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'Save the Growler' petition passes 10,000 signatures

A state law restricts breweries that sell 20,000 barrels of beer or more a year from selling off-sale products such as growlers. The law affects Castle Danger Brewery in Two Harbors in particular, where growlers make up 30% of taproom sales. The brewery will stop selling growlers before a Tuesday deadline.

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More than 10,000 people have signed a petition to raise the “growler cap” — the production threshold at which a brewery no longer can sell off-sale products such as growlers.

The petition put forth by Minnesota state Sen. Karin Housley, R-St. Mary’s Point, asks Gov. Tim Walz and legislative leaders to raise or eliminate the cap.

The law affects Castle Danger Brewery in Two Harbors in particular, which recently passed the threshold. The brewery will stop selling growlers before a Tuesday deadline.

The change comes after a bill in the Minnesota Legislature that would have eliminated the barrel production cap failed last legislative session.

Minnesota law currently restricts breweries from selling growlers — beer in 64-ounce jugs — if they produce more than 20,000 barrels of beer per year.

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Those in favor of the law say the cap supports three-tiered distribution systems including producers, distributors and retailers, the release said.

“Growler sales account for (about) 30% of taproom sales at Castle Danger — and that’s not insignificant,” Housley said in the release. “This isn't about politics; it’s a bipartisan issue with bipartisan support. It’s about supporting our local businesses and allowing them (to) grow.”

Bent Paddle Brewing Co. in Duluth, Indeed Brewing Co. in Minneapolis and Lift Bridge Brewery in Stillwater are not far behind the threshold, the release said.

The news release notes that the federal definition of a “small” craft brewery is one that has an annual production of fewer than 6 million barrels of beer per year, according to the Brewers Association trade group.

“These aren’t massive breweries; they’re small businesses homegrown in our communities — and we’re punishing them for success,” Housley said in the release. “Last session, I introduced a bipartisan bill to change the cap. I will continue to aggressively push for this change when the legislature reconvenes.”

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