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Forum News Service, Published March 19 2014

Committee considers 'baby steps' toward ending ban on Sunday liquor sales in Minnesota

ST. PAUL - A Minnesota Senate committee is considering "baby steps" that eventually could lead toward Sunday liquor sales.

Bills sponsored by Sen. Roger Reinert, D-Duluth, would allow Sunday refills and sales of beer jugs, popularly known as growlers, and allow taprooms to be open. The Senate Commerce Committee is expected to include the provisions in an overall liquor bill it will pass in coming days.

“These are baby steps towards full repeal of the Sunday liquor law ban, but they also represent important issues of equity," Reinert said. "Currently, vineyards across the state can sell their product on Sundays; these bills would allow craft brewers to do the same."

Reinert has fought for years to allow Sunday liquor sales, but has not found the votes to pass that measure.

A representative of Canal Park Brewing in Duluth testified that inability to sell growlers on Sundays significantly inhibits the ability to bring in revenue.

“The craft brewing industry contributes immensely to Minnesota’s economy," Reinert said. "In 2012, it helped add nearly $742 million to the state economy, and in 2013 it contributed nearly 8,000 jobs."