Remember that fix that the Rochester City Council enacted to allow for growler sales later into the evening?
The council waffled Wednesday on extending the hours for off-sale liquor and instead decided to allow brewpubs and taprooms to sell growlers -- jugs of draft beer -- until 10 p.m. if they choose to. The current cutoff is 8 p.m.
That was regarded as a minor victory for Rochester being just a few hours less buttoned-up -- and more like other cities in Minnesota.
But it turns out that the council overstepped its bounds. The City Clerk's office today sent a letter to "small brewer off-sale and brew pub off-sale license holders" -- all four of them, by my count -- regarding growler sale hours.
"Dear License Holders," the letter from City Clerk Aaron Reeves says, "it has come to the city's attention that the ordinance we approved at the last council meeting adjusting the growler sale hours is not legal under state statute. State statute requires that the growler sale hours must match the off-sale hours of regular liquor stores. It is state statute 340A.24 and the wording is, 'Off-sale of malt liquor shall be limited to the legal hours for off-sale at exclusive liquor stores in the jurisdiction in which the brew pub is located.' We will discuss the ordinance again at the Sept. 21 council meeting."
So if you were planning to pick up a growler at Grand Rounds, LTS, Kinney Creek or Forager at about 9:59 p.m. tonight, instead you've got less than two hours to get your jug refilled.