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Chapter 340A

Section 340A.301

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340A.301 MANUFACTURERS AND WHOLESALERS LICENSES.
    Subdivision 1. Licenses required. No person may directly or indirectly manufacture or sell
at wholesale intoxicating liquor, or 3.2 percent malt liquor without obtaining an appropriate
license from the commissioner, except where otherwise provided in this chapter. A manufacturer's
license includes the right to import. A licensed brewer may sell the brewer's products at
wholesale only if the brewer has been issued a wholesaler's license. The commissioner shall
issue a wholesaler's license to a brewer only if (1) the commissioner determines that the brewer
was selling the brewer's own products at wholesale in Minnesota on January 1, 1991, or (2) the
brewer has acquired a wholesaler's business or assets under subdivision 7a, paragraph (c) or (d).
A licensed wholesaler of intoxicating malt liquor may sell 3.2 percent malt liquor at wholesale
without an additional license.
    Subd. 2. Persons eligible. Licenses under this section may be issued only to a person who:
(1) is of good moral character and repute;
(2) is 21 years of age or older;
(3) has not had a license issued under this chapter revoked within five years of the date of
license application, or to any person who at the time of the violation owns any interest, whether as
a holder of more than five percent of the capital stock of a corporation licensee, as a partner or
otherwise, in the premises or in the business conducted thereon, or to a corporation, partnership,
association, enterprise, business, or firm in which any such person is in any manner interested; and
(4) has not been convicted within five years of the date of license application of a felony,
or of a willful violation of a federal or state law, or local ordinance governing the manufacture,
sale, distribution, or possession for sale or distribution of alcoholic beverages. The Alcohol and
Gambling Enforcement Division may require that fingerprints be taken and may forward the
fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for purposes of a criminal history check.
    Subd. 3. Application. An application for a license under this section must be made to the
commissioner on a form the commissioner prescribes and must be accompanied by the fee
specified in subdivision 6. If an application is denied, $100 of the amount of any fee exceeding
that amount shall be retained by the commissioner to cover costs of investigation.
    Subd. 4. Bond. The commissioner may not issue a license under this section to a person who
has not filed a bond with corporate surety, or cash, or United States government bonds payable to
the state. The proof of financial responsibility must be approved by the commissioner before the
license is issued. The bond must be conditioned on the licensee obeying all laws governing the
business and paying when due all taxes, fees, penalties and other charges, and must provide that it
is forfeited to the state on a violation of law. Bonds must be in the following amounts:


Manufacturers and wholesalers of intoxicating
liquor except as provided in this subdivision
$
10,000


Manufacturers and wholesalers of wine up to 25
percent alcohol by weight
$
5,000


Manufacturers and wholesalers of beer of more
than 3.2 percent alcohol by weight
$
1,000
    Subd. 5. Period of license. Licenses issued under this section are valid for one year except
that to coordinate expiration dates initial licenses may be issued for a shorter period.
    Subd. 6. Fees. The annual fees for licenses under this section are as follows:


(a)
Manufacturers (except as provided in clauses (b)
and (c))
$
30,000

Duplicates
$
3,000


(b)
Manufacturers of wines of not more than 25
percent alcohol by volume
$
500


(c)
Brewers who manufacture more than 3,500 barrels
of malt liquor in a year
$
4,000












(d)
Brewers who also hold one or more retail on-sale
licenses and who manufacture fewer than 3,500
barrels of malt liquor in a year, at any one licensed
premises, the entire production of which is solely
for consumption on tap on any licensed premises
owned by the brewer, or for off-sale from those
licensed premises as permitted in subdivision 7.
A brewer licensed under this clause must obtain
a separate license for each licensed premises
where the brewer brews malt liquor. A brewer
licensed under this clause may not be licensed as
an importer under this chapter
$
500


(e)
Wholesalers (except as provided in clauses (f),
(g), and (h))
$
15,000

Duplicates
$
3,000


(f)
Wholesalers of wines of not more than 25 percent
alcohol by volume
$
3,750

(g)
Wholesalers of intoxicating malt liquor
$
1,000

Duplicates
$
25

(h)
Wholesalers of 3.2 percent malt liquor
$
10


(i)
Brewers who manufacture fewer than 2,000
barrels of malt liquor in a year
$
150


