Miranda Shubert: Wineries can sell on Sunday, so why not craft breweries?
As an employee at Kinney Creek Brewery in Rochester, I believe that Sunday sales will expand and encourage tourism in Minnesota as well as stimulate taxable sales of Minnesota beer. Beer consumers are also in support of this legislation, which is why it is time to update laws that no longer seem to adequately reflect the will of the public.
The craft beer scene has been booming all over the country, including right here in Minnesota. Unfortunately, Minnesota falls short in offering tourists the opportunity to fully enjoy all that our craft beer scene has to offer because of the prohibition of Sunday Sales.
The demand for craft beer is growing, but when Minnesota breweries are forced to close their doors for 50 percent of the weekend, we are missing out on a large opportunity to draw tourists to our state.
When we compete with large craft beer industries in states such as Colorado, California or even our neighbors in Wisconsin, we are at a disadvantage because of our inability to provide our product during a time of peak demand. This inconsistency is doubled by the fact that Minnesota wineries are able to sell their products on Sunday.
Pay a visit to a Minnesota winery on a Sunday and you are legally capable of walking away with a bottle of their product. However, walk into a Minnesota brewery on a Sunday, and you are out of luck.
While we fully support the opportunity for wineries in Minnesota to be able to sell their products on Sundays, we also believe that breweries should be given the same option.
Not only would craft beer consumers be given the choice to buy beer on a Sunday, but that beer also would be taxable by the state of Minnesota. Instead of crossing the border to buy beer, Minnesotans will be encouraged to keep their purchases in-state, which means those tax dollars will remain in Minnesota.
Statistics show that Sunday sales have bipartisan support among the general public. Democrats, Republicans and Independents agree — it's time to legalize Sunday Sales in Minnesota. Sixty-one percent of Democrats, 46 percent of Republicans (as opposed to 38 percent who oppose Sunday sales), and 68 percent of independents approve of Sunday alcohol sales, according to recent research done by Public Policy Polling.
On Dec. 27, Gov. Mark Dayton stated that he'd sign a bill allowing Sunday sales if the legislation were to pass. With so much support behind the bill, it seems counterintuitive to continue to adhere to antiquated laws that no longer reflect the views of Minnesotans.
We are excited to be a part of an expanding industry, and will continue to work hard to see that it grows in a healthy manor. We are confident that outdated policies which are damaging and counterproductive will be fleeting setbacks in the very bright future of the craft beer industry.
Miranda Shubert is director of marketing for Kinney Creek Brewery in Rochester