Western suburbs evaluate city ordinances on breweries

  • Article by: DANIELLE DULLINGER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 18, 2014 - 1:13 PM

A roundup of city rules on brewpubs and taprooms.

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Taproom at Excelsior Brewing

Photo: David Joles, Star Tribune

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Breweries have been popping up left and right in the west metro. That’s because brewpubs and taprooms are wildly popular — and because city ordinances are being changed to allow them.

The 2011 passage of the “Surly Bill” allows a brewery to be licensed to sell its beer on site, should city ordinances allow it. The law led to a surge of taprooms and brewpubs across the Twin Cities. Many cities have reexamined their ordinances, with a number of cities taking steps to encourage the business of brewing.

Here’s where things stand with some west metro cities.

Bloomington

Bloomington does not currently allow for the on-site sale of beer, which a brewpub or taproom would need to operate. Bloomington doesn’t have plans to amend that ordinance because it has not been approached with the idea, licensing examiner Doug Junker said.

Eden Prairie

Eden Prairie allows for brewpubs, and the City Council is looking to change the part of the current ordinance that requires businesses with liquor licenses to have 50 percent of sales come from food. Such a change would open the door to taprooms, which do not typically sell food. City Manager Rick Getschow said the city hopes to have that change worked out within the next two months. There are currently no formal proposals for a brewery, he said.

Edina

As a municipal liquor-store city, Edina controls off-sale liquor sales, City Manager Scott Neal said. No proposals for a brewery have been made, but the city is looking into allowing on-site sale of liquor, so long as it doesn’t jeopardize the city rules on municipal liquor, Neal said.

Excelsior

The city on Lake Minnetonka features the Excelsior Brewing Co., which opened in 2012 and by city ordinance is the only brewery allowed in the city. Excelsior’s taproom ordinance went into effect in 2011, but details are yet to be determined. Still under discussion are outdoor seating, brewery hours and construction of silos for grain storage, City Manager Kristi Luger said.

Golden Valley

Golden Valley does not allow brewpubs or taprooms. The city is looking into zoning codes to see if changes could need to be made to allow them, because the city would welcome brewpubs, said Mayor Shep Harris.

Hopkins

Hopkins approved a city ordinance to allow brewpubs and taprooms last August. The city limits the amount brewed to 3,500 barrels per year, and breweries must be zoned in the downtown area of Hopkins. LTD (Live the Dream) Brewing Co. will be located on Main Street and 8th Avenue when it opens this spring.

 

Maple Grove

Maple Grove permits brewpubs and taprooms, City Administrator Al Madsen said. The city does not boast any free-standing breweries, but Granite City Food & Brewery, located in the city, has its own brewing operation.

  • DEFINITIONS

    Brewery: A place where beer is made commercially.

    Brewpub: A place where beer brewed on the premises is sold, often with food also for sale.

    Taproom: A place where alcoholic drinks are available on tap, generally not including the substantial sale of food.

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