Minnesota’s craft brewers have been an economic success story in the last decade. In 2011, there were 35 craft breweries operating statewide, according to the Brewer’s Association. In 2020, that…
On Monday morning, representatives of Minnesota’s craft breweries, distilleries, and wineries gathered at the state capitol to urge legislators to pass the ‘Drink Local Economic Recovery Package’, SF 1176 and HF 1192.
Minnesota’s craft brewers have been an economic success story in the last decade, but they have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and government response. According to the Minnesota Craft Beverage Council:
One of the key features is removal of the ‘Growler cap‘ which prohibits a brewery from selling growlers — beer in half-gallon, reusable containers — if the brewer produces more than 20,000 barrels of beer annually. This can present successful breweries with the choice of either ceasing to expand or ditching grower sales, which are a significant source of revenue for some of these breweries. Or they can just move to states with more sensible laws, as Lift Bridge is doing.
The Star Tribune reports:
Distributors, liquor stores and bars oppose the change. They say it provides an unfair advantage to the makers of some of their best-selling beers.
Quite why it is ‘unfair’ for a producer to sell their product direct to a consumer is left unexplained.
These breweries, distilleries, and wineries are not asking for government hand outs. They are simply asking for government to remove outdated legislation which exists to protect insiders so that they can continue to flourish even in these hard times. If you believe in a free market and the American Dream, you should support the #DrinkLocalMN bill.
John Phelan is an economist at the Center of the American Experiment.