Castle Danger Brewery Hits ‘Growler Cap’

Growler sales at Castle Danger in Two Harbors came to a halt Monday

TWO HARBORS, Minn.- Growler sales are coming to a halt for the rest of the year at Castle Danger Brewery in Two Harbors.

It’s all because of a Minnesota state law that says once a brewery produces more than 20,000 barrels in a year those breweries are prohibited from selling the 64 ounce growlers for customers to take home from the taproom.

While breweries across the state are trying to get the law changed, it was a party Monday night at Castle Danger as the last growlers were poured.

“Growlers are how we first got our start up in Castle Danger so it’s really a nostalgic thing for a lot of our customers”, said Maddy Stewart, Marketing & Events Manager at Castle Danger Brewery.

Fans of Castle Danger filled the brewery Monday to buy a growler one final time in 2019 all because of a so-called growler cap in Minnesota after breweries hit 20,000 barrels of production.

Growlers account for about 30% of the Castle Danger’s taproom sales. However, workers here say the loss goes much deeper.

“It’s definitely bittersweet. We are really sad that we are losing the growler and that is a common theme of people who are coming in our doors”, said Stewart.

Dode Miller and her husband are from the Twin Cities and have been coming up to the Northshore for more than 45 years and couldn’t miss this final chance to get a growler this year.

“We got to get there. That was our first one. And then so excited knowing that knowing that we were going to plan on this time to be up here so we can be a part of it”, said Miller, on her reaction to Castle Danger having to cut their growler sales.

And although they may live two hours, the couple says their support for small businesses is what it’s all about.

“We have always supported small businesses. I think they are the ones that are the backbone of our communities. They are the ones that need to be patronized”, said Miller.

The day may have been filled with buying a growler one final time, but it was also a chance to encourage these beer drinkers to pressure lawmakers to either raise or get rid of the growler cap.

“We are doing what we can, we are trying to turn those frowns upside down. We are trying to inspire people to contact their legislatures and get on the positive side of this legislation and hopefully make some positive change in 2020”, said Stewart.

Although it may be goodbye for now, Castle Danger employees say they are hopeful the cap on growlers will be raised sooner rather than later.

Bent Paddle in Duluth is also getting close to the growler cap. This comes as a petition to “Save the Growler” has got more than 11,000 signatures on change.org.

It was started by Republican Senator Karen Housley of St. Marys Point. The petition asks Governor Tim Walz and lawmakers to raise or eliminate the “growler cap”. Lobbying gorups against all of this have said it would negatively affect liquor stores and distributors.

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