Sunday growler sales removed from liquor bill

The prospect of Sunday growler sales in Minnesota faced yet another setback on Monday. The provision that would allow taprooms to sell growlers was removed from a liquor bill that would also permit taprooms to open and sell alcohol on Sundays.

The decision was made by the Senate Tax Committee after the Teamsters Union (a group responsible for delivering alcohol on behalf of wholesalers) said Sunday growler sales would require them to reopen contracts with distributors, MPR News reported. See also: Teamsters Union stalls Sunday growler sales

But Roger Reinert (DFL-Duluth), the sponsor of the provision, says the Teamsters Union has yet to provide evidence that contracts would be reopened.

"[The Teamsters Union's] concerns at face value are not legit or accurate," he says.

Reinert thinks it's more likely the Union is worried legalizing Sunday sales would require members to deliver on Sundays. He says he even offered to change the language to ensure that reopening contracts wouldn't be an issue.

"[I'm] concerned about giving consumers shopping choice on the busiest shopping day of the week," Reinert says. "When you have something that's moving in such a positive direction, why would you not want to support it? ... These growler provisions, that's exactly what they were intended to do."

Senate Tax Chair Rod Skoe (DFL-Clearbrook) told MPR News he's not in support of Sunday sales in the slightest and says growler sales would lead to demands for six packs, cases, and beyond.

Though growler sales were the heart of the liquor law, Reinert says not all hope is lost. The part of the bill that would allow taprooms to open and sell alcohol will be voted on in the Senate today and there is still a possibility of including growler sales as an amendment. Additionally, the growler provision still exists in the bill at the House level.

"If the house decided to support the omnibus liquor bill as written, the growler piece would be saved," Reinert says.

City Pages on Facebook | Hot Dish on Facebook | Twitter | e-mail us