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St. Paul To Consider Sunday Tap Room Sales

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Next month, the St. Paul City Council will consider an ordinance allowing Sunday alcohol sales in tap rooms and micro-distilleries.

Sunday is the only day the eight licensed tap rooms in the city can’t sell pints of their own beer. The issue has gained momentum since more micro-breweries have opened their doors after the state passed the so-called “Surly Bill” back in 2011. It allowed micro-breweries to sell pints of their own beer on site, but it did not include the one weekend day.

“I think our numbers would be much better with a Sunday opening,” said Dane Breimhorst, co-owner of Burning Brothers Brewing.

Breimhorst and Thom Foss opened Burning Brothers Brewing in January of 2014.

They saw almost immediate success with their gluten-free craft beer.

“We’ve actually already expanded once,” Breimhorst said.

In April, the co-owners took on another challenge by opening a tap room.

“The tap room has been exceeding expectations, so far,” Breimhorst said.

Less than three months in and sales of their pint beers bring in up to 25 percent of revenue.

“Taproom sales are very key to most start up breweries, because it does give you the extra cash flow that a new business needs,” Breimhorst said.

But Burning Brothers and other micro-breweries in St. Paul see room for growth. The St. Paul City Council is considering an ordinance that would allow tap rooms the ability to open and serve on Sundays.

“Sundays are pretty important to us because it is a day that families like to get together and go out as a family,” Breimhorst said.

The vote whether to allow the Sunday sales is scheduled for August.

The ordinance also includes Sunday sales for cocktail rooms in micro-distilleries. A public hearing will be held on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

City Council President Kathy Lantry said the ordinance is expected to pass and has not received much opposition.

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