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Bill would double the cap on growler production following calls from brewers

It comes after a popular brewery was forced to stop growler sales due to its size.

A bill proposed in the Minnesota Legislature this week would loosen restrictions on breweries selling refillable beer growlers to customers.

Currently, a brewery is not allowed to sell the 64 fl. oz. beer jugs once they are producing more than 20,000 barrels a year.

This prompted criticism from Castle Danger, the popular North Shore brewery known for its Cream Ale, among other brews, which was forced to stop selling growlers on Oct. 1 after its wider beer production exceeded the cap.

A bill proposed by Rep. Dan Wolgamott (DFL-St. Cloud) this week would double the production threshold at which point breweries must stop selling growlers to 40,000 barrels per year.

"The craft beer industry is one of the fastest growing industries in Minnesota, with many becoming community gathering points and travel destinations," Rep. Wolgamott said in a statement.

"The current cap on growler sales only serves to stifle these growing businesses and inconvenience Minnesotans looking to support their local breweries. These businesses in our communities make a significant amount of their revenue from growlers, and the current outdated cap takes that option away far too soon.

The last time the state's growler cap was updated was in 2015, and reaching the threshold prompted calls from Castle Danger for a change to the law.

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The Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild has previously said that the loss of growlers can cost a brewery upwards of $300,000.

Other well known breweries nearing the 20,000 barrel mark include Indeed in Minneapolis, Lift Bridge in Stillwater, and Bent Paddle Brewing in Duluth.

“There are small businesses in Minnesota that consider scaling back production as to not lose the profit from growlers, and some that have already lost that option," Wolgamott added.

"I don’t want the breweries in my community or anywhere in our state to have to make that difficult decision just because our current laws punish growth. It’s time for the cap we have on growlers to once again grow with the industry."

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