The time is nearly here for the best (nearly) 2 weeks of the summer! If you're a true Minnesotan, you know exactly what we're talking about already. The MN State Fair kicks off it's annual return August 22nd. (That's just 3 weeks and counting) You can take in all the usual highlights while sipping some Fultons along the way. Brand new this year are the 4 custom beers we've crafted for some of the Fair's favorite stops. Want to know more? Keep reading below:
MANGO STAR at LuLu's Public House (Session IPA is twice dry-hopped with Citra, Mosaic and Amarillo hops and fruited with mango purée.)
ORANGE PUSH-UP POP PALE ALE at Cafe Caribe (This pale ale features bright citrus and tropical fruit notes that are matched with a light malt body, finished with orange cream and rimmed with zesty orange sugar.)
PRICKLY PEAR IPA at Frontier Bar (IPA is fruited with prickly pear purée.)
STRAWBERRY BLONDE at Hildebrand Concessions within Grandstand (Fruity American blonde ale with a delicate fragrance of German noble hops, a touch of white wheat and a strawberry purée to create a crisp and smooth sipper.)
The biggest and best beer festival of the year is back in the mile-high city of Denver this October. Better yet, Jameson Irish Whiskey and it's 22 American craft brewery partners (ahem, Drinking Buddies) are back too. Meet us in the most badass barrel-aged beer garden in all of the land at this year's GABF. But, you'll need tickets to get in on all the fun. Get yours here.
Your favorite bar's favorite beer is back with another visual reminder of the importance of enjoying some down time, with friends, in your favorite drinking establishments. Cheers!
Let there be light! More specifically, the life-giving light from our buddy the Sun. Excuse us if we gush about this star being the center of our attention for a moment, but we're just a couple months into having our finished Solar Panels active and it's hard not to be excited already. As part of a major expansion and renovation of our NE MPLS production brewery last year in which we upgraded equipment, increased our capacity and expanded our footprint, we also installed 864 solar panels on our roof. And now finally, they're up-and-running and producing a much appreciated resource for us. Better yet, they're helping to ease our use of non-renewable resources while saving us on our monthly electric bill (trust us, it's huge). In fact, our electric production in June alone helped avoid the creation of 74 tons of CO2. We're pumped to see how much we can offset our needs through our own production this year and in the many years to come. And, in the months ahead we'll be sharing some fun and impactful stats on our sustainability measures.
All this sun talk has us thirsty, naturally. And if you get as thirsty as we do this time of year you probably like to pack some appropriate summer beers for going with on all your weekend outings (or mid-week adventures). As fans of cold beer in particular, we just want to make sure you're packing some the appropriate beer insulators, too. Your beer (and hands) will be happier if you do. This Public Service Announcement is brought to you by Solar Vortex.
The FREE FRIDAY NIGHT BLOCK PARTY AT BRYANT LAKE BOWL IS BACK!! Everyone's fave uptown Pride event has returned!
Party is free to attend and is rain or shine. Please keep your doggies at home, this party is on pavement.
6pm DJ Tricky Miki
6:30pm Venus DeMars and All the Pretty Horses
7:25pm Dyke.s Do Drag
8:15pm Genital Panic featuring Tina Schlieske
9:20pm Static Panic
With MC Foxy Tann and street performances from Epitome No Question!
A portion of the event proceeds will benefit OutFront Minnesota. Their mission is to create a state where lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are free to be who they are, love who they love, and live without fear of violence, harassment or discrimination.
Minneapolis' most jovial beer festival returns to Loring Park tonight in celebration of Minneapolis Pride weekend. This year's theme pays homage to the art form of "drag". In that spirit, our special Pride Dabbler beer is inspired by our favorite scene from the 1994 hit, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of The Desert. We've taken Grapefruit Lonely Blonde and infused it with watermelon, lime, and served in a lavendar sugar-rimmed cup. We call it "Paloma, Queen of The Dabbler". Come see us in the park beginning at 5:30.
Kinda like the dopest dance party ever? Probably. But you won't know unless you attend. Brought to you by your favorite MPLS MADE brewery (Fulton, duh) and the Current at everyone's favorite danceteria. Meet us downtown at 9 and put those dancing shoes on.
A weekend-long pride pool party? Yes. You read that right. See you there!
In our unending quest to bring you, the Fulton true-believer the most possible options for enjoying a Fulton, we're happy to announce that we've put everyone's favorite Session IPA in an all new packaging format. For the first time ever, you can now pickup a 6pk of Hopstar 12oz bottles. Now you can put that bottle opener that has been collecting dust in your kitchen (also in your desk, garage, key chain, backpack, etc) back to work. Everyone's happy.
