Owners of an existing craft brewery and two more that will be opening in the region are all for legislation moving through the state Legislature that would allow them to sell 64-ounce “growlers” on Sundays.
“We’re not open on Sundays now because all we could sell are pints (on site), so this would allow us to be open on Sundays and people could come down and pick up a growler,” said Tim Tupy of Mankato Brewery in North Mankato.
John Oswald, who is opening Oswald Brewery in Blue Earth, said he hasn’t followed the legislation closely but said it would help boost small breweries.
“Anything that grows the craft beer business is good. If consumers want it on Sunday and we have that opportunity to market more, it would be great.”
Mike McQuery, who is planning a rural Waseca brewery, said the bill would help the fledgling craft industry.
“I want people to come out and try the beer, and if they find one they enjoy, they can take a growler home and enjoy it,” McQuery said.
Schell’s Brewery in New Ulm, one of the oldest in the state, would be unaffected by the legislation. “It makes no difference. We’re too large, so we can’t sell growlers here,” said owner Ted Marti about the bill that targets smaller “craft” brewers.
The legislation targeting craft brewers became the lead idea among a number of potential Sunday liquor sales proposals. Some lawmakers are pushing for a change to Minnesota’s laws that would allow for the sale of alcohol on Sundays at any off-sale liquor store.
While that idea is favored by many consumers and by liquor stores along the borders that compete with Sunday sales across the border, the liquor store industry opposes allowing Sunday sales. They argue it wouldn’t create any more sales during any given week but would add another day’s worth of expenses.