Finally, Minnesota House Passes Bill That Reduces Restrictions On Craft Beer Sales
The current law in Minnesota stopped breweries that produced more than 20,000 barrels of beer a year from selling growlers, but under the new bill that the House passed last night the growler, cap would increase to 150,000 barrels. This is a huge victory for the makers of the growing craft beer industry in the state.
For years the 5 largest craft breweries have been fighting what they deemed to be unfair restrictions that would not let them sell directly from their breweries. These craft breweries specifically wanted fewer restrictions on "Growlers" which are large glass bottles used to fill with beer that you would get at a taphouse.
Zack Stephenson, DFL-Coon Rapids said to the Duluth News Tribune (Paywall):
Over the last several years the landscape of the alcohol industry here in Minnesota has changed dramatically. The craft movement has introduced hundreds of new businesses in all corners of the state. Minnesota’s liquor laws are not written in the stars; just because they are doesn’t mean they should forever be.
This bill that the House passed will also benefit smaller breweries to sell bottles of a certain size and even smaller breweries to sell approved containers which could possibly include 6 packs. Some other small changes include allowing liquor stores to sell citrus fruits and drinking glasses.
With the huge number of craft breweries just in Duluth and Superior let alone all over the state of Minnesota it seems fair to try and make it an even playing field for everyone. The Senate also passed a bill that changes the state's liquor laws but both chambers must pass the same bill before the governor can sign it into law.