Why You Might Soon Be Able to Buy Beer at Grocery Stores in Minnesota
Minnesota still has some of the most restrictive alcohol laws in the country, but that could be changing in the near future.
We all remember the old Minnesota law that made it illegal to buy any alcohol on Sundays, right? (Being a Wisconsin native, where you can buy alcohol pretty much anytime-- and anywhere-- you want, I poked fun at that law All.The.Time.) While that law changed in 2017, there are still some weird, restrictive laws on the books here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes when it comes to alcohol.
But that could be changing in a matter of weeks. State legislators are putting together prospective bills that are likely to be introduced during the 2022 legislative session, which is scheduled to get underway in St. Paul on January 5th, 2022.
And just last week, legislators held a hearing concerning 30 possible bills designed to help modernize and update Minnesota's current alcohol laws. According to Fluence Media's Minnesota Morning Take newsletter, the Minnesota House Commerce Committee met informally last week and heard proposals on several possible bills.
One would allow food vendors, like grocery stores and gas stations, to sell wine and beer. Right now in Minnesota, of course, grocery stores can only sell 3.2 beer and you have to go to a separate liquor store to buy 'regular' beer or wine. (Minnesota is currently the only state where 3.2 beer is still sold, and many of the big brewers say they will likely discontinue the product.)
Another would allow liquor stores in Minnesota to be open from 10 am to 5 pm on Sundays, instead of the current 11 am to 6 pm hours. (How about making allowing them to be open from 10 am to 6 pm on Sundays?) Still another would remove the ridiculous growler limit to which Minnesota breweries are currently restricted.
Now, of course, it's far too early to see if any of those proposals will be introduced in both the Minnesota House and Senate next year-- and if they'll actually pass and be signed into law by the governor. Like me, you might wonder WHY Minnesota is still so archaic with its liquor laws.
BringMeTheNews summed it up, saying it's "because the liquor store lobby, distributors/Teamsters and cities with municipal liquor stores continue to retain support from enough Republicans and Democrats to prevent legislation from passing." So, like many other things, we'll just have to wait and see.