Surly Law Moves to the Cities

Recently I wrote about the Minnesota’s new taproom license law, also known as the “Surly Law” (after Surly Brewing, the chief proponent of the law).  While most of the focus in this past Legislative session was on the proposed state law change, the final law actually pushed the authority to issue taproom licenses down to municipalities.  As a result, several cities have found themselves amending their ordinances to remove restrictions similar to those previously included in state law prior to the Surly Law.  St. Paul has already enacted a taproom license ordinance and the Minneapolis City Council will discuss a similar change at its August 19 meeting.

Why the quick action by the two largest cities in Minnesota to permit brewery taprooms?  Simply put, each city is courting Surly’s proposed $20 million expansion which would include a new production brewery complete with a taproom.  As I’ve noted previously, both Minneapolis and St. Paul were once home to large production breweries.  Minneapolis had the original Grain Belt brewery and St. Paul was home to Hamm’s (later Stroh’s) and the Schmidt Brewery (later Minnesota Brewery).  With Surly on the cusp of expansion, and with other emerging Minnesota craft breweries such as Flat Earth, Lift Bridge, Fulton, Harriet, Steeltoe, not to mention a number of new ventures in the offing, Minnesota continues to be a hub of the craft beer industry in the United States, and Minnesota cities are acting quickly to bring these job creators to their communities.  For that, they deserve kudos.


Posted in Blog, Brewery Law, Business Law
One comment on “Surly Law Moves to the Cities
  1. I share in your kudos. It’s great to see municipalities engaging in proactive legislating to create more business-friendly environments. Exactly what Minnesota needs!