Update your city code! A plethora of new liquor licenses have sprouted this summer, in spite of the state shutdown.
Cities may now issue an on-sale wine license and an on-sale malt liquor license to a person who owns a summer collegiate league baseball team, or to a person holding a concessions or management contract with the owner. This license allows beverage sales at a ballpark or stadium located within the city during baseball games—notwithstanding any law, local ordinance, or charter provision. Effective date was April 20, 2011. Go Mankato Moondogs, Duluth Huskies, Willmar Stingers, Rochester Honkers, Alexandria Aces!
What other new liquor licenses did the 2011 legislature approve? Lots! As of May 25 of this year, cities have authority under state law to issue all of the following new liquor licenses:
The “Surly bill” authorizes brewer taproom license. A city may now issue one on-sale malt liquor brewer taproom license to the holder of a brewer’s license. This license authorizes sale of malt liquor produced by the brewer for consumption on the premises of, or adjacent to, one brewery location owned by the brewer. Only small brewers (brewing no more than 250,000 barrels of malt liquor annually, or producing no more than 250,000 gallons of wine annually) may receive a brewer taproom license. The license fee, imposed by the city, must cover but generally not exceed the costs of issuing the license, inspecting the premises, and other directly related costs of enforcement. The city must provide the licensee’s name and information to the commissioner of Public Safety within 10 days of issuing the license.
Speedway liquor licenses: Cities may now issue on-sale liquor licenses to auto racing facilities located in the city. The license authorizes sales both to persons attending any and all events at the facility, and sales in a restaurant, bar, or banquet facility located on the premises of the auto racing facility on all days of the week. The license may be issued for a space that is not compact and contiguous, but the licensed premises may include only the space within a defined area as described in the application for the license.
Wine festival license: A city may issue a temporary license to “a bona fide association of owners and operators” of wineries sponsoring an annual festival to showcase wines produced by members of the association. This is an on-sale license authorizing the sale of table, sparkling, or fortified wines produced by the wineries by the glass. However, no more than two glasses per customer may be sold. Dispensing free samples of the wines offered for sale is allowed within designated premises of the festival. The wine festival license is subject to all laws and ordinances governing the sale, possession, and consumption of table, sparkling, or fortified wines. A “bona fide association of owners and operators of wineries” is defined as an association of more than 10 wineries that has been in existence for more than two years at the time of application for the temporary wine festival license.
Temporary farm winery license at county fairs: A city may now issue and charge a fee to a farm winery for a temporary on-sale license for sale of the farm winery’s beverages at a county fair in the city. The farm winery must already have a state issued on- and off-sale farm winery license. The license is subject to all laws and ordinances governing the sale of intoxicating liquor. To be valid, a temporary on-sale farm winery license must first be approved by the commissioner of Public Safety.
Private, nonprofit college liquor license: Notwithstanding any other law, local ordinance, or charter provision, a city may issue an on-sale intoxicating liquor license to a private, nonprofit college located in the city. Alternatively, the city may issue it to any entity holding a caterer’s permit and a contract with the private, nonprofit college for catering on the premises of the private, nonprofit college, or for any portion of the premises as described in the approved license application. The license may be issued for space that is not compact and contiguous, provided that all such space is included in the description of the licensed premises on the approved license application. The license authorizes sales on all days of the week to persons attending events at the private, nonprofit college.Remember, as a previous excellent blogger noted, the state Liquor Act favors city ordinance regulation of liquor sales. Minn. Stat. § 340A.509 states, “a local authority may impose further restrictions and regulations on the sale and possession of alcoholic beverages within its limits.” As a result, cities may craft a local ordinance regulating the sale of liquor in the city and many related issues - but keeping your code updated allows a city to issue all of these new licenses if the council decides to do so.