Our favorite late-night art festival is back and lighting up the Twin Cities this weekend. Northern Spark (one of the country's biggest and best outdoor art festivals) is jammed pack full of dozens of art installations, projections, and performances both Friday and Saturday nights. Did we mention it's free to attend? Did we also mention there's a Fulton Beer Garden located at the Commons near US Bank Stadium? Oh, well, we just did.
Best paired with sunshine and enthusiastic outdoor weekend activities. Also doubles as an incredible shower beer/quick lunch beer. You choose how to fit it in but do so quick-like...we only brewed and packed this once!
Although it's hard to believe, there was a time when there was no Fulton Hard Seltzer. Thankfully, those days are behind us and our fruit-filled fun times are bountiful and frequent. You can now find Fulton Hard Seltzer mixed 12packs around the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. So let the good times roll and the fun never end.
Grapefruit + Lonely Blonde = Summer In A Can. Those words are directly from you Minnesota and we couldn't say it better ourselves or be happier to hear it. So whether you're at Target Field watching the Twins whoop the other team or you're on a boat with friends-enjoy Minnesota.
Welcome to part 2 in our ‘10 Stories for 10 Years’ blog series: (Click here if you missed Part one)
By September 2009, we were on the cusp. The “what if?” questions became “why won’t this work?” which became “well then how?” After first dances with all of the beer distributors in town, we convinced Hohensteins to take us on. Whether it was seeing Karl the owner hop on a forklift to help out when they were down a person, Jim the General Manager on a first-name basis with all the beer buyers we visited, or the near-instant camaraderie we built with their sales team, everything just clicked. Hohensteins wasn’t the biggest distributor around by a long shot, but they were years ahead of anyone else around in the craft distribution scene, and still had the reach and operational prowess to scale up if things went well. And crucially, they were patient and willing to take the time to teach to four young guys with day jobs who didn’t know anything about the beer industry.
Four days after we signed our contract with Hohensteins, they hosted a Mississippi River boat cruise with their top bar, restaurant, and liquor store customers. Each brewery in their portfolio got to bring two beers to sample at a table on the boat. This was a golden opportunity to get our name -- and our beer -- in front of hundreds of potential customers all at once. The Harriet Island parking lot was filled with vans and company cars clad in graphics of legendary craft breweries like Left Hand, Boulder, and Bell’s. As we unloaded the igloo cooler full of samples out of the backseat of Ryan’s 2002 Ford Focus**, it occurred to us that the homebrew we would be pouring that afternoon was packaged in reused bottles originally filled by the very breweries sampling alongside us on the boat. We had no stickers, no keychains, no brochures. Our homebrew bottles didn’t even have labels. The only Fulton branding on the entire boat was an 8.5 x 11 print of our logo above our table and the two t-shirts Ryan and Pete were wearing that Chux Print had dropped off at Pete’s garage earlier that day.
Once the bottles were popped, we relaxed and started to have some fun. Within the first hour, word had spread around the boat, and we were hearing the same questions over and over again. “A new Minnesota brewery? Can I try the imperial stout?! When do you launch? How can I get your beer?” Despite our humble, naive, and last minute appearance, we had nailed it. Everyone wanted to know about the new Minneapolis brewery, and it didn’t hurt that they loved the beer, too. Now we just had to brew a batch larger than 10 gallons.
A week later, we were driving to Black River Falls to brew our first commercial batch of Sweet Child of Vine. Jim and Todd at Sand Creek Brewing had agreed to take us on. Better yet, they were willing to let us brew--apprentice, essentially--alongside them so that we could learn the ropes of a real commercial brewery before we had our own. This was how we brewed all of our beer for the first couple years. Every week, one or two of us (but one was always Pete), would drive the 2 hours to Sand Creek for brewday, usually on a Wednesday. Mash in was at 6:00 so if we hit the road later than 4:00 AM we were late. Back-to-back 20 barrel batches meant we wouldn’t be out for at least 12 hours, and that was if everything went well. Filling some extra firkins, helping with a filter run, or bullshitting with Jim and Todd only extended the day. Not long after we started, we realized we could save money by hauling kegs ourselves in Pete’s carpentry trailer. We couldn’t haul a full batch but it saved us paying for a few LTL pallets every week, though in hindsight the mental toll exacted by some of those midnight returns on wintry roads with an overloaded trailer may not have been worth it.
Despite the quick launch and experience that contract brewing gave us, we were aware of the downsides of contracting immediately. Every time we got to tell our story at a bar or a beer fest, it was the same conversation.
“We’re based out of a Southwest Minneapolis garage.”
“We’re contract brewing in Wisconsin right now.”
“Yes, but we actually do the brewing ourselves, we just don’t have our own brewery.”
“We plan to build our own brewery.”
