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Cheers, beer lovers: Sunday growler sales begin in St. Paul

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Add St. Paul to the list of cities where craft beer enthusiasts can buy a growler on a Sunday.

Several breweries in St. Paul began selling growlers (a 64-ounce jug of beer) Sunday, including Burning Brothers, Flat Earth, Great Waters, Sidhe, Tin Whiskers and Urban Growler, Growler Magazine reports.

To celebrate, Urban Growler is offering a 50 percent discount on some of its most popular growlers, the brewery's Facebook page notes.

St. Paul joins the list of roughly 20 cities that have approved Sunday growler sales in the weeks since Gov. Mark Dayton signed the so-called "Bloody Mary bill", which allows cities to decide whether to allow them to be sold.

The other cities where patrons can buy growlers on Sundays: Buffalo, Duluth, Ely, Goodview, Minneapolis, Montgomery, Rochester, Stillwater, Shakopee and Waconia, among others. Growlers can be sold on Sundays in St. Cloud starting July 12, KSTP reports.

When Minneapolis signed off on Sunday growler sales it also allowed micro-distilleries to sell craft spirits directly to consumers – the three in the city became the first distilleries since prohibition to do so, Minnesota Beer Activists noted.

These are considered small victories for advocates who have been pushing for the state to repeal a law that bans off-site beer and alcohol sales on Sundays – KSTP says Minnesota is one of 12 states that still has such a ban.

Those who oppose repealing the ban on Sunday sales – many of whom are independent store owners – have said they would feel obliged to open on Sundays to remain competitive, but many believe they wouldn't make enough money to cover the cost of being open.

Minnesota's bluebook alcohol laws have been changing in the past few years, thanks in part to the work of Surly Brewing Company, which pushed for the passage of the "Surly bill" in 2011, allowing breweries to sell beer to consumers on-site, among other things.

This paved the way for Minnesota's craft beer boom, which has exploded in recent years.

There were just 35 craft breweries in Minnesota in 2011, the Brewers Association notes, and by 2014 that number jumped to 73 – the 16th most in the country.

Minnesota is poised to have more than 100 licensed craft breweries by the end of the year. (Currently, there are 121 breweries listed on the Brewers Association's "find a brewery" feature.)

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