Sunday growler sales have been a big boost to local businesses across Minnesota – and now a central Minnesota brewery can cash in too.
Last year, state lawmakers made it legal for cities to decide whether breweries could sell growlers on Sundays. But Nisswa – which is home to Big Axe Brewing and Gull Dam Brewing – was one of the last cities with a brewery that still hadn't
In fact, the city council had voted the proposal down twice.
But at Wednesday's meeting, that changed – city councilors voted unanimously in favor of allowing the sales, Chris French, the owner of Big Axe Brewing, told BringMeTheNews.
French was among the brewers pushing to get the ordinance passed, arguing the added revenue from Sunday sales would help his taproom stay open during the slow winter months, according to the Pine and Lakes Echo Journal.
He told BringMeTheNews he was very pleased with the way Wednesday's council meeting went, noting officials were receptive to the idea of Sunday growler sales after he presented his case for it. That included a petition with several hundred signatures of support, and data about how it could benefit other local businesses.
The brewery can begin selling growlers on Sundays as early as July 31, and French says they plan to do something special that day – perhaps have a special on growlers or live music. But they're still in the process of figuring that out.
Nisswa's other brewery can't sell growlers on Sundays
Even though the city will allow Sunday growler sales, Gull Dam Brewing's request to do so was denied, French said.
Why? Lakeland Public Television reports Gull Dam sold growlers on a Sunday without a license, by selling T-shirts and giving away growlers. That prompted the city to deny the brewery's request until it can figure out a punishment.
BringMeTheNews has reached out to Gull Dam Brewing for comment, but hasn't heard back.
Bemidji is now the only city in Minnesota that has a brewery, but doesn't allow Sunday growler sales, according to the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild.