Minnesota brewery alliance aims to lift antiquated growler sale cap

State lawmakers toured Schell’s Brewery Friday, as an alliance of Minnesota breweries called on them to lift an antiquated law that puts a cap on growler sales.

Five lawmakers from across the state toured the brewery Friday, including Senator Nick Frentz, from District 19.

Kyle Marti, Vice President of Operations at Schell’s Brewery speaks to lawmakers from the Schell’s taproom. Jan 22, 2020

Under current Minnesota law, breweries that produce 20,000 barrels of craft beer per year are restricted from growler sales.  That includes four breweries from the Alliance of Minnesota Craft Breweries: Schell’s, Fulton, Surly, and Castle Danger.  Indeed and Lift Bridge breweries can currently sell growlers, but are very close to the cap.

Kyle Marti, Vice President of Operations at Schell’s Brewery, spoke to lawmakers and the media from the brewery’s taproom.  “Ultimately, what we’re hoping to do is get to the table with all the parties involved,”  said Marti.  “We just want to sit down and say ‘hey look, if you can have a taproom in Minnesota, you should be able to sell growlers,'” said Marti.

Breweries that produce under 250,000 barrels can have a taproom, according to Marti.  He says the Alliance is seeking the same benchmark for growler sales.

“It’s just staggering how arcane the liquor laws we have are,” said Minnesota House Representative Jim Nash from Carver County.  “It is penalizing success.”

“It’s not just the breweries, it is the laws for distilleries and wineries, as well,” said Nash. “We have really crappy laws.”

 #FreeTheGrowler is a  social media hashtag campaign created to raise awareness about Minnesota’s growler cap. The Alliance is asking consumers to tweet, call, or text local lawmakers to encourage them to change the cap on growler sales.

More information on the issue is available at SupportMNBrewies.com

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