners who have a stake in our beer and our business,” Sallee said. “We’re humbled to be recognized among this amazing group of breweries, and we’re especially excited to play a role in putting Minnesota craft beer on the world stage.”

Don’t get Surly – well, yes, please do

Surly Brewing wasn’t shut out.

It was named the best brewery in Minnesota, according to the beer website, as well as offering the best taproom. Surly also was honored with the best Minnesota-made beer – its Abrasive Ale.

Abrasive, as well as Surly Darkness, are also ranked in the top 100 beers in the world.

For styles, Surly was recognized for its SurlyFest (No. 1 in the dark lager category), Todd the Axe Man (No. 6 in the IPA category) and Abrasive (No. 11 in the imperial IPA category)

Surly, as well as Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery, are considered in the top 100 breweries in the world based on RateBeer.com’s users’ rankings.

Other Minnesota businesses recognized:

  • Best Minnesota brewpub: Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
  • Best Minnesota restaurant: Town Hall Tap
  • Best Minnesota bottle shop: Heritage Liquor
  • Best Minnesota bar: The Happy Gnome



About the author

Hi, I'm Corey. I like craft beer; specifically, like a lot of people here, I like Minnesota beer. I'm co-host of On Tap with Corey and Ira, a biweekly radio show and podcast out of Northfield that explores southern Minnesota breweries and beer. Find us on Facebook and Twitter @OnTapNorthfield. I'm a recovering journalist -- now communications guy -- and wannabe great fisherman. Follow me on Twitter @CoreyButlerMN.