To whom it may concern,
I am writing today to ask you to support three bills that are part of the Liquor Omnibus Bill currently before the House and Senate. These bills are essentially the Surly bill of 2011 applied to distilled spirits. Passage of these bills and modernization of Minnesota’s laws would enable growth of our new, artisan liquor distilling industry. These three bills (House: HF 940, 941, and 942; Senate: SF 623, 624 and 625) would enable a small distillery to sample their products, sell a bottle of spirit to a consumer and sell a cocktail in a hospitality room.
These bills will enable these small, local businesses to create jobs, pay taxes, support local agriculture and tourism. Without passage of these bills, it will be impossible for a home-grown Minnesota distilling industry to emulate our nation-leading craft breweries. Importantly, numerous other states (WI, OR, WA, NY, OH, IA, IL, MO, KS, GA, AR, PA, CA, etc) have passed similar legislation over the past five years that has enabled distilled spirits growth while maintaining public safety. As a neighboring example, Wisconsin has modernized its laws around distillation of alcohol and now boasts at least 9 distilleries.
A potential concern to modernization of these laws is a breakdown of the 3-tier system put in place following Prohibition in 1933. These laws were intended to protect the public from large, vertically-integrated beer companies that owned numerous saloons selling cheap beer prior to 1920. This is not the case with premium quality craft liquor and thus, is not an actual issue.
I ask your support for these bills that will help Minnesota create jobs and tax revenues while strengthening local businesses. Thank you.
Mill City Distilling Company