Senator Housley calls for end to Prohibition-era 3.2 percent beer

On Friday, November 1, Minnesota will become the only remaining state to sell 3.2 percent beer in supermarkets and gas stations. In response, Senator Karin Housley (R-St. Marys Point), vice chair of the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Finance and Policy Committee, issued the following statement:

“It’s 2019, but Minnesota’s liquor laws still reflect the era of Prohibition. Now, we’re the lone remaining state to mandate that grocery stores and convenience stores can only sell 3.2 percent beer. As national production has zeroed out, brewers have largely decided it’s no longer profitable to sell 3.2-percent beer, making the product difficult – if not impossible – for businesses to carry. That’s a problem, but instead of working toward a compromise that could benefit the consumer, our unique system has made it virtually impossible to make any meaningful changes to the law.

“It won’t be long before the market demands we bring our laws in line with the rest of the nation. Next session, I will again aggressively pursue legislation to modernize our state’s antiquated liquor laws. I have already introduced several bills, including a bill to allow supermarkets and convenience stores to sell beer and winea constitutional amendment to let Minnesotans weigh in, and legislation to ‘Save the Growler’.

“Minnesota has a world class craft brewing scene and a booming market. We should be encouraging growth in that area, not stifling it. I’m looking forward to having a robust debate on this issue during the upcoming legislative session.”

Senator Karin Housley, of St. Marys Point, represents the Forest Lake area and the St. Croix River Valley in the Minnesota Senate. Senator Housley serves as chairwoman of the Family Care and Aging Committee and is an assistant majority leader.