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It took several months for the city to work out zoning, liquor licensing and other regulations for Excelsior Brewing, which opened last year.
The city now is considering an expansion request that includes more interior production space and outside seating. But Excelsior has signaled it has no desire for more microbreweries, recently passing a rule that caps the number at one.
Questions about possible conflicts with its municipal liquor operations surfaced when the Anoka City Council discussed amending its zoning code to allow small-batch breweries, taprooms and brewpubs. Private liquor stores are not allowed in cities that have municipal stores.
Anoka’s city attorney told the council that he believed on-site sales of growlers by microbreweries would be allowed as isolated sales of just one product type. The council went on to approve the new rules in 2012.
City planners in Arden Hills used regulations in Excelsior and St. Louis Park, home of Steel Toe Brewing Co., to craft its ordinance for microbreweries and taprooms. Although Blume was unable to secure a site in Arden Hills, Mayor David Grant said the new rules position the city to respond to proposals yet to come.
“We’re not one to go out and try to encourage [a microbrewery],” Grant said. “But they seem to be out there and popular, and the taproom is an important business aspect for them as a distribution channel.”
Susan Feyder • 952-746-3282