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ST. PAUL – A bill Rep. Jenifer Loon authored to allow Minnesota microbreweries to open on-site taprooms passed the House on Tuesday.
The Eden Prairie Republican's proposal advanced as the marquee provision in a larger bill (H.F. 1326) containing several other liquor-related measures. Loon’s bill received widespread, bipartisan support as a means to allow Minnesota’s craft brewers to expand in the state, creating jobs and generating economic activity. Specifically, Loon’s proposal would allow microbreweries in the state to open on-site taprooms where they could hold tasting events and sell their own beer.
“We were able to work out the kinks in the bill’s language to craft something we can all support,” Loon said. “Taprooms like these already are allowed in 31 states and this bill would help Minnesota be more competitive in the booming craft beer and beer tourism industry. Our entrepreneurs are looking to build destination breweries to attract beer connoisseurs from all over.”
Brooklyn Park-based Surly Brewing Company initiated the bill with Loon. Estimates show Surly's proposed $20 million taproom project would create 85 construction jobs and 150 permanent jobs. Several other Minnesota microbreweries have shown support for the legislation, which now advances to the Senate.
Some of the bill’s other provisions would:
? allow bed and breakfasts that are permitted to serve two glasses of wine to be able to also serve 12 ounces of Minnesota beer;
? permit municipalities to issue a temporary liquor license to farm wineries for on-sale at a county fair in that municipality;
? allow private colleges to obtain liquor licenses for special event liquor sales from the municipality where they are located instead of needing legislative approval;
? clarify the boundary around Minnesota State University, Moorhead, for purposes of limiting sales of alcohol within a more contiguous area around the campus;
? allow liquor stories to sell clothing with their name on it;
? provide for an interim study with respect to beer sales at baseball venues.
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Jenifer Loon represents House District 42B, which includes most of the City of Eden Prairie, in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Rep. Loon encourages constituents to contact her with questions or opinions on any state or legislative issue. She can be reached via email firstname.lastname@example.org and phone calls can be placed to her office at 651.296.7449. U.S. Mail should be sent to Rep. Jenifer Loon, 311 State Office Building, 100 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.
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