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Minnesota Legislature

New Law: Microbrew taprooms may open

Published (7/15/2011)
By Kris Berggren
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The so-called “Surly Bill” will allow microbreweries to open on-site taprooms where they can hold tasting events and sell their own beer. That option is a cornerstone of the planned expansion of the Surly Brewing Company, which expects to add jobs and draw new business for special events such as beer tastings.

That is the most notable provision in the omnibus liquor law, sponsored by Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights) and Sen. Chris Gerlach (R-Apple Valley).

The law, effective May 25, 2011, unless otherwise noted, also:

• allows bed and breakfasts that are permitted to serve two glasses of wine to be able to also serve 12 ounces of Minnesota beer;

• allows a municipality to issue a temporary license to a wine association authorizing them to sell no more than two glasses of wine per customer at an annual festival (effective Aug. 1, 2011);

• sets bond amounts for microdistilleries manufacturing less than 40,000 proof gallons (effective Aug. 1, 2011);

• allows the Metropolitan Airports Commission to issue on-sale liquor licenses;

• permits municipalities to issue a temporary liquor license to farm wineries for on-sale at a county fair in that municipality;

• allows private colleges to obtain liquor licenses for special event liquor sales from the municipality where they are located instead of needing legislative approval;

• clarifies the boundary around Minnesota State University, Moorhead, for purposes of limiting sales of alcohol within a more contiguous area around the campus;

• allows White Bear Township to issue on- and off-sale liquor licenses within the township;

• permits the city of Rochester to issue 26 off-sale liquor licenses;

• allows cities or municipalities to issue liquor licenses at auto racing facilities; and

• provides for an interim study with respect to beer sales at baseball venues (effective Aug. 1, 2011).

HF1326*/ SF918/CH55

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