Bill allows all small brewers in the state to sell beer out of the brewery

The Minnesota Senate approved legislation last week that would allow Surly Brewing Co. to sell pints of their beer at a proposed $20 million "destination brewery."

The measure cleared the Senate on a unanimous vote after moving through the House earlier this week.

Brewers in Minnesota are not currently allowed to serve beer at breweries.

The bill changes the law for all Minnesota brewers, though it was prompted by Surly's plans to expand their brewery in a major new project.

The state's powerful liquor lobby (led by the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association) initially fought vigorously against the bill in order to preserve the three-tier system. They eventually agreed to new language that would prevent large major brewers from opening up destination breweries in Minnesota.

The House and Senate bills must now be resolved before they are sent to the governor. Given the near-unanimous bipartisan support in both chambers, it is fairly likely he will sign.