‘Free the Growler’ law change impacting a local brewery

'Free the Growler' law change impacting a local brewery
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 7:32 PM CDT
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TWO HARBORS, MN. (KBJR) - For many breweries across Minnesota, Monday was a day of celebration.

“It’s amazing. It’s kind of surreal still,” said Jamie MacFarlane of Castle Danger Brewing.

Over the weekend, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed a new bill into law that raises something called the growler cap, allowing more breweries to sell beer to-go from their taprooms.

Growlers are 64-ounce containers, and crowlers are 32-ounce cans. The new law allows for both.

Up until Sunday, breweries that produced more than 20,000 barrels of beer per year were not able to sell growlers and crowlers out of their taprooms.

Castle Danger in Two Harbors was one of the breweries impacted by the cap.

With the new law in place, breweries can produce up to 150,000 barrels per year and still sell the popular to-go beer.

“I believe we’re going to be doing almost 30,000 barrels this year. So our customers like our beer, and we continue to make beer because they want to drink it,” said MacFarlane.

According to MacFarlane, Castle Danger used to be able to sell growlers, but a few years ago the business expanded and they had to stop.

MacFarlane said selling growlers represented a big portion of their business, about 30 percent.

Castle Danger is hoping this new law will bring them back to that.

Rick Abrahamson said he comes to Castle Danger on the way to his cabin.

“Well we came up and we’re heading to Gooseberry to check out the falls. We have a cabin north of here. We always like to make a stop here,” said Abrahamson, a Castle Danger Patron.

According to Abrahamson, taking a beer to-go from a craft brewery is like a souvenir.

“The breweries all have their own little take and it’s just nice to go to different ones once in a while,” said Abrahamson.

And for Jamie MacFarlane, she’s more than happy to help customers like Abrahamson.

“It’s going to be really exciting to not have to say why you can’t buy a growler, but how many growlers would you like? So that’ll be great,” MacFarlane said.

Castle Danger is planning to start selling growlers on June 1st.

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