By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s National Beer Day, but that’s not the reason some Minnesota craft breweries are excited about business. A bill at the Capitol could soon allow them to sell six-packs at their taprooms.

Right now most can only sell individual growlers or crowlers, which are like oversized cans.

READ MORE: Lawmakers Reach Deal To Raise The 'Growler Cap', Allow Breweries To Sell 6-Packs To Go

“Nice to be coming out of hibernation mode,” said Zack Ward.

As he waits for warmer weather, Ward is getting ready for what should be a busy spring. He’s the owner of Omni Brewing in Maple Grove. And he can count on two things — customers buying beer in his taproom and customers asking why they can’t bring a six-pack home.

“’I know I’ve seen your stuff in stores, why can’t I get it here?’ We just have to say, ‘Because Minnesota is silly,’” said Ward.

Ward can sell customers growlers and crowlers, but not four-packs or six-packs, which is what he and other brewers would prefer.

“Both from a quality and a consumer preference and a cost standpoint, it’s just better,” said Ward.

READ MORE: 3 Minnesota Beers Make List Of Top 50 Beers In U.S.

As of now, every state surrounding Minnesota allows their taprooms to sell four-packs and six-packs.

“Minnesota’s liquor laws are unique and they’ve been really difficult to change,” said Rep. Zach Stephenson (DFL-Coon Rapids).

Stephenson is behind a bill that would loosen restrictions on what local craft breweries and distilleries can sell.

“Just 10 years ago there were 30 or 40 of them in the state. Now, there’s over 200. It feels like there is one in every community,” said Stephenson.

Stephenson’s bill would allow six-pack sales. It recently passed through the commerce committee. Stephenson said there are many other things in the bill that give most of the main players, something: liquor stores, wholesalers, unions, and of course brewers. Some lawmakers have dubbed it the “peace in the valley” bill.

“It’s important to get it right for both safety reasons and consumer protection reasons, and I think we’ve done so in this bill,” said Stephenson.

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The bill would also include production increases. Opponents said some grocery stores would lose out if it passes. They said the bill would prevent grocery stores from selling wine and full-strength beer for at least five years.

John Lauritsen