Updated: April 30, 2021 06:33 PM
Created: April 30, 2021 04:26 PM
Minnesota's largest craft breweries have lobbied for a change to the state's laws regarding growler and to-go sales, so far, without much luck this legislative season.
"The 'Free the Growler' movement was started by six of the most popular breweries in Minnesota," said Dan Schwarz, co-founder of Lift Bridge Brewing Co. "What we wanted to do was raise awareness that there was a production cap in Minnesota on breweries."
They want to put an end to a Minnesota law that prohibits breweries that produce more than 20,000 barrels of beer in a year from selling growlers or other to-go containers.
Schwarz says it's the restrictive laws that pushed him to expand his business across the river.
"I don't think we would have been thinking about expanding to Wisconsin had this issue not been so forward in our mind," he said.
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He says he feels like another limitation is being put on a thriving business.
"Certainly feels like success is getting punished. Many out-state breweries have higher production caps for beer to-go. So they're using their money to ship beer to Minnesota, which hurts local breweries," Schwarz said.
For comparison, Schwarz says the cap in Wisconsin is 300,000 barrels. That's 15 times greater than Minnesota's.
Retailers and distributors have previously lobbied against these efforts. They've argued instead that bringing about a change would benefit big producers at the expense of small restaurants, bars, liquor stores and wholesalers.
No liquor-related provisions received any hearings so far this session.
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