Minnesota Capitol Deal Would Increase Beer Growler Sales Cap For Craft Brewers – Twin Cities

On Friday, Minnesota lawmakers advanced a plan to raise the state’s cap on beer growler sales for craft brewers after a year-long campaign to “free the growler.”

The House Commerce Committee voted 14-1 to push forward what sponsors called a compromise liquor law rewrite that would allow breweries producing up to 150,000 barrels a year to offer sales of growler, against the current cap of 20,000 barrels.

That cap prevented the six largest craft breweries in the state — Castle Danger, Fulton, Indeed, Lift Bridge, Schell’s and Surly — from selling growlers. And last year, the owners of Lift Bridge added a brewery in Wisconsin so they could produce more beer without hitting Minnesota’s barrel cap.

The push for change comes after years of standoffs between stakeholders in the distribution system and after craft brewers launched public pressure campaigns to persuade lawmakers to lift the caps on the barrels of beer they can. produce each year while offering take-out options in their consumption room. .

“Overall, this is a bill that does a lot of things that people have been trying to do for a very long time in a way that has spectacular buy-in from stakeholders,” the author said. Bill, Rep. Zack Stephenson, DFL-Coon Rapids. , noted. “It provides the opportunity to have a stable liquor regulatory regime in Minnesota that everyone can live with for the next five years.”

The plan would also allow smaller breweries that produce up to 7,500 barrels a year to sell four- and six-packs from their tasting rooms. And it would allow microdistilleries to increase the number of off-the-shelf products they can offer and city baseball teams to sell alcoholic beverages.

It included bits and pieces from more than 20 bills that have been considered this year. Stakeholders, including craft beverage producers, wholesalers, liquor retailers and the Teamsters, met privately for months to strike a deal.

“It looks like we can have…peace in the valley,” said Rep. Tim O’Driscoll, R-Sartell. “I appreciate your willingness and the willingness of this team to try to work together to try to find a solution as we try to reopen Minnesota.”

The bill then goes to the House Ways and Means Committee for consideration. And while he passed a key deadline on Friday, his path forward on Capitol Hill is uncertain.

Sen. Gary Dahms, R-Redwood Falls, chairs the Senate Commerce Committee and said he would only consider liquor law reforms that have the support of all the stakeholders they affect. A GOP spokeswoman in the Senate said Dahms has yet to read the bill but will review it.

Sallie R. Loera