“Free the Growler” law allows smaller breweries and distilleries to sell standard size to go vessels

Published: May. 23, 2022 at 6:50 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The Minnesota beer and liquor industry is now aligning closer to other states, with a new bill signed into law Sunday night. “Free the Growler” does a number of things, but the biggest impact for southeastern Minnesota breweries and distilleries is the ability to sell smaller vessels of beer or liquor from their taproom.

It’s something Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild president and Little Thistle co-owner Dawn Finnie has been fighting for nearly a decade.

“Having the opportunity to sell beer in those smaller vessels, it’s good for the breweries, good for the consumer, and ultimately, we’re all small businesses. These are all small family businesses in the heart of Minnesota,” Finnie said.

Before this law, Minnesota was the only state in the country to have such harsh restrictions. Finnie said now smaller breweries can sell up to 128 ounces per day, per person. It equals out two, four packs of 16 ounce cans. Finnie said it’s a huge win for the industry.

“We were the only state that could not sell the smaller size vessels out of our taprooms. and that’s really important. The consumer recognizes 12 and 16 ounce cans, that’s normally what you can go to the liquor store and buy, and that’s what we would like to put our beer into. Because, sometimes you don’t want to drink a whole 24 ounces of beer, even though its delicious or a 62 ounce,” she said.

“Free the Growler” increases the production cap, allowing the state’s five biggest breweries, including Surly, Summit, Castle Danger, Fulton and Schell’s, to sell growlers. which is something they couldn’t do before. In addition, the new law expands license opportunities for specific cities and events.

“We have a big thanks to give to not only the craft beer industry and the rest of the liquor industry in the state of Minnesota and to all our legislators, but really to those craft beer consumers who were so active in getting these laws changed,” Finnie said.

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