In late spring of 2010, there were exactly zero blonde ales being brewed and distributed in Minnesota. We had just launched with Sweet Child of Vine in late 2009, and didn’t have the capacity to brew a second beer just yet. For over a year, we had been homebrewing and refining a recipe for an ale that was light in color and hopped with German noble varieties. The malt bill – consisting of 2 Row and a little Caramel 10 and White Wheat – was dialed in quickly, but the hops varieties took much longer. We iterated through 18 different versions of the recipe before landing on a flavor/aroma combination of Tettnanger and Mittelfreuh which has carried through to the present day. Brewing 5 or 10 gallons of each of those versions meant we had significant quantities of homebrewed Blonde to drink through. But it always seemed to disappear—quickly. We finally wrapped our minds around the idea that this could be Fulton’s next year-round beer.
As the only locally produced beer of the style, the name “Lonely Blonde” was a natural fit. To this day, we have internal disagreements on who came up with the name, and there are even a few apocryphal name-origin stories that circulate within the brewery from time to time. (The lesson? If you think you have a clever idea, create detailed documentation so you can prove your friends and business partners wrong over beers later on).
By the time we released Lonely Blonde, we were confident we had created a very good beer, but we were less sure of the reception it would receive. At that time, the Minnesota craft beer market was a different place. There were only about 15 breweries in the state (compared to over 150 today); the first taproom wouldn’t open for almost another two years. Craft beer in Minnesota was mostly about big, hoppy IPAs and extreme stouts. We had no idea if anyone would drink a Blonde Ale; maybe we’d even get made fun of for making a “light beer” (which, for the record, Lonely Blonde is not).
As would be the case so many more times over the next seven years, we were wrong. Lonely Blonde rolled out on draft to a handful of bars and restaurants, and then a handful more. And then a few more and more. Most people thought it was just a summer seasonal at first (it wasn’t), and the volume was far behind Sweet Child of Vine, which had far exceeded our expectations out of the gate and was growing leaps and bounds. Nonetheless, Lonely Blonde kept selling more and more every month, and five years later, it quietly overtook Sweet Child of Vine as Fulton’s number one beer. Today, one of every two Fulton beers consumed is a Lonely Blonde. We were honored to receive a Bronze Medal at the Great American Beer Fest in 2015, and are even more proud of the number of times we’ve been told that Lonely Blonde is “my favorite beer.”
So, maybe Lonely Blonde isn’t so Lonely anymore – but who said that’s a bad thing?
Whew! What a year it's been. In the spring we announced our joining forces with Artisanal Imports as a partner in our expansion into new markets. And, in the lead up to our first new market launch with them, we've been extra busy diligently refining our beer lineup, adding and subtracting to make sure that we're serving up the very best both here in MN and beyond. With that said, we're launching Fulton in a number of Kansas cities this week with Lonely Blonde, Sweet Child of Vine, 300, Standard and PIŁS. Look for Fulton in cans and on draft at your favorite KS bars, restaurants and stores starting now.
This week's launch itinerary:
Fulton Beer – Packaging Assistant
Fulton is a Minneapolis brewery founded in 2009. We own and operate a 20 bbl brewery and taproom in downtown Minneapolis next to Target Field, and a 50,000 square foot production brewery in Northeast Minneapolis. In 2016, Fulton produced approximately 26,000 barrels, sold across a five state distribution footprint. We’re a group of beer enthusiasts focused on brewing extraordinary beer and working to make our community a better place. Our Ful10 Fund provides loans and support to other small businesses and non-profits, and our Fulton Racing teams encourage participation in active lifestyle sports. Best of all, we get to live, work, and play in Minneapolis-St. Paul, consistently ranked as one of the top metro areas in the United States for quality of life, urban parks, education, bicycling, theater, dining, and more.
Sounds like a place you’d like to be? We are seeking a Packaging Assistant to join our rapidly growing company. The right individual is a leader who works well with others, focuses on quality and technical excellence, loves to work and play hard, embraces opportunities for continuous learning and improvement, and is passionate about extraordinary beer.
The demands of the Packaging Assistant position are very physical in nature. The demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. While performing the duties of this job you will be working over, under, and around machinery in tight and cramped spaces. You will need to be able to work in awkward positions for extended periods of time and/or standing, kneeling, and crouching for long periods of time. You must be comfortable working at heights while standing on a ladder or in a basket. This work environment involves indoor and outdoor activities in various temperatures and weather conditions. The ability to frequently lift and/or move up to 20 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Employees are exposed to high levels of noise and other hazards requiring the use of personal protective equipment.
Fulton offers a salary commensurate with experience and a benefits package. We’re looking to hire people who are serious about beer without taking themselves too seriously. The ability to adapt to change, operate independently, work hard, and learn fast is a must.
Still interested? Send your resume and any other reasons why you’re a good fit at Fulton at firstname.lastname@example.org