Good news! Our state Senator in Duluth, Roger Reinert, together with Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen, have introduced 3 bills to the state legislature to support craft distilleries. Here's Roger!
Together they're much like the Surly law - they would allow us to provide samples, to sell a bottle for people to take home, and to serve cocktails at the distillery. Doesn't that sound like a much more fun tour?! Laws much like these have been the jump start for craft distilling in other states - Washington, Oregon, New York, Wisconsin, etc. These days visiting craft distilleries is about the coolest thing to do in Seattle and Portland, and we're seeing phenomenal cocktails with their spirits served in more and more places.
So... this is very good news. But - we have to get these bills through the Minnesota legislature! We've formed a Minnesota Craft Distillers Guild, and we're writing letters and even have a lobbyist working for us (gasp!).
But we need your help!
If you have a plausible connection to Minnesota, could you spend a few minutes to write or call your state legislators?
Step 1: If you don't know already, look up who your state rep and senator are.
Step 2: Call them or send them an email! Below is a concise yet compelling text you can personalize.
Step 3: Cross your fingers
Check it out - It's like participating in our democracy! What a novel idea.
If you do hear back from your senator or congressperson, please let us know what they said. Joel's trying to track votes (like Josh from the West Wing).
Thank you thank you thank you!!!!
Joel and Emily and the Minnesota Craft Distillers Guild
I am writing to ask you to support three bills which are part of the Liquor Omnibus Bill currently before the House and Senate. They would allow micro distilleries to sample their products, sell a bottle of spirit to a consumer, and sell a cocktail in a hospitality room (House: HF 940, 941, and 942; Senate: SF 623, 624 and 625). These bills are essentially the same as the Surly bill of 2011, but applied to distilled spirits.
I believe these bills will help invigorate our local economy through new jobs, new taxes, and support for agriculture and tourism. I believe they will also create a strong new industry we can be proud of. Minnesota has all the ingredients for great craft spirits, and the craft spirits industry is poised to be the next craft beer. Wisconsin, following the lead of numerous other states, has modernized its laws around distillation of alcohol and now boasts at least 9 distilleries. High quality local spirits also, I believe, will contribute to a more positive culture around alcohol. As they say, "drink less, drink better."
Thank you very much for your support of these important bills.