May 24, 2011
Today, Governor Mark Dayton signed the omnibus liquor bill, Chapter 55, HF 1326/SF 918, making several changes to current law. Senator Chris Gerlach (R-SD 37) and Representative Joe Atkins (DFL-HD 39B) were the chief authors of this bill. It has become known as the "Surly bill" because it creates a new class of license, a brewer taproom license, which will allow Minnesota breweries, including Surly Brewing Company, to sell pints of their beer on-site.
The new law will also allow bed and breakfast establishments to serve Minnesota produced beer. It will allow the issuance of on-sale licenses at racing tracks, and will allow an annual wine festival to serve customers. Additionally, it will allow for temporary licenses to farm wineries for on-sale at a county fair and will allow private nonprofit colleges to have liquor licenses.
The bill also makes other changes relevant to specific municipalities. This bill passed the Senate with unanimous support and the House with broad, bipartisan support.