House paves way for Surly Brewery expansion

The Minnesota House overwhelmingly passed an omnibus liquor bill today which paves the way for Surly Brewing Company to build a new brewery, tap room and entertainment center in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Surly owners have been lobbying the Minnesota Legislature to allow the company to sell its craft beer on the new site. Bar owners initially balked at the deal but compromised on a plan that would allow a company to have one tap room in the state and would forbid larger scale breweries from having a tap room.

Representative Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie, says the $20 million brewery would create 150 permanent jobs and roughly 75 construction jobs.

“This is a complete win win for the state,” Loon said. “There are no public dollars involved in this all. This is strictly removing an impediment in our laws that would prevent a private business from expanding their business and operating it in a way they would like.”

The proposal still needs to be reconciled with a Senate plan. Surly’s owners aren’t saying where they intend to build the brewery. The mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul both say they’d like the brewery to be in their respective cities.

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