Minnesota rolls out the barrel for dozens of new breweries and brewpubs

  • Article by: Jennifer Brooks , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 29, 2013 - 10:16 PM

New suds-friendly state laws are encouraging dozens of new breweries.

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twincitizen1Jun. 29, 1310:35 PM

There's still a significant barrier to getting more breweries open in 210 Minnesota cities and towns: municipal liquor control. I'm not saying a muni operation is bad, but current state law would prohibit a muni liquor city from having a brewery that sells growlers. You could certainly open a brewery in say Edina, Lakeville, or Richfield, but the brewery would not be able to sell growlers! Unfortunately, that is a hit on the bottom line that a small start-up brewery cannot afford to take. I hope this law can be changed in the near future so we see the proliferation of craft breweries throughout Minnesota.

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erikj3Jun. 30, 1312:34 AM

Prost!

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mnpikeyJun. 30, 13 6:55 AM

Not sure where the writer got their info but Tallgrass is in Kansas and 21st Amendment is in California.

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handyfanJun. 30, 13 7:28 AM

Wait, you mean that regulation, or the removal of it, really IS critical for small business creation (or destruction)? I don't know how this lesson could be made any more clear.

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patman683Jun. 30, 13 7:35 AM

We live in a new golden, sudsy age in Minnesota. What a great time to be alive!

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solarnowJun. 30, 13 8:53 AM

handyfan, There's a difference between regulation and over-regulation. Before the "Surly law," brewers were prohibited from selling pints on the brewery premises. The powerful liquor distributors lobby fought to keep that state requirement to have a middleman. So the kinds of brew pubs that are now springing up here in Minny were illegal just a couple years ago. But trust me, the brewing industry is still regulated here and everywhere else in the USA.

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honeybooJun. 30, 13 9:12 AM

The problem with brewpubs and microbrews is that the entire category has become a poorly-differentiated commodity. Just like good wines are now a commodity.

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stevenelJun. 30, 13 9:55 AM

I think the key with regulation is to look honestly at who's it's protecting. Many liquor regs were and are designed to protect someone other than the public. Some, like muni liquor stores and Sunday sales may have had the public good in mind at the beginning but have now rotted into protecting a revenue stream for the city by banning competition or making sure old-guard liquor stores don't have to open up on a day when all logic dictates their customers would want the service. That said, there are plenty of laws relating to liquor that still make complete sense.

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jejojejo1Jun. 30, 13 9:56 AM

I remember the first time I had a Sam Adams, this was shortly after it started, I thought it was terrible. Than I realized, after giving it a chance that it wasn't bad, just different than the typical American beers I had been used to, it had something that they didn't, lots of flavor. We are fortunate to now have the choice of many great tasting beers. Long live the Sam Adams, Summits, Surlys, and all the great micro breweries and brew pubs. As I remember reading somewhere, let the Buds, Miller and the other typical breweries cater to those who really don't like the taste of beer.

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peppermint19Jun. 30, 1311:23 AM

If there are going to be so many new brew pubs popping up maybe they had better think about raising the tax on them because come Monday there will probably be a decline in cigarette sales once that new tax goes on cigarettes. Then what will the tax to pay for their new Vikings stadium. Watch out beer drinkers you are next on their list.

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