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Amendment to scrap growler sale expansion tables liquor bill

By Ricky Campbell
The House Chamber. House Photography file photo

The House on Monday tabled a vote on the omnibus liquor bill after a divided chamber approved an amendment removing a sought-after expansion to growler sales for local breweries.

Sponsored by Rep. Joe Hoppe (R-Chaska) and Sen. Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls), HF68/ SF444* would expand how much alcohol local breweries can sell on their properties, along with a number of provisions related to Capitol renovations, the 2018 Super Bowl and special municipal licenses.

Rep. Debra Hilstrom (DFL-Brooklyn Center) offered the amendment that sunk the floor debate. Her amendment would delete four sections of the bill directly related to brewery off-sales. After passing with 68 votes, Hoppe asked House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) to table the bill.

Rep. Joe Hoppe

“Laws do not impede entrepreneurship and growth,” Hilstrom said. “This is just an attempt to take market share from who? From your local liquor stores. This is a legislative attempt to take market shares from the liquor stores and give it to the local breweries and distilleries.”

Hoppe said the proposed expansion to state law stemmed from consumer demands.

“Really what this is, members, is a legislative attempt to do what our consumers, our citizens, our constituents want,” Hoppe said.

Other provisions would expand closing time to 4 a.m. in Hennepin and Ramsey counties the morning following the Super Bowl at U.S. Bank Stadium and allow for the state to issue permits to sell alcohol on the Capitol grounds.

Under the bill, the Department of Natural Resources could issue a permit to sell liquor at the state-run golf course at Fort Ridgely State Park and the City of New Hope could issue liquor permits for its publicly run golf course, New Hope Village Golf Course.

Other provisions would carve out special permits for municipalities. The bill would also require Macalester College’s Springfest to sell only Minnesota made liquor; Minneapolis could expand Upton 43’s liquor permit, which is currently limited because of a city ordinance; and Sartell could issue liquor permits for the Sartell Community Center and Champion Field.  

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