Coming soon to a brewery near you: Sunday growler sales

Minnesotans will soon be able to take home bottles of beer from their favorite craft breweries on Sundays.

ABBY SIMONS
Updated 5/1/2015

Taking home a jug of craft beer from your favorite local taproom on a Sunday will require local signoff before becoming a reality.

Gov. Mark Dayton signed the state’s omnibus liquor bill into law on Friday, which includes allowing the sale of growlers from craft breweries on Sundays. Other provisions of the bill include the “Bloody Mary Bill,” which allows 8 a.m. alcohol sales from bars and restaurants on Sundays, and also reclassifies Minnesota instructional learner’s permits as valid identification to buy alcohol. (Provided you’re of age, of course.) Despite a strong push by advocates and closer-than-ever votes in the House and Senate, a full repeal of the state’s ban on Sunday liquor sales failed.

But it doesn’t mean growlers will be sold from local taprooms as soon as this Sunday, or even next. The law gives cities the authority to issue licenses to taprooms to sell off-site on Sundays, a move that will require action by city councils, said Dan McElroy, president and CEO of Hospitality Minnesota, which represents hotels, restaurants and resorts across the state.

It appears Minneapolis has already begun the process. A notice of intent was filed Friday to amend ordinances regarding off-sale malt liquor.  Officials say the law may not be changed until the end of May or first of June.

Changes in the Bloody Mary bill are a little more fluid, McElroy said.

“The law is interesting, a city can have liquor regulations which are more restrictive than state law, but cannot have less restrictive regulations,” he said. “Because more people would say 8 a.m. would be more restrictive than 10 a.m., city ordinance would prevail.”

That’s the case in Minneapolis, which does not allow alcohol to be served before 10 a.m. on Sundays. Therefore that law too may need to be changed. However, McElroy said that if a city currently does not have its own ordinance restricting Sunday hours of sale, it defaults to state law, and 8 a.m. sales would take effect.

Staff writer Eric Roper contributed to this report.

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