This week could be monumental in our crafty state of Minnesota.
The Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild is a cohort of Minnesota Breweries who come together for the betterment of Minnesota craft beer. Annually, they sponsor events like Brewers Cup & Awards, All Pints North, The State Fair Flight Booth, and the Autumn Beer Review. These events are some of the best in the industry and they are supported by beer drinkers like you.
The guild also drafts legislation to make the beer world better. This week could change everything.
There are three bills that the guild is bringing forward this week.
- They want to redefine direct-to-consumer access for breweries large and small.
- They want to support collaboration guest taps for breweries.
- And lastly, they want to allow restaurants, bars, and liquor stores to fill growlers.
These are great goals.
You will want to understand that currently we operate within a 3-tier system right now that consists of producers, distributor and retailers. These changes affect all 3 branches of this system, so that will be a factor in legislative decisions.
Right now, our off sale laws present limitations. I think we all know this. If we were to start picking apart the growler/crowler laws, I would start with the fact that we are using two different units of measure in our laws. Really? Milliliters and Ounces? Our crowlers, or short growlers, are only allowed to be sold in 750 MILLILITERS and our Growlers can only be sold in 64 OUNCES. The lack of cohesivity here is bizarre.
It is understandable that certain laws and restrictions had to be put in place as the Craft Beer boom hit. However, since the industry had grown and evolved, we think there is room for growth and evolution with these restrictions as well. We’d like to be able to expand what off-site products we can offer our customers.
Personally, I would love to buy single 16oz cans of Imperial Stouts, a whole crowler by myself is a tad too much.
The next bill is my favorite part.
I love a good collaboration. Yes. I understand that “Collaboration” is code for “partying a lot and brewing a little bit”. BUT I LOVE COLLABORATIONS and sipping on my brews while I brew.
The Collaboration Bill will allow our friends in the beer industry, Insert Your Second Favorite Local Brewery Here, to come to Roundhouse and brew a beer with us. We would ferment it here, and keg it here, and then we would send it to our friends who helped us brew it and they could have it on tap at their brewery. Seems so simple. But it’s illegal with our current liquor laws. This law will change that.
Personally, I would love to see a Roundhouse/Block North Collaboration, a Martin Mash-Up!
UNIVERSAL GROWLER FILL:
The last part of the legislation is good but not the most exciting to me. I think it is the part we need to balance out the first bill. We should allow anyone to fill growlers.
Personally, I would use this option to save myself a quick trip to town on a Friday night to get an exclusive brew from Spirits of Nisswa.
So what now? What should the people on our Roundhouse train do?
The best option is to contact your representatives right away. Use this link for more information – https://www.mncraftbrew.org/take-action/
Thanks for hanging out and reading this. It’s a different style than I normally go with, however, we got work to do!
Peace and love,
Zach is a local beer blogger, who keeps up with all Northern MN beers and breweries. When he is not writing for us, you can check him out at zacharoobrew.com, or find him homebrewing in his garage.
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