Minnesota liquor law reform bill passes both legislative chambers
A bill to reform Minnesota’s liquor laws cleared another hurdle on the path to being signed into law.
The bill includes several provisions that change the current rules of liquor sales, including the growler cap for breweries, which was raised from 20,000 barrels to 150,000 barrels of beer sold annually. This includes the state’s six largest craft breweries; Surly, Summit, Lift Bridge, Fulton, Schell’s and Castle Danger.
Rep. Jim Nash (R-Waconia) said, “We are about to do something historic,” and called the bill a win for craft beer producers.
The author of the bill, Rep. Zach Stephenson (DFL-Coon Rapids), said, “Minnesotans love our craft beer and spirits, and they also want a safe and competitive liquor marketplace. This bill is a compromise agreement, resulting from months of work with stakeholders all over our state and from all corners of the liquor industry.”
The bill also hosts changes to container regulations for craft breweries that will allow them to sell beer in six-packs, four-packs, and other small containers.
The cap on cocktail rooms is also removed in the bill, which allows all distilleries in the state to have cocktail rooms.
Under the bill, liquor stores are also allowed to sell glassware and citrus fruit, such as limes.
There is also a special provision for bars hosting a live viewing of the FIFA World Cup. The bill allows bars hosting the game to apply for a license that permits the sale of alcohol in the middle of the night.
In the City of Anoka, a “social district” where people can walk between bars with drinks in their hands will also be permitted if the bill is signed into law.
The bill passed the House with a vote of 111 to 21 and the Senate with a vote of 62-4. It now awaits the signature of Gov. Walz to be enacted into law.