Craft beer niche addressed in liquor law

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A new law will allow St. Paul and Minneapolis restaurant owners to have more than 40 percent of their revenue generated from alcohol sales, which is currently illegal.

At a House committee hearing earlier this session, David Burley, owner of Groveland Tap in St. Paul, said craft beer has become more costly than their food items.

“We’re not selling a whole ton more beer — just people are buying the more expensive stuff,” he said.

Effective Aug. 1, 2013, the law includes other provisions that will allow micro-distilleries to provide samples of distilled spirits, and licensed wine or beer educators to purchase and serve wine or beer for educational purposes.

Other provisions will allow certain small brewers with a production greater than 3,500 barrels to sell off-sale growlers; municipal liquor stores to issue brewer taproom licenses; Shakopee to issue liquor licenses for a fair; and St. Paul to issue a liquor license for the proposed new ballpark.

The law is sponsored by Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights) and Sen. James Metzen (DFL-South St. Paul).

HF746/ SF541*/CH42