WACONIA, Minn. (WCCO) — It’s a state law that’s been in effect for a month, but today a group of taprooms officially got the green light to sell bottles and growlers on Sundays.
A state representative from Carver County says the Waconia area has more breweries, wineries and distilleries than anywhere else in the state. Nina Moini spent the day talking to those businesses about what this change means for the future.
They’re celebrating a new kind of Sunday in the Waconia area.
“We have three wineries, three breweries and one micro-distillery,” Rep. Jim Nash said.
Nash says the businesses are all fairly new, a sign of the booming craft beer industry that by its own estimate, brings $742 million to Minnesota’s economy.
“A few days from now we are celebrating our second anniversary party,” Dan Norton said.
Enki Brewing co-owner Dan Norton says the number of microbreweries in Minnesota has nearly doubled since he got started. He says he got a 15 percent increase in business in the last year when the state passed a law allowing taprooms to make Sunday sales.
He’s hoping for another boost from growlers.
“There is room for that growth and the demand is there,” Norton said.
Just about 10 minutes away at Waconia Brewing Company, owners say they turn away 15 customers looking to buy growlers each Sunday. But not anymore.
The state also passed a new law allowing micro-distilleries to sell pint-size bottles of liquor to customers on Sundays.
“The hope is they take that bottle, enjoy it and then go to their local liquor store to keep that great economy going,” Gina Holman with J. Carver Distillery said.
For now, spots like these are the only places to buy and take home alcohol on Sundays.
“It’s been fantastic for the folks who have decided to put everything on the line they own and open up a business,” Nash said.
Nash says all these smaller changes could help or hurt the push to lift the overall statewide ban on Sunday liquor sales that has failed for the past several years. Groups that support the ban say it protects small “mom and pop” businesses against the threat of big-name stores.