Sunday liquor sales bill looks dead, but there's still hope for growlers

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The battle to overturn the ban on Sunday liquor sales in Minnesota appears to be over for another year – but there is hope for fans of growlers.

The chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, Sen. James Metzen, DFL-South St. Paul, told WCCO that he hasn't seen much support at the Legislature for repealing the ban on liquor stores opening on Sundays, despite strong public support.

"There wasn't a big push for it," he told the news station, which reports that supporters of the repeal say it will be difficult to round up the votes needed to pass it.

One of the repeal's main backers, Sen. Roger Reinert, DFL-Duluth, admitted chances of overturning the ban this legislative will be slim now since it hasn't yet had a hearing in either the House or Senate. But he told the Duluth News Tribune he hopes it will make an appearance at some point as an amendment.

There is better news for those hoping for looser rules for Sunday growler sales at Minnesota's craft beer breweries. Both House and Senate committees are looking at legislation to sell the 66-ounce containers of beer on Sundays, according to the News Tribune.

The action comes after the Teamsters Union recently dropped its objection to the Sunday growler sales, as reported by the Business Journal.

This is a turnaround from last year, when the Teamsters joined with other unions to help scrap a similar bill, having argued it would force them to reopen contracts with some liquor distributors.

Metzen told WCCO that allowing the sale of growlers could represent a "foot in the door" to a full repeal of the Sunday ban on alcohol sales – sometime down the road.

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