ST. PAUL – Ahead of the 2014 legislative session, Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R-Ghent) will introduce legislation that would allow small Minnesota breweries to sell beer growlers on Sundays, a simple but significant change he says will grow tourism and stimulate the state’s rural economy. The bill will be filed before the Feb. 25 session start date and Rep. Swedzinski is now busy gathering co-authors in the House of Representatives.
“I am introducing this bill in honor of the Brau Brothers Brewery Company in Marshall but the opportunity to sell growlers on Sundays could benefit small brewers in rural communities statewide,” said Swedzinski. “While the issue of Sunday off-sale liquor sales remains a controversial subject in Minnesota, I believe this bill finds a common, middle ground and would give small brewers a chance to grow and thrive.”
Swedzinski explained that current law already details which brewers would qualify. In order to receive their off-sale license for malt liquor sales, small brewers must sell less than 500 barrels annually and package the liquor in 64-ounce containers known as “growlers” or in 750 milliliter bottles. Swedzinski’s bill places an exception in law allowing local jurisdictions to approve Sunday sales and hours if they choose.
“While local cities would have the final say on this issue if my bill becomes law, it is clear our rural brewers would benefit from having this option on one of the busiest days of the week for commerce,” Swedzinski explained. “Sunday is often a day for tourism and leisure that could provide a needed boost to this evolving craft beer industry in Minnesota."
Representative Swedzinski can be reached by phone at (651) 296-5374. He can also be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via U.S. Mail at 251 State Office Building, St. Paul, MN 55155.