“Sometime in the next 5 or 10 years, hopefully.”
We quickly got accustomed to being called names like “beer marketing company” or “fake brewers”, but it always stung. Some people called contact brewing “doing it the easy way” but it didn’t feel like it. To us, it was the only way. If we hadn’t had the option of contracting, we might have never started, or not until years later, anyway.
Despite the detractors, we went from an idea about starting a brewery to pouring our first pints of Sweet Child to the public in less than nine months. The first keg of Sweet Child of Vine was tapped at our launch party at the Happy Gnome, on October 28, 2009. The four of us came to the Gnome from our day jobs, not having any idea of what to expect, hoping at least a bunch of our family would show up. They did, along with friends, classmates, coworkers, curious beer buyers and beer geeks from across the metro who’d seen our launch announcement online. The Sweet Child pours were beautiful: great lacing on the glass, perfect clarity, Simcoe and Glacier aroma leaping from the glass. The first keg was gone quickly, and before the night was over, nine more were tapped. The Gnome had poured over a thousand pints of Sweet Child. Everyone seemed to love it -- even those who weren’t family! -- and we even made the 10:00 news. Just like that, we were in the brewing business -- asterisk or not.
*who doesn’t have an actual brewery of our own yet and we brew everything in Wisconsin, but it’s just for now and if you have a minute we’ll tell you about the big picture plan.
**Soon thereafter, the Focus was re-christened “The Fulton Focus” so it felt like we had a company car too.
It's raining. It's snowing. It's too hot. It's too cold. In the land of partly-cloudy we sure do enjoy our talk about the weather. And in that spirit we've crafted our newest beer: a Blood Orange Session Ale we're calling "Solar Vortex". Inspired by a yet-to-happen summer weather phenonenom (call it wishful thinking), it's dry, low in alcohol, and perfect for the summer ahead. Pick your 4packs of tallboys up beginning next week around the Metro.
As if brewing approachable, extraordinary beers 5 days a week wasn't enough already we're throwing our collective hats into the ring of the Hard Seltzer. And, if our experiences at Twin Cities Burger Battle and Grumpy's Art-A-Whirl party this past weeked are any indication of enthusiasm for this stuff, things are going to be quite fruity and fun this summer. Comprised of flavors including: Grapefruit, Berry, Blood Orange, and Lemon Lime there's sure to be a little something for everyone in this package. We spent nearly a year working on recipes, flavor combinations, new processes, packaging and identity work across all departments. We now can proudly say the fruits (pun definitely intended) of our labor are yours to enjoy.
We're happy to announce that Fulton's first shipment of Hard Seltzer Mixed 12packs has left the building! These party starters should be arriving in a liquor store near you within days for those living in the MSP metro (and spreading out from there). We hope you're ready to have more fun this summer. We certainly are.
We're crackin' cans for all four flavors beginning Thursday May 23rd in the Fulton Taproom. Make em' yours!
Class will be hosted by local Urban Cycling Coach, Jason Alvey.
Gain confidence and learn how the bike mechanics do it in a fun, relaxed atmosphere here at the Fulton Taproom. Jason spent over a decade working in bike shops and now enjoys teaching fellow cyclists the easiest ways to fix stuff. Bring your bike, your tools, enjoy a pint, and get your learn on!
Class will cover:
Become a more confident rider and leave your car at home more often.
****Maximum of 20 participants per session. Sign up today!
The excessive snow got in the way of your bike training this “spring.”
Or you’ve always wanted ride in the Fondo, but your block party-related FOMO wins out every time – can’t miss that first band.
Or maybe this is your first-ever organized ride and 40 (not to mention 100) miles just sounds excessive.
Whatever your reason, we have an all-new Fondo for you. At just 19 miles, it won’t take up your whole day. You’ll get back to the Fulton Brewery party HQ in time to grab a beer by the time the first band goes on – that is, depending on how much time you spend at Sea Salt, which is the halfway point of the ride. We’ll buy your first Fulton at Sea Salt (ticket included in your packet), and like all Fondo riders, you’ll get another one back at the block party.
The route’s a gorgeous one too. We’ll roll out from the Fulton NE brewery and follow West River Parkway along the Mississippi River all the way to Minnehaha Park. On the way there, we’ll have the parkway all to ourselves, as we’ve worked with Minneapolis Parks to close it to all traffic for the morning. On the way back, we’ll follow the same route except the Parkway will be re-opened to normal traffic, so rules of the road and the adjacent pathways are the name of the game here. It’s our most chill, most fun Fondo ever. Sign up today and join us on May 4th!
