More brewers and craft distillers can now sell directly to customers.
The omnibus liquor bill allows breweries that produce up to 150,000 barrels of beer annually to be licensed to sell growlers from their premises, raising the production cap from 20,000 barrels.
Microbreweries that produce up to 7,500 barrels of beer may be licensed for off-sale in cans and bottles also offered to wholesalers. They may sell up to 128 ounces per day per customer.
Sponsored by Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL-Coon Rapids) and Sen. Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls), and mostly effective May 25, 2022, the legislation also includes Minnesota manufacturers in its open-wholesaling statutes for distilled spirits. By removing an exception for in-state producers, the legislation preserves the Coleman Act, which prohibits exclusive contracts for liquor excluding beer and wine.
Additionally, $250,000 is appropriated to hire two more employees in the Department of Commerce Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division.
Other provisions will:
• modify the definition of malt beverages;
• allow distilleries of any size to be licensed to operate a cocktail room;
• allow micro distilleries to be licensed for off-sale of full-sized bottles;
• let wineries that produce less than 2,500 barrels of cider to self-distribute apple-based cider products;
• counties may issue on-sale licenses to auto racing facilities and resorts;
• allow town ball organizers concession sales of beer and wine;
• cities and counties may issue seven-day temporary liquor licenses for county fairs;
• let liquor stores sell citrus fruit and glassware; and
• extend hours for alcohol sales during live World Cup soccer matches this year and next.
The law also offer special on-sale liquor licenses, for:
• the owners of a junior hockey team in Willmar;
• Bob Cross Regional Park in Sauk Rapids;
• Thai Cultural Council of Minnesota;
• Whitney Park in St. Cloud; and
• McQuillan Park Softball Complex in Rochester.
Each will take effect upon local approval, as will a provision to allow Anoka to create an outdoor social district where consumption of alcohol is permitted. The city must report back to state leaders its process, community response, concerns and recommendations.