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10,000 suds: craft breweries boom in Minnesota

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Minnesota's thirst for craft beer shows no signs of slowing, and all the new breweries are making a mark on the state's economy.

The Associated Press reports that two-thirds of the breweries in the state were started since 2010.

Of those 35 newcomers, eight are in Minneapolis. Craft brewers say the city has been very welcoming and responsive to the needs of the industry. City offcials, in turn, say the breweries not only create jobs and boost the economy, they spark tourism as well.

At the Capitol, too, one legislator tells the AP breweries that were once seen as novelties are now something it makes sense to embrace for economic reasons. A 2011 law allowing breweries to open taprooms on site opened the door to Surly Brewing's plan for a $20 million brewery near the U of M in Minneapolis.

The next issue the industry hopes to bring before lawmakers is permission to allow even the larger craft brewers to sell growlers. Current law allows purchases of the 64-ounce take-home jugs only at breweries that sell 3,500 barrels or less per year. Breweries hope to raise that threshold to 20,000 barrels.

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