Fulton started in 2006 when four friends started home brewing on the weekends, 10 gallons at time, in a one-car garage in the Fulton neighborhood of South Minneapolis. The group had no intention of starting a business, but later realized their collective skill set just might be capable of launching a startup business. Jim had the big ideas, Peter built the equipment, Ryan dreamed up recipes, and Brian drank the beer. Before long, the operation expanded from Jim’s one-car garage to Peter’s two-car garage and that wouldn’t be the last expansion.

By 2009, the (admittedly biased) focus group of friends and family were consistently providing positive feedback on the free home brewed beer they sampled with a few recipes rising to the top including one IPA (Sweet Child of Vine), a subtle but complex blonde ale (The Lonely Blonde) and two imperial-style beers (The Libertine and Worthy Adversary).

While the first beer styles were coming into sharp focus, the founding of the brewery was anything but. Ryan was in the middle of business school, Jim was studying for the bar exam, Brian was planning a wedding, and Peter was expecting his first child. There wasn’t a ton of extra cash laying around to start a brewery, nor had anyone run a business before. What the friends lacked in industry ties or experience they made up for with passion.

The piggybank to build Fulton’s brewery was still empty, so contract brewing was the next sensible step. Sand Creek Brewing Company located a couple hours east into Wisconsin allowed Fulton’s founders to apprentice with an experienced brewmaster, learn the basics of operating a production plant, build distribution, and generate some modest revenue. The first pint of Sweet Child of Vine was sold to a customer on October 28, 2009.


Things happened fast. Less than a year later, Fulton beer was being sold in over 100 bars around the Twin Cities and would soon be sold in a place to call home in the North Loop neighborhood of downtown Minneapolis. As brewhouse layouts were designed and equipment was delivered, Minnesota passed a key piece of legislation enabling packaging breweries to operate taprooms. Plans were quickly redrawn, and bar equipment was ordered. Fulton began brewing and selling growlers in the fall of 2011, and by the following March, Minneapolis’ first taproom was opened at 414 6th Avenue.

Three years later, with the growth of the taproom, the founders were finally able to quit their day jobs and hire Fulton’s’ first employee, Mikey Salo, as head brewer, and eventually, apart-owner.


By January of 2013, consumer demand for Fulton beer was exceeding the space in the taproom and the capacity of the 20-barrel brewhouse. Later that year - three years to the day after the least was signed for the downtown brewery – the ink was signed on a 51,000 square foot building in NE Minneapolis. With eight times the square footage and an 80-barrel brewhouse, this was Fulton’s new forever home. The NE brewery cannot legally operate a taproom, but corporate offices, warehousing, and QC/QA laboratory are all located there. Today, the vast majority of Fulton beer – in kegs, bottles, and cans – comes from the NE brewery. In addition to housing the taproom, the downtown brewery has evolved into our laboratory for smaller batch and experimental brewing, including collaborations, taproom exclusives, and barrel aging.


In 2024, Fulton is among the top five craft breweries in Minnesota with a growing portfolio of craft beer, seltzers, and THC beverages available throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. With quality as its keystone, Fulton continues to produce Sweet Child of Vine, one of Minnesota’s pioneer IPAs; the best-selling legacy Lonely Blonde, an easy-drinking blonde ale; and the award-winning Hop Kingdom 300 IPA, a decoratedWest-Coast-style IPA voted No. 1 American IPA in 2023 by the Minnesota Craft Brewer’s Guild. Fulton continues to innovate in the beverage space with hard seltzers and THC beverages growing its reputation as a trusted contract brewing partner. Built on trust, enthusiasm and integrity, Fulton remains rooted in the mantra of its founders: “ordinary people brewing extraordinary beer.”

MEET THE fulton family

Ryan Petz

Ryan earned the title of CEO thanks to his gift for taking credit for things that go right and knowing who to blame when they don’t. This is what they teach future MBAs on the first day of business school; luckily, Ryan hung around for the rest and some of it stuck. When not working on finance, marketing, or the occasional production shift, Ryan is probably drinking beer with Brian somewhere.

Jim Diley

Jim’s ability to work tirelessly while genuinely enjoying himself has been compared to a Labrador playing fetch. This persistence, combined with his rare ability to think big without losing attention to detail, makes Jim the perfect fit to be Fulton’s COO. Jim’s responsibilities range from HR, to overseeing Fulton’s taproom, to pretty much anything else he can get involved in. Also, he is an attorney by trade, though his partners are actively working to get him disbarred.

Brian Hoffman

Brian’s passion for beer is nearly matched by his knowledge of it, making him a natural choice to lead our sales efforts. In a field of charismatic and fun people, Brian has more of both than almost anyone. Brian stands out for his sense of humor, and will defend what he believes and those he cares about with a stubborn resolve that only those with Polish family will truly understand.

Peter Grande
VP of Physical Plant

Many beer enthusiasts dream of being a brewmaster. Peter is living that dream. That is, if the dream consists of getting to work at four in the morning, cleaning, sanitizing, fixing everything the rest of us breaks, cleaning some more, wondering who keeps moving all of your tools, and working with your father-in-law…then yes, Peter is living the dream.

Mike Salo
VP of Brewing

Mikey became Fulton’s first employee in 2011, and his dedication to creativity, precision, and efficiency in the brewing process quickly lead to the role of Head Brewer. Mikey’s job is kind of like conducting an orchestra, except half the musicians don’t have instruments and the concert hall is on fire. If he didn’t work for Fulton, Mikey would likely be in the Finnish Secret Service.


At Fulton Brewing, we believe that beer is more than just a beverage; it's an experience that brings people together. The principles of our founders’ guides everything we do, from crafting exceptional beers, to fostering a supportive work environment.