Rybak signs new 'taproom' beer ordinance

4:41 PM, Aug 24, 2011   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Beer drinkers, there's a new excuse to tip a pint in Minneapolis.

On Wednesday Mayor R.T. Rybak signed a new  ordinance that allows small breweries to sell pints of beer on site.

By creating a new type of liquor license called a "taproom license," it allows breweries produce less than 250,000 barrels of beer a year to sell to customers who are touring the facility.

"We're making it easier for Minnesota beer drinkers to drink Minnesota beer and create jobs here," said Rybak. "Sales of pints on site will also grow the local beer economy by lowering the barriers for entry for new breweries, which will allow them to hit the ground running. And it complements Minneapolis' burgeoning local food economy that is creating new businesses and even more jobs."

The city ordinance follows a recent change to state law, commonly referred to as the "Surly Bill," that lifted restrictions on breweries' ability to sell pints on site and allowed cities to license the practice.

Mayor Rybak's great-grandfather owned and operated Rybak Brewery in New Prague, Minnesota in the 1920s.

"A great city deserves great beer, and with this ordinance, Minneapolis will become a beer destination," said City Council Member Gary Schiff, who co-sponsored with Council Member Elizabeth Glidden the ordinance that the City Council passed unanimously on August 19.

Mayor Rybak was accompanied at the signing of the new tap room ordinance by Omar Ansari, president and founder of Surly Brewing Company of Brooklyn Center, and Ryan Petz and Jim Diley, co-founders of Minneapolis-based Fulton Beer.

(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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