Growler sale cut-off will affect craft brewers, leave customers dry

Growler of beer
Photo credit iStock / Getty Images Plus
By 830 WCCO

No growlers? Yep, it's coming to some Minnesota craft breweries.

A state law that takes effect Oct. 1 prohibits the sale of growlers (32-ounce reusable beer containers), crowlers (a growler in a can), and other off-sale products by Minnesota breweries that make more than 20,000 barrels of beer annually.

"Our customers are really upset about this," Castle Danger Brewery's Maddy Stewart told WCCO's Paul Douglas and Jordana Green.

"They were mad and sad and frustrated."

An effort to eliminate the barrel production cap in Minnesota failed in the 2019 legislative session, and some lawmakers say they'll try again in 2020.

The cap was created to prop up a three-tiered distribution system that includes beer producers, distributors, and retailers.

"It's a hit to our company, financially," said Stewart. "Thirty percent of our taproom revenue is just growlers.

An official with the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild is quoted saying that some businesses could lose $300,000 a year because of the new law, and that they are doing their best to prepare when they reach the 20,000-barrel threshold.