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Brewing change: Castle Danger pushing state lawmakers to change growler cap limits

Brewing change: Castle Danger pushing state lawmakers to change growler cap limits
Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 11:06 PM CST
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SAINT PAUL, MN (KBJR) - Local lawmakers are again taking on the state’s brewery regulations.

Now an area business is joining a lobbying effort in Saint Paul to change growler cap laws.

In years past, customers at Castle Danger Brewery in Two Harbors could enjoy the locally brewed beverage in the taproom, or get it to-go.

“Taking beer to-go has always been a very important part of the brewery experience,” said Jamie MacFarlane, Castle Danger’s Chief Financial Manager.

According to MacFarlane, a Minnesota law is stopping them from selling growlers to-go from their brewery.

“In the state of Minnesota, if you sell more than 20,000 barrels of beer in a year, you can no longer sell growlers to go,” said MacFarlane.

She said in October of 2019, Castle Danger passed that 20,000 barrel mark, taking growlers off the table.

Now, they’re pushing lawmakers to raise the barrel limit from 20,000 to 250,000 barrels a year.

According to MacFarlane, Minnesota’s liquor laws are based on a three-tier system.

“It’s the suppliers who are us, the breweries. Then you’ve got the wholesalers who distribute the beer and then the retailers who sell the beer,” said MacFarlane.

Some wholesalers and retailers are worried upping growler caps will give an unfair advantage to bigger breweries.

But MacFarlane thinks changing the law will benefit all three.

“So, if you like our beer, you take a growler to go and you head back home. Now you’re buying the beer from your local liquor store or local restaurant the rest of the year when you’re not up on the Northshore,” said MacFarlane.

We reached out to several liquor stores and distributorships for comment about the growler cap law, but didn’t hear back.

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