Last week, Bluestem raised an alarm based on a story in the New Ulm Journal in Spring flooding report: New Ulm budget woes jeopardize sacred local beer reserves.
Josh Moniz, the NUJ reporter who covered the city council meeting during which flood relief efforts were discussed, has emailed some welcome news:
I've talked w/ Ted Marti since the meeting and it sounds like he has found a back-up warehouse to ship the beer if the flooding gets too bad. So, no need to worry.
Moniz notes that a more thorough update will be published in the Journal's Progress section, out on Friday.
I will sleep soundly through tonight's blizzard, secure in the knowledge that New Ulm's exquisite brewery products won't be exposed to the whims of Minnesota River flood waters.
One way lovers of the wonderful old establishment and other Minnesota breweries can aid our native beer--now that sandbagging isn't a priority--is to ask legislators to support a law which will allow larger breweries to . The Star Tribune editorial board urged passage in Brewing up 'jobs, jobs, jobs':
A bill likely to be introduced in the Legislature next week would amend a state statute on brewery operations.
If it's adopted, the Surly Brewing Co. plans to build a new brewery and event center that would house a 250-seat restaurant, bar and roof deck. Surly's beer would only be sold on tap, and the brewer would not sell liquor or wine.
Unlike with smaller brewpubs such as Rock Bottom in Minneapolis, current state laws don't allow a brewer of Surly's size to offer on-site drinking. The outdated limitation also impacts other Minnesota breweries in the same size classification, including Summit in St. Paul and Schell's in New Ulm.
While Schell's hasn't announced any plans related to this proposed change in the state's law, it certainly would be wonderful to buy a tap of good New Ulm beer at the historic brewery.
Update: Two of Minnesota's mayors agree that the bill should pass. On Facebook, Minneapolis mayor RT Rybak and Duluth mayor Don Ness engaged in a friendly rivalry:
Here's why I am in favor of changing the state laws so we can have more local beer made and sold in Minnesota. I would love a Surly or Fulton brewhouse in Minneapolis and love to go to a brewery in New Ulm, Duluth, the Range, Lucan or other parts of the state . If Grain Belt could transform Minneapolis and Schmidt transform St. Paul a generation ago, we can do that again. . . .Don Ness Nice work RT - you have our support in Duluth on this one! This change also would allow places like Duluth's Brewhouse to wholesale. I love Surly, but the Starfire Ale at the Brewhouse is Minnesota's best beer. I'm getting thirsty - time for a Furious!
Image: Schell's Snowstorm. Mmm, beer.