It's game time! Help your favorite watering hole make it to the championship. Which championship? Well, glad you asked. We're talking about the 1st Annual Fulton Foamy Sixteen of course. The bar/restaurant that serves the most Fulton during each time period advances through the bracket. During the college basketball semi final games on April 6th, Fulton will be hanging out at both of the semifinalist's accounts with swag, high fives, and raffle tickets. The semifinalist account that serves the most servings of Fulton from April 4th until the cutoff on April 6th will be the winner, and a pair of tickets to the championship game on April 8th will be raffled off to a customer at that account. This is week one and the match ups are below. Follow @fultonbeer on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates on the brackets.
No purchase necessary to win.
The first ever pint of Fulton was poured at The Happy Gnome on October 28th, 2009. To commemorate our 10th anniversary, over the course of 2019 we'll be publishing a series of 10 stories from the last 10 years in our blog and newsletter. Welcome to Part 1.
IN THE BEGINNING THERE WAS HOMEBREW
Starting a brewery was not the original plan. That came later.
First it was a Mr Beer homebrew kit; a gift. Then an experimental brew over a long cabin weekend with inconclusive results. An invitation over birthday beers at Gluek’s Bar. The first “real” brew day on a -13 degree day in February 2007. The first sips a few weeks later gave the first hint: we can make beer. Good beer!
The next two years whipped by. The Saturday morning trips to Northern Brewer and Midwest Supplies, and the slightly later Saturday morning trip to pick up the hose clamps you forgot. Moving from a kitchen stovetop and carboys in the basement to a single turkey burner and a modified half barrel keg in a one car garage to a 3-vessel 10 gallon all-grain system with pumps and programmable temperature control in a two car garage.
Somewhere everywhere along the way we were drinking beers — possibly homebrews or possibly another craft beer in bottles that hopefully didn’t have the dreadful (to a homebrewer) pressure sensitive labels that are impossible to remove when it’s time to clean your bottles for reuse. And over those beers someone first spoke the words “wouldn’t it be cool if we started our own brewery someday? An actual brewery, not just a home brewery?” This was a novel conversation that made the four of us unique from exactly zero other homebrewers who had ever brewed a good beer. The differences in our case ended up being timing, a little bit of luck, and a deep well of persistence tinged with a healthy hint of ignorance.
At that time, we thought one of the hardest parts was gauging how good our beer actually was. And, even if it was objectively good, would that mean it would actually sell? Sure, there are open competitions that judge beers on their fundamental merit — but winning gold medals for homebrew recipes is far from a guaranteed recipe for commercial success in the marketplace against the Goliath international breweries and the well-established regional craft breweries.
On the other hand, our families and friends continually told us how good our beer was. The problem, though, is that friends and family feedback is not exactly a high bar of professional critique. You have your family, who are Minnesota Nice and just want to participate in the appearance of success — so they’ll tell you it’s great beer, regardless of how it actually tastes. Then there are your friends, who have been consuming reasonable volumes of your beer and are both a) inebriated enough to be disqualified from any professional gravitas they might have otherwise carried (and likely had none to being with) and b) not going to criticize the hand that’s feeding them free beer.
So there was an objectively problem. But we carried on nonetheless.
One recipe, “Wagging Tail Pale Ale,” — an early version of what would only much later become our third year-round beer “The Ringer” — was a particular favorite. We poured through a lot of 5 gallon cornie kegs of that in 2007-08, and as we got closer to launching the business we were convinced that it would be our solo launch beer. The beer got better and better over time, and even though we didn’t launch with it initially, thankfully the name got better too.
It wasn’t until very close to our target launch date — less than 3 months — that we were convinced to come out with an IPA instead of a pale ale. As we sampled Wagging Tail to more and more of the local industry figures, we kept getting similar variations of this response: “This is nice. Have you ever thought of making an IPA? This is kind of a hops market.”
We had actually thought of an IPA, if only for a minute or two. Sweet Child of Vine was a name that came before a recipe, thanks to a fortuitously timed radio play of a certain G’n’R song on a brew day. The beer we later brewed to fit the name fell into place the second time we ever brewed it. It was almost perfect.
So we thought we had the beer figured out. But that wasn’t the hard part (not that there was an easy part). In 2009, locally brewed beer felt like it was on the cusp in Minnesota, but it was not yet a big thing. A whopping 12 breweries were in operation in the state — or, one for every 440,000 people. To make things more difficult, Minnesota regulations made an already challenging business even moreso, compared to more beer-progressive states. Taprooms wouldn’t become legal in Minnesota until 2011. There were zero production packaging / distributing breweries in Minneapolis at that time and even if there had been it was illegal for them to sell growlers.
But — though we didn’t know the extent of it at the time — we were riding the crest of a major wave. Our state was ready for modern beer laws, and we were in prime position to push them along.