I was very happy today to sign a new City ordinance that will allow local Minneapolis brewers to sell pints of beer on site. This change makes it easier for Minnesota beer drinkers to drink Minnesota beer and create jobs here.
Beer is part of Minneapolis’ past, and the growing business of beer is Minneapolis’ future. Sales of pints on site will grow the local beer economy by creating new jobs and lowering the barriers for entry for new breweries, which will allow them to hit the ground running. And it complements the burgeoning local food economy that is creating new businesses and more jobs.
The business of beer is also close to my heart, because my great-grandfather owned and operated Rybak Brewery in New Prague, Minnesota in the 1920s. Back then, someone who drank a beer from New Prague helped create a job on Main Street in New Prague. The ordinance I signed today helps revive that tradition and update it for the 21st century.
The ordinance creates a new type of liquor license called a taproom license. To be eligible for the license, breweries may not produce more than 250,000 barrels of beer a year. The ordinance follows a recent change to State law that lifted restrictions on breweries’ ability to sell pints on site and allowed cities to license the practice. You may have heard the bill that created that change called the “Surly bill.”
I had all the more fun signing the ordinance as I invited Omar Ansari, president and founder of Surly Brewing Company of Brooklyn Center, and Ryan Petz and Jim Diley, co-founders of Minneapolis-based Fulton Beer, to join me. They are great businessmen who are creating great products in a growing local industry that our entire region can be proud of.
Last Friday, the City Council unanimously passed the ordinance, which was co-sponsored by Council Members Gary Schiff and Elizabeth Glidden. As Gary put it, “A great city deserves great beer, and with this ordinance, Minneapolis will become a beer destination.” I couldn’t agree more.