The St. Paul City Council is considering allowing craft microbrewers to set up shop in areas outside industrial zones and serve their beer on site.

The City Council last week asked the Planning Commission for a report and recommendation on a proposal that would allow small brewing operations with tap rooms in traditional neighborhoods and business districts.

The council requested that findings be returned by mid-April. Mayor Chris Coleman supports the proposed zoning changes.

According to sponsoring council members Russ Stark and Amy Brendmoen, more flexible regulations would bring St. Paul closer to the state's 2011 "Surly Bill," which allows beer to be served where it is brewed.

The St. Paul proposal defines a small brewing operation as one that produces fewer than 5,000 barrels a year. The city's largest brewer, Summit, produces more than 100,000 barrels annually and opened a tap room last year at its brewery near W. 7th Street and Interstate 35E.