Grappling for growlers

MICHAEL RIETMULDER | Updated 2/20/2013

Some Minnesota breweries are pushing to change a law that could cut off their growler sales.

Beer enthusiasts lined up around the block when Fulton Brewery in Minneapolis began selling growlers.

Not only has Minnesota's microbrewing boom flooded the state with better beer (arguably a public service), but it has spawned its share of political engagement (remember that Surly bill thing?).

The latest cause on some beer makers' minds is changing a state law that prohibits breweries that produce more than 3,500 barrels annually from selling growlers -- those refillable 64-ounce jugs that line the top of your beer-geek buddy's refrigerator. A coalition of Minnesota breweries has launched a Save the Growler campaign aiming to raise that 3,500-barrel bar so that growing breweries can continue selling growlers. They argue that growler sales are an important revenue stream to their budding businesses.

In an email, Excelsior Brewing Co.'s Ben Flattum wrote that a bill is currently being drafted and legislative sponsors have been lined up.

[Photo: Kyndell Harkness]