Beverage producers can produce their products in basements, under a new law signed April 1 by Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
Sponsored by Rep. Mindy Greiling (DFL-Roseville) and Sen. John Marty (DFL-Roseville), the law allows the Department of Agriculture to issue permits to businesses producing certain types of beverages in basements or other subgrade areas. It is effective April 2, 2010.
Greiling said basements were previously automatically ruled out due to the “olden days” when basements were wet and had mildew problems. The department would like to look at basements on a case-by-case basis now, she said.
Seth Couenhoven, director of operations for Thuro Bread, told a House committee that he wanted to rent the basement of a building he owns to a company to make fermented tea, but was unable to do so. The basement is updated and approved for commercial packaging, but also needs to be approved for the bottling process, he said.
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