Minneapolis Election Day: November 5, 2013

Minneapolis election day is November 5, 2013. Minneapolis residents will have some tough choices to make. We don’t pretend that the stance a candidate takes on modernizing Minnesota liquor law should a decide if they get your vote, but it can give you some insight to their political philosophy and how they might handle future issues.

The City of Lakes will be saying goodbye to Mayor R.T. Rybak and looking for a new mayor. During his time in office Mayor Rybak, ushered in several changes that have made many Minneapolis beer drinkers grateful.

One key change came when Rybak approved an initiative by Minneapolis City Council Member Gary Schiff to lift the prohibition on breweries within 300 feet of churches. This ordinance change alone made it possible for Dangerous Man Brewing Co. to open in NE Minneapolis, while opening up the city for more commerce.

Rybak also pushed for a change to state level beer law. He successfully pushed for breweries to have the ability to sell their own pints of beer on site in taprooms. The success of modernized liquor code has led to taprooms and breweries being built all over Minneapolis, and the rest of the state, including a massive forthcoming “destination brewery” from Surly Brewing Co.

So, as Minneapolis looks to a elect its next leader, keep in mind that while being pro beer isn’t everything, Mayor Rybak’s pro-beer stance has lead to a lot of entrepreneurship and brewing industry growth in Minneapolis. As the beer culture continues to grow in Minnesota, it is important to remember that modernizing liquor regulations play a big part in fostering that expansion.

The leading Minneapolis mayoral candidates don’t often get asked about beer and liquor laws, but it comes up from time to time in public forums. Here is a list of what we have been able to track down. If you have updated information, or find something we didn’t, please comment below and will we update this piece.

Minnesota Mayoral Candidates on Liquor / Beer
Allowing Sunday Sales Allowing Brewpub Distribution Allowing Distillery Taprooms Eliminating 60/40 Food/Alcohol Sales
Betsy Hodges Undecided Undecided Supports Supports
Mark Andrew Against Undecided Supports Supports
Don Samuels Supports Undecided Supports Supports
Cam Winton Supports Supports Supports Supports
Stephanie Woodruff Supports Supports Supports Supports
Jackie Cherryhomes Against Undecided Supports Supports

It is worth noting that according to Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Mark Andrew tried to get a $1,000 donation from the Minnesota Beer Wholesalers Association PAC, but walked away with $500, the legal limit on contributions. Minnesota Beer Wholesalers Association has opposed recent beer reforms, including retail sales at brewpubs and Sunday sales.
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In addition to mayoral candidates, there is also a proposal to amend the Minneapolis city charter liquor-licensing provisions on the ballot. The proposed amendment would essentially “clean up” the language in the Minneapolis City Charter (i.e., the city constitution). The charter was written long ago, it uses language like “doth” instead of “do” and even references parts of the city government that no longer exist. The new language wouldn’t change any rules or regulations, it would make the existing regulations easier to for residents to understand.

2) “Shall the Minneapolis City Charter provisions relating to the sale of liquor and wine be amended by reorganizing and rewriting in plain modern language?”
Yes __________
No ___________

Existing Charter
Plain Language Charter and cover correspondence to City Council
Side-by-Side Comparisons

As with any election, make sure you are registered, you know your polling location, and you’ve educated yourself on issues and candidates.

Special thanks to Jeremy Zoss and The Growler for doing a lot of leg work on this issue.



About the author

Andrew is just a guy that likes beer. You can usually find him on the twitters or spending time with his family.