Thank Gary Schiff for Minneapolis’ Beer Business Renaissance

Minneapolis city councilperson, Gary Schiff, deserves quite a bit of credit for Minneapolis’ beer business renaissance. For example, Schiff wrote the Brew Beer Here bill (PDF) this summer, which allows growler sales from breweries, which lead to opening of Harriet Brewing on Minnehaha Ave in Longfellow:

Ward 9 Council Member Gary Schiff has introduced legislation to eliminate the requirement for a microbrewer to have an on-sale license in order to be able to sell malt liquor products that are produced and packaged on the premises.

“This law will enable people to buy growlers (half-gallon containers of beer) at the brewery site,” Schiff said. Currently, the State of Minnesota allows microbreweries to sell growlers directly from the brewery if the annual beer production is less than 3,500 barrels. But breweries in Minneapolis can’t sell growlers unless they have an on-sale license. And to qualify for the on sale license, the brewery must sell 60 per cent food in ratio to 40 per cent liquor.

And Schiff, together with Elizabeth Glidden, put together the Surly Bill, which hasn’t brought Surly to town yet, but allowed Fulton to open their doors this week in the North Loop:

City officials also have been pursuing Surly for a potential riverfront location.

The proposal by council members Gary Schiff and Elizabeth Glidden applies to brewers that produce fewer than 250,000 barrels annually. Fulton hopes to brew about 3,300 barrels a year at first.

And, guess who wrote the bill that overturned the ban on restaurant-pubs within 300 feet of churches in Minneapolis? Gary Schiff.

Minneapolis city councilman Gary Schiff believes the 300-foot restriction between a church and restaurant-bar is a relic from an era long past.

“This is a recession. We need to do anything we can to scrap these old laws off the books, clear the red tape and create jobs,” said Schiff.

We can go back to 2002 for yet another example of how Gary Schiff has made Minneapolis a better place to eat and easier place for restaurants to do business. Back in the day, restaurants had to bring in their furniture every night, which led to them purchasing crappy plastic stackable furniture. Once that was changed, restaurants were able to invest in higher quality furniture:

Lovers of outdoor dining can start writing their thank-you notes to Council Member Gary Schiff. The 9th Ward rep, working with the 7th Ward’s Lisa Goodman, is sponsoring a measure with new language that would encourage easier-to-manage and better-looking sidewalk cafes.

The current ordinance, most recently amended 11 years ago, requires that all furniture, planters and other materials be removed from the sidewalk when the restaurant isn’t operating. The Schiff-Goodman proposal – which is aimed specifically at downtown real estate – will permit permanent furniture

Great stuff. All are examples of low to no-cost regulatory modifications that allow businesses to grow while residents and visitors enjoy our city. I’ll drink to that.

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