The Minnesota Legislature has finally finished hammering out the differences between their two versions of a liquor omnibus bill, and the finished product is now heading for Governor Mark Dayton's desk.
Contained in its language is the precious Surly bill, which will make it legal for breweries to sell pints.
This afternoon, Dayton publicly discussed his feelings on the popular bill for the first time.[jump]
Since February, Surly Brewing Co. owner Omar Ansari has been pushing passage of a bill that would allow brewers to sell their pints in their breweries. He created a frenzy of public interest by announcing plans to build a $20 million destination brewery, which would only be legal if the bill passes.
After Ansari found lead authors in Sen. Linda Scheid and Rep. Jenifer Loon, legislators hashed out a compromise with the bill's opponents at the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association and the Minnesota Municipal Beverage Association. The version Dayton will see limits the number of licenses a brewer can hold, as well as the size of the brewers who apply for them to exclude giants like Bud.
After it became clear that the bill was likely heading Dayton's way, people began to wonder aloud if Dayton has an opinion on it. Turns out, he does.
"I support the Surly provision," he said today. "I don't know what else is in the bill."
Unless he has some weird problem with farm wineries selling at county fairs or lowering the fees for microdistilleries, it should be fine. You can read the whole bill here.
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