Skip to main content

Growler caps may be no more for larger Minnesota breweries.

A bipartisan legislative agreement announced Thursday would reconcile the differences between liquor bills in the Minnesota House and Senate.

This would raise the cap on the state's six largest breweries — Lift Bridge, Schell's, Castle Danger, Surly, Summit and Fulton — that has kept them from selling growlers and other containers directly to the consumers to take home.

The new rule would extend to breweries that produce 150,000 barrels of beer per year, up from the existing 20,000-barrel limit.

Out of over 8,000 breweries in the United States, the six aforementioned breweries are the only ones in the country that can't sell beer to-go directly to the consumer. This is according to the Alliance of Minnesota Craft Breweries, a group that has pushed for change in the industry.

The agreement would also allow smaller breweries to sell up to 128 ounces of beer per customer each day, and allow distilleries to sell cocktails directly to consumers and operate a cocktail room. 

The bill is sponsored by House Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL-Coon Rapids) and Sen. Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls). It was approved with a 10-0 vote by joint House Senate conference committee members Thursday, though still has to pass the full legislature before the current session adjourns on Monday. 

According to the bill, it also addresses a previous issue with the Coleman Act that "prohibits exclusive contracts in the sale of hard spirits by treating in-state and out-of-state manufacturers similarly." The provision is included in both the House and Senate versions.

The Senate's version is a bit more limited in comparison to the House's proposals, which include:

  • Expanded off-sale options to very small breweries
  • Cocktail rooms at all distilleries
  • Sales of wine and beer at town ball games

One item left out of the proposals is the establishment of a liquor regulation advisory council. The goal was to have a body made up of equal members of wholesalers, retailers and producers to advise the Legislature on changes to liquor laws.

Another provision discarded would have allowed residents to have looser restrictions on the amount of wine that can be shipped; the wine would have also been taxed in relation to wine purchased in the state. Another provision that would allow 17 year olds to serve liquor was also denied, according to the Senate.

Other provisions that were included in the final version would allow the following:

  • Cities and counties can issued seven-day temporary liquor licenses for county fairs.
  • Extend hours for alcohol sales during live World Cup matches.
  • Special on-sale liquor licenses for events in Willmar, Sauk Rapids, St. Paul, Rochester, Alexandria and St. Cloud.
  • Anoka County can create an outdoor social district where consumption of alcohol would be permitted.

Next Up

291734046_502006195017388_4346404407323115820_n

Sheriff: Search for 3 kids at Vadnais Lake is 'likely triple homicide'

"A horrible set of facts appears to be developing," said Sheriff Bob Fletcher.

Pixabay laptop keyboard phone dark

Charges: Duluth man had hundreds of child porn images, videos

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children found nearly 330 images on the man's electronic devices.

hennepin county sheriff water patrol lake minnetonka

Scuba diver found dead in Lake Minnetonka identified as 20-year-old

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said 20-year-old Brady Alan Aune, from Elko New Market, died of freshwater drowning on June 3.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 11.18.35 AM

Felony charges filed after authorities search 'Peacebunny Cottage'

The president of the rabbit rescue non-profit faces multiple animal cruelty charges after over 40 rabbits were found dead inside the organization's barn.

monkeypox virus

Minnesota up to 6 confirmed cases of monkeypox virus

Most people recover at home within 2-4 weeks.

thc edibles

Did Minnesota just accidentally legalize THC?

A Republican lawmaker who voted to approve the new law in May is already talking about rolling it back.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 3.19.42 PM

Gasoline may be cause of sewer explosion on U of M campus

An all-clear was given around 9 p.m. Thursday, with residents in the area allowed to return to their homes.

image

Overwhelming demand for THC products on first day of new law in MN

One shop owner said his Chaska store broke the online sales record before they opened Friday morning.

Flickr - Lake Minnetonka boat - Greg Gjerdingen

Increased drunk boating enforcement over 4th of July weekend

The increased enforcement is part of the Operation Dry Water initiative.

Kayak

Four kayakers stranded, rescued in Chisholm park

The kayakers became stranded at Redhead Mountain Bike Park Thursday afternoon.

SherburneCoJailDrugArrests

Duo charged after 10-pound meth package sent to wrong address

More than 10 pounds of meth are off the street thanks to a delivery error.

Screen Shot 2022-07-01 at 11.01.32 AM

Bird Rides' suburban expansion continues in Minnesota

Its scooter season in Minnesota. The latest on where you can find Bird e-scooters:

Related

pexels beer bar craft brewery

MN's craft alcohol makers back new push to loosen state's liquor laws

The pushback includes loosening restrictions on growler sales for bigger craft breweries and a more direct line of spirit sales to customers.

brewery

Grocery store beer sales? MN House hears nearly 30 proposals to update liquor laws

One of the proposals would allow beer and wine to be sold at grocery stores and gas stations.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz, DFL, GOP reach agreement on state surplus spending

The framework deal includes spending on education, health care, human services and public safety, as well as tax cuts.

Marijuana, cannabis

Minnesota Senate shoots down latest marijuana legalization attempt

The bill didn't receive the required votes for further consideration on Wednesday.

Screen Shot 2021-03-18 at 9.03.25 AM

Bypassing 'restrictive' MN liquor laws, Tattersall to open destination distillery in Wisconsin

The distillery says the move will allow it to grow production while maintaining its Minneapolis operations.

lift bridge wisconsin taproom pint

State rep urges liquor reform hearing as beverage producers head to Wisconsin

In the span of a few weeks, two Minnesota craft beverage producers have announced expansion plans in Wisconsin, blaming Minnesota's liquor laws.

Kotyza-Witthuhn screengrab

Watch: MN lawmaker 'attacked' by giggling child during live hearing

This has to be the most adorable moment ever from a Commerce Finance and Policy Committee hearing, right?

Screen Shot 2019-07-03 at 10.55.46 PM

'Free the growler': Bill would allow all Minnesota breweries to sell growlers

Only five breweries in Minnesota are prohibited from selling growlers and beer to go because they're "too big."