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Surly all smiles at groundbreaking for destination brewery

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On this day at least, Surly Brewing Co.'s name was a misnomer.

Company executives happily toasted the start of construction at their future home in Minneapolis Tuesday, MPR reports. Plans for the $20 million facility include a restaurant, beer garden, and event center at the site of the brewery.

As the Star Tribune reports, Surly's founder became a champion of taprooms at the Legislature, where Omar Ansari lobbied for the repeal of a Prohibition-era law that prevented brewers from selling their beer where they make it.

The ensuing legislation became known as "the Surly bill" as it made its way through the Capitol and is credited with opening the door to more than a dozen taprooms in Minnesota.

Now Surly itself is putting in motion the development that the Star Tribune says is expected to boost the number of employees from 26 at Surly's current home in Brooklyn Center to 150 at the new brewery.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, who was on hand for the groundbreaking, tells MPR few laws have such an immediate impact. "Ironically, it's tough to find any law changes that have had such a tangible visible impact on just people in the community as the Surly bill, which rightly is good for those of us who like really good beer," Rybak said.

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