MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Workers at a northeast Minneapolis microbrewery have voted to unionize.

Fair State Brewing Cooperative workers presented their request to be recognized as a union on Wednesday. In doing so, they became the first microbrewery in the country to unionize.

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The CEO of the cooperative, Evan Salle, agreed to voluntarily recognize the union.

“I am proud of the self-determination our team has shown by taking on the responsibility of organizing to make Fair State better,” he said.

The employees will join Unite Here Local 17, a local hospitality union which represents over 6,000 workers in the Twin Cities. In the coming days, they will elect leaders in each department, such as brewing, packaging, retail, and administrative.

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“I’ve been proud to work at a place like Fair State that doesn’t simply talk about community and democracy but attempts to structure itself to live up to those ideals,” said Anders Bloomquist, a warehouse specialist. “Now we get to enter an amazing new phase where that can be matched up with the formal voice of a union to better empower the workers at Fair State.”

Recently, Surly Brewing service workers also voted to unionize, though they were informed two days later that the Beer Hall – their place of employment – will close down in November. Though employees have accused the company of union busting, Surly has said their plans to close the Beer Hall were put in place weeks ago.

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