Mayor R.T. Rybak signs the taproom license ordinance

Mayor Rybak and the brewers are ready to pour one out.

Mayor Rybak and the brewers are ready to pour one out.

With brewers from Fulton Beer and Surly looking on, Mayor R.T. Rybak signed the Minneapolis taproom license ordinance today. Taprooms are now legal in Mill City.

But while Fulton already has a location in the city, the question remains: Does this mean Surly's mega-brewery is coming to Minneapolis?


Beer lovers rejoiced back in May when Surly owner Omar Ansari successfully lobbied for a change in Minnesota state law that would allow brewers to sell pints of their own beer on premise. Ansari was able to push the so-called Surly bill with one seductive promise: A $20 million destination brewery with a restaurant and a beer garden, location to-be-determined. A tidal wave of support for the bill followed.

Once taproom licenses became legal on the state level, it was up to individual municipalities to pass their own ordinances. Minneapolis now joins Stillwater and St. Paul, which passed theirs earlier this summer.

The language of the Minneapolis ordinance closely follows that of the state law--basically it says a brewery that produces less than 250,000 barrels a year may apply for a license to sell pints on-site. Read the whole ordinance here.

"We're making it easier for Minnesota beer drinkers to drink Minnesota beer and create jobs here," said Rybak in a press release (The mayor has been openly coveting the Surly brewery for his fair city since plans for it were announced).

After the signing earlier today, Surly tweeted out victoriously:

Eyes on the prize: the dream Surly brewery.

Eyes on the prize: the dream Surly brewery.

Alright, let's build this thing! @MayorRTRybak signs the taproom ordinance for Minneapolis. than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

Wait, was that a promise?

"It certainly makes Minneapolis a viable option," says Ansari coyly. "We hope to be getting to site selection in the next month or two."

So, no. But he does say he has a big announcement to make on the matter in the next week or so. We'll all just have to stay tuned.

Meanwhile, Minneapolis brewers are now able to apply for their licenses. Once the application is reviewed and approved by the City Council, Minneapolite brewers like Harriet Brewing and Fulton will be able to throw open the doors of their brand-new taprooms. It should take about 30 to 35 days after the initial application to get approval.

The owners of Fulton are busily working away at their taproom in the North Loop and expect to be open for business in October or November. Lift Bridge Beer in Stillwater is even further along in the process, and if its inspections go smoothly, the company expects to open the state's first taproom on September 16.

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