Category: beer laws

Surdyk’s Open for Business on a Sunday Ahead of Law Change

Just another Sunday in March. Snow flying, temperatures fluctuating, and a liquor store open on Sunday? Yep, you read that correctly. Surdyk’s which has been in business for 80 years opened for business today at 11:00 AM even though the recently passed Sunday Sales law doesn’t go into effect until July 1st.

Consumers were smiling and laughing in the store as if they knew they were doing something illegal, but didn’t have to suffer any consequences as the store would be responsible for penalties. We spoke to Nate from Southwest Minneapolis who was adamant that Minnesotans should be able to purchase beer on Sunday. “A friend of mine posted on Facebook that they were open today. I think all stores should be open on Sundays. Listen to your customers” he suggested.

For context, Jim Surdyk has opposed this law change from the beginning but it didn’t stop him from making decision to open his store today. “The governor signed it. Why the hell are we gonna wait three months for this” he says.

We asked him if he plans to open on Sundays in the future leading up to the law change but it doesn’t seem likely. “The cat’s outta the bag. Maybe others will follow suit. I’m the first to do it” he said with a chuckle.

So what’s the penalty? According to this state document, it would seem that a suspension or revocation of their license is in order. He didn’t seem quite so sure. “We’ll have to wait and see what happens.”


Read into it however you may, but this seems like a big middle finger to his competitors while offering a fun opportunity for Minnesotans to purchase beer on a Sunday ahead of the law change. Whatever happens in response to this should be interesting. Stay tuned.


Minneapolis fines Surdyk’s $2,000 and hands out a 30 day suspension for the Minneapolis liquor retailer beginning on July 2nd. The suspension begins the first day of the law change. They will further penalize Surdyk’s (revocation of license possible) if they choose to open for business on the Sundays leading up to that law change.



LTD and MN Beer Activists Team up with Adam Turman on Sunday Sales Beer


The fine folks at MN Beer Activists spent a rainy Tuesday over at LTD Brewing where they helped brew a beer they are calling Sunday Sales Pale Ale. Part of the proceeds will go to which is run by consumer activists.

The estimated release date is on Sunday, May 1st from 1 pm until 5 pm at LTD which is located in Hopkins. Adam Turman is the man behind the label and has long been an advocate for changing this law.

If you’d like to join the cause, sign the petition over at their website.

LTD Brewing
8 8th Ave. N.
Hopkins, MN 55343


Lawyers, Refrigerators and Money

The Minnesota Legislative session is nigh, and with that, constituents will surely again take up the call to pass a bill for Sunday Sales of alcohol in Minnesota.  Supporters (and I’m one) have been taking up the cause for several years now and progress continues to be made, but passage seems just beyond reach. I do believe it will pass, eventually, but faith only goes so far, so do contact your legislators to voice your support for Sunday Sales in Minnesota.  

We are fortunate, though, that is our only fight. Our state rules, as they pertain to beer, are not as vulnerable to influence from industry heavyweights like they are in other states. In Missouri, for example Senate Bill 919 has been introduced and within you’ll see the political gamesmanship that occurs in rulemaking; one likeable item paired with a non-likeable item in hopes that they’ll pass together or fail together (and then why not throw in a third piece permitting use of a specific device, the language of which was likely put forth by the manufacturer of said device).

Let’s look at the three subparts from the end of the bill to the beginning.  

331.205 – the one where patrons use a self-dispensing machine at a licensed establishment.  Ok, fine, I can see some utility in that. Have you tried the self-serve beer machine at Target Field?  Me neither. 

331.201 – the one where you can get a growler filled just about anywhere that sells packaged beer. Great! Well, the language about labeling seems a bit onerous for the retail establishment, but it’s nice to be able to fill growlers at a liquor store (looking at you, Hudson, WI).

And the coup de grace:

331.198 – the one where the Missouri Small Brewer’s Guild (MSBG) gets riled-up. It allows for brewers and wholesalers to lease fridge space in a retail establishment through a portable unit (as “portable” as a seven-foot by four-foot fridge can be).  

The MSBG asserts this language comes from AB/InBev which I cannot confirm nor deny, but seems likely, because this is Missouri and this bill was introduced by a Senator from suburban St. Louis. Regardless of where it came from – is this grab for retail space by actually paying for it an assault on smaller craft brewers that can’t afford a “pay-to-play” approach? Perhaps. It’s my suspicion few brewers would be able to bear the cost of a unit like this. Anheuser Busch, though…    

But how gullible are we? The end product could also be nothing more than an eyesore to consumers and a headache for retailers who need to find space for a 66 cubic-foot branded refrigerator. Is this an ill-fated marketing attempt by larger producers or is this an indicator of the fight to come within the beer industry? Time will tell.  Perhaps this is a bill that is designed to die in committee so the senator can claim victory for putting it forth, but not shoulder the ire of having it passed.  

And hey, that’s not even in Minnesota!  Why worry? That type of stuff would NEVER happen here. Right?


First Sunday Growler Sales… Sunday… at Montgomery Brewing

montgomerybrewingGreat news from Montgomery, MN. Last night the City of Montgomery passed a provision to allow for Sunday growler sales. The city worked quickly and Montgomery Brewing Co. will be open for the state’s first Sunday growler sales this Sunday, May 24th. Don’t hesitate, though… they have a 3 bbl brewing system and the beer just won’t last.

Congrats to Montgomery Brewing!

Sunday Beer Baby Steps: Sunday Growler Sales

DangerousMan---GrowlerExciting news for craft beer in Minnesota – on Friday, Governor Mark Dayton signed a bill that allows Sunday growler sales at breweries and brewpubs. While it’s not a full-on repeal of bans on Sunday sales, it’s a positive step toward changes to old laws that have been on the books for years – laws that we would never pass today if they didn’t already exist.

Sunday sales of growlers at breweries, brewpubs and taprooms evens out an oddity in Minnesota’s liquor regulations. For quite some time, farm wineries have been able to sell bottles to go on Sundays in Minnesota. I’ve had the pleasure of buying wine at small wineries on Sundays for several years – I think it’s great, but I’ve always thought beer should have been part of that. Now it is! Breweries will still have to obtain municipal licensing, but this is definitely a move in the right direction.