This year in Minnesota beer: Combination brewery-distillery taprooms? – City Pages

The Bent Brewstillery founder and head distiller always hoped his Roseville taproom would be a place where customers could sip both craft brews and small-batch spirits. Brewstillery, you’ve no doubt noticed, is a portmanteau of brewery and distillery, and Blume views himself equal parts suds and spirits. “We are a microbrewer,” he tells City Pages. “And we are a microdistillery.”

The problem is that Blume would like to show off Bent’s distilled creations and continue pouring beers for you, too. And right now? Minnesota law doesn’t let him do both. So at the end of last year, Bent launched an Indiegogo campaign to fundraise for the lobbying help they’ll need to get an ordinance of their own — a Bent Bill? — through the State House.

Once the so-called “Surly Bill” passed in 2011, Blume figured it wouldn’t be long before a similar cocktail room law became a reality. He was right: All it really took was a good push from the Minnesota Distillers Guild — which Blume helped form and where he currently serves on the board — to make that happen a little over two years ago.

But he says there are a few things that “slipped through the cracks” in creating these laws. Specifically, when the cocktail room ordinance went into effect, legislators added a line about how no one business could hold both a brewer’s taproom license and a microdistiller’s cocktail room licence.

Which is fine… unless you’re Blume, who runs the state’s only part-distillery, part-brewery hybrid (one of only about 20 in the country, by his estimate).

“That language was added by the liquor lobby, distributors, retailers, teamsters,” Blume says. In other words, it got in there thanks to the same people who fought against the Surly Bill and Sunday sales. “It’s like those laws on the books that say

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