ST. PAUL, MINN. – The fresh smell of hops could be available seven days a week at one of many new tap rooms and brew pubs across Minnesota if the Senate omnibus liquor bill is passed by both the full Senate and then the House. The omnibus liquor bill was passed by the full Commerce Committee on Wednesday, and is headed for a full vote on the Senate floor.
The bill includes three of Senator Roger Reinert’s (DFL-Duluth) incremental Sunday sales options. These include tap room sales on Sunday, Sunday growler sales and the ‘growler freedom’ bill, the freedom for brewers to refill any growler.
“We’re taking baby steps here with the tap room and growler sales, but it’s a step in the right direction. I’m confident this omnibus liquor bill will pass the Senate, the pressure is now on the House to be progressive and meet the Senate on this issue,” said Sen. Reinert.
Sen. Reinert’s confidence stems in part from the fact that traditional opponents of Sunday Sales testified that they were not opposed to the provisions included in this year’s bill. The House’s omnibus liquor bill has been given a second reading and is now up for consideration on the House floor. The House’s version does not include the brewpub provisions, or the growler freedom bill.
“I urge my colleagues in the House to amend the omnibus liquor bill on the House floor. These are changes most Minnesotans can agree on and are a signal to the burgeoning craft brew industry in the state that we support them,” said Sen. Reinert.
The craft brewing industry contributes immensely to Minnesota’s economy. In 2012 it helped add nearly $742 million to the state economy, and in 2013 it contributed nearly 8,000 jobs.