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Old 02-10-2011, 07:03 PM   #1
Feb 2011
Posts: 16

Just got this email from Surly... hope they change the laws, this sounds awesome!

Surly Nation:

As you know, it's been an exciting five years at Surly Brewing. Thanks for enjoying our beer! We've continued to expand over the last several years but now it's time to take a big step. It's time to add another brewery location to meet demand and help more people "Get Surly."

Surly Brewing produced nearly three million pints of beer in 2010. We've already expanded our Brooklyn Center brewery as much as possible but it still isn't enough - you keep asking for more Surly beer and we can't keep up. That's why we are ready to toast success and build a second brewery.

A Place To Gather: A Destination Brewery, Bar/Restaurant and Event Center

But we don't just want to build a new brewery. We want to build a "destination brewery" for Minnesota and national beer lovers alike. The new $20 million Surly Brewery we've planned will have a bar, roof deck, restaurant and even an event center. It will be a place for people to gather and socialize over a Minnesota beer, right here in Minnesota.

But to do all this, we need a few things to happen (and we might need some help from you). Currently, Minnesota liquor licensing laws only allow brewpubs, not breweries, to brew and sell their beer on the premises. Surly Brewing is classified differently than brewpubs because we brew more beer than is allowed under a brewpub license, making it impossible for us to include a bar or restaurant within any brewery we want to build.

We Need A Change In The Law

Surly Brewing isn't looking for tax breaks or government handouts, we are only asking to be able to apply for a license to have a bar and a restaurant attached to a brewery. The existing law prohibits this.

We believe this law change will not only help small breweries in Minnesota grow and produce even more great beer, but it will create jobs, stimulate the local economy and help create tax dollars that will go right back into Minnesota. This is an evolution of our small business and we are excited about the possibilities.

Surly Brewing is taking its case to legislators right now. For more details about what we are planning, check out and visit our Facebook page. We will have updates regularly. We are going to need your help soon, but for now, the best thing you can do is tell friends, family, and co-workers who care about Minnesota beer, Minnesota business and Minnesota jobs to follow us on Facebook (

or Twitter We will let you know how to help very soon. It's looking like we are going to need EVERYONE'S help to get this done.

Thanks again.


See you drinking,

Omar Ansari

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Old 02-11-2011, 03:42 AM   #2
Mar 2006
Stevens Point, WI
Posts: 150
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Got that as well. I hope they can get the law changed. I know they also had to stop selling at the brewery due to some odd law after they had brewed a certain amount of beer.

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Old 02-11-2011, 03:16 PM   #3
Feb 2011
Posts: 16

Yeah MN law changes the fee for selling beer on premises depending on amount. I believe less than 3500 bbls is like $100 fee. Above that amount was like $5k. I used to buy growlers there and fill them up, but when they got bigger they had to stop that practice.

I guess the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association is against this change... because they won't make money selling the beer. I think it should be fine to sell it on their premises only... ridiculous. Then again, MN doesn't allow liquor sales on Sundays, but you can go to a bar (or Wisconsin). None of it makes sense to me.

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Old 02-11-2011, 03:31 PM   #4
Jun 2009
Parker, CO, Colorado
Posts: 341
Liked 8 Times on 5 Posts

texas is going through the same thing right now..

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Old 02-11-2011, 03:35 PM   #5
May 2009
Los Angeles
Posts: 8,219
Liked 493 Times on 398 Posts

They could always build their restaurant/bar/brewery in California. We've got no problems with it!

Or they could start a subsidiary brewpub that only brews smaller batches for the restaurant, and license it separately.

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Old 02-15-2011, 04:36 PM   #6
Feb 2011
Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 1

Building it in another state has been suggested to Omar/Surly by the MBLA, so you're not far off weirboy. All they're asking is to be able to sell you a pint of their beer at their brewery. It's ridiculous and the opposition hasn't been able to come up with a compelling argument as to why they can't so hopefully they can get it changed. Heck, even Mark at Summit was like "We've wanted to do this for years, I hope they get it done"

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Old 02-15-2011, 05:27 PM   #7
Apr 2009
Posts: 35
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

I hope that even if they can't change the law to let them serve beer, that they go ahead with the rest of the plan. Surly should definitely expand it's brew-ops. Then maybe I can get a bottle of Darkness for a reasonable price

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Old 02-15-2011, 07:41 PM   #8
Feb 2010
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Posts: 341
Liked 4 Times on 3 Posts

If you haven't seen Beer Wars, watch it. This is directly related to that.

More from Surly...

WE NEED YOUR HELP! Now is the time to contact your STATE legislator to voice your support of small business, Minnesota jobs and tourism, and Surly’s Destination Brewery project. Here’s how you can help:

1. Follow this link (or cut and paste it into your browser) and enter your address to find your state Representative and state Senator:

2. Email/Call your state Representative and state Senator (contact only YOUR district’s legislators)

Tell them you’re a Surly fan and you support the proposal to allow Surly to sell glasses of THEIR beer at THEIR brewery. Ask your legislators to join you in support of Surly and Minnesota’s other craft breweries!

If you call, it’s likely you’ll get voicemail or be asked to leave a message with your legislator’s assistant, which is just fine. And it’s ok to be passionate but remember to mind your manners. We’re trying to win these folks over to the Surly cause!

3. Tell your family and friends to support the proposal and contact their state legislators too!

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