Fair State Brewing, Minnesota and the nation's first unionized microbrewery, has launched Minnesota’s first-ever THC drink packaging and distribution center, and it is now open in St. Paul.

Chill Collective, a partnership of drink makers is now open. “Named after Fair State’s cannabis beverage line, Chill State Collective offers co-packing, storing, distribution and endorsement to assist other top-tier cannabeverage brands in Minnesota,” noted by Fair State’s latest press release about Chill Collective.

After Minnesota legalized sales of hemp-derived THC edibles and infused beverages in July 2022, many breweries wanted to launch their own THC drinks. These like-minded breweries have now committed to the philosophy and goal of making Minnesota’s emerging cannabis market a success and have partnered with Chill State. This includes Bent Paddle, FIND WUNDER, Happi, Offfield, and Plift.

Fair State shares the following from their press release:

“We are bringing experienced operators and strategic thinkers together in a new beverage segment, which is really unique,” said Chill State Collective Principal and Program Director Rob Shellman. “We have the best of the best and are dedicated to running this business in a mission-driven and responsible way for Minnesota. We’re aiming to encourage safe cannabis discovery through exceptional quality.”

Fair State does note that the THC Drink market can be polarizing. With so many laws and guidelines coming into effect/changing, as well as education on doses, and differentiating between THC and CBD, those in the market know many are skeptical. However, Michelle Bastyr, Fair State Brewing’s Marketing Director states that “people are finding Chill State highly refreshing as it enhances herbal and tropical cannabis flavors, instead of masking them.”

Fair State explains the unique taste of Chill State’s cannabis beverages, “which are recognizable for highlighting flavors from terpenes, which are hyper-potent plant-derived aroma compounds. Beverages are light and refreshing with zero calories, added sugar, or artificial sweeteners.” With the opening of Chill State, they are launching their second cannabis beverage: Pineapple Express.

Most cannabis beverages currently sold in Minnesota contain 2 to 5 milligrams of THC, though select cannabeverages contain varying doses of CBD. Cannabeverages are currently available for purchase at various stores, bars, and restaurants to anyone 21 and older throughout the state.

All information is credited to the press release by Fair State and their website, as well as drinkchillstate.com.

Dives Worth a Drive in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota

Almost every small town has a watering hole. It’s where the locals go to kick back a few brews and engage in conversation. Some of these establishments are located in buildings almost as old as the town itself. There might be a fresh coat of paint on the walls or new vinyl on the booth seats, but the ambiance is still reminiscent of a good ol’ dive bar.

If you think a dive bar is all about sketchy clientele and the smell of the Devil’s lettuce and stale Grain Belt, you’d be wrong. Not every dive bar has a bad reputation.

Let’s determine what makes a bar a dive bar.

  • A dive bar has character. Neon beer signs and local memorabilia adorn the walls.
  • There are usually only a few televisions tuned to a sporting event.
  • You might even find a pool table, dart board, and a few video lottery machines.
  • The bartender knows everyone and all of the town’s gossip and they know what you drink.
  • Dive bars are known for their inexpensive heavy pours and happy hours.
  • Many dive bars don’t even serve food, except for the perpetual pickled eggs and maybe a pepperoni Tombstone.
  • Dive bars aren't fancy. You might see 70's-style wood panel on the walls and wobbly tables leveled with a folded napkin.
  • And, finally, the bathrooms. The bathrooms in dive bars are in a class by themselves and could be a whole topic on its own. 

There are several small-town dive bars in our area with friendly faces, cheap booze with a burn, and even really good food! We use the term "dive bar" in the most affectionate way. Here are some of our favorites. 

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