(j)
Brewers who manufacture 2,000 to 3,500 barrels
of malt liquor in a year
$
500
If a business licensed under this section is destroyed, or damaged to the extent that it cannot
be carried on, or if it ceases because of the death or illness of the licensee, the commissioner may
refund the license fee for the balance of the license period to the licensee or to the licensee's estate.
    Subd. 6a. Permits and fees. Any person engaged in the purchase, sale, or use for any
purpose other than personal consumption of intoxicating alcoholic beverages or ethyl alcohol
shall obtain the appropriate regulatory permit and identification card from the commissioner as
provided in this subdivision. The fee for each permit, other than one issued to a state or federal
agency, is $35 and must be submitted together with the appropriate application form provided by
the commissioner. Identification cards and permits must be issued for a period coinciding with
that of the appropriate state or municipal license and are not transferable. In instances where there
is no annual license period, cards and permits expire one year after the date of issuance. The
authority to engage in the purchase, sale, or use granted by the card or permit may be revoked by
the commissioner upon evidence of a violation by the holder of such a card or permit of any of the
provisions of chapter 340A or any rule of the commissioner made pursuant to law.
    Subd. 7. Interest in other business. (a) Except as provided in this subdivision, a holder of a
license as a manufacturer, brewer, importer, or wholesaler may not have any ownership, in whole
or in part, in a business holding a retail intoxicating liquor or 3.2 percent malt liquor license. The
commissioner may not issue a license under this section to a manufacturer, brewer, importer, or
wholesaler if a retailer of intoxicating liquor has a direct or indirect interest in the manufacturer,
brewer, importer, or wholesaler. A manufacturer or wholesaler of intoxicating liquor may use or
have property rented for retail intoxicating liquor sales only if the manufacturer or wholesaler has
owned the property continuously since November 1, 1933. A retailer of intoxicating liquor may
not use or have property rented for the manufacture or wholesaling of intoxicating liquor.
(b) A brewer licensed under subdivision 6, clause (d), may be issued an on-sale intoxicating
liquor or 3.2 percent malt liquor license by a municipality for a restaurant operated in the place of
manufacture. Notwithstanding section 340A.405, a brewer who holds an on-sale license issued
pursuant to this paragraph or a brewer who manufactures fewer than 3,500 barrels of malt liquor
in a year may, with the approval of the commissioner, be issued a license by a municipality for
off-sale of malt liquor produced and packaged on the licensed premises. 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 brewer is located, and the malt liquor sold off-sale must be removed from the premises before
the applicable off-sale closing time at exclusive liquor stores. The malt liquor shall be packaged
in 64-ounce containers commonly known as "growlers." The containers shall bear a twist-type
closure, cork, stopper, or plug. At the time of the sale, a paper or plastic adhesive band, strip,
or sleeve shall be applied to the container and extend over the top of the twist-type closure,
cork, stopper, or plug forming a seal that must be broken upon opening of the container. The
adhesive band, strip, or sleeve shall bear the name and address of the brewer. The containers shall
be identified as malt liquor, contain the name of the malt liquor, bear the name and address
of the brewer selling the malt liquor, and shall be considered intoxicating liquor unless the
alcoholic content is labeled as otherwise in accordance with the provisions of Minnesota Rules,
part 7515.1100. A brewer's total retail sales at on- or off-sale under this paragraph may not
exceed 3,500 barrels per year, provided that off-sales may not total more than 500 barrels. A
brewer licensed under subdivision 6, clause (d), may hold or have an interest in other retail
on-sale licenses, but may not have an ownership interest in whole or in part, or be an officer,
director, agent, or employee of, any other manufacturer, brewer, importer, or wholesaler, or be
an affiliate thereof whether the affiliation is corporate or by management, direction, or control.
Notwithstanding this prohibition, a brewer licensed under subdivision 6, clause (d), may be an
affiliate or subsidiary company of a brewer licensed in Minnesota or elsewhere if that brewer's
only manufacture of malt liquor is:
(i) manufacture licensed under subdivision 6, clause (d);
(ii) manufacture in another state for consumption exclusively in a restaurant located in
the place of manufacture; or
(iii) manufacture in another state for consumption primarily in a restaurant located in or
immediately adjacent to the place of manufacture if the brewer was licensed under subdivision
6, clause (d), on January 1, 1995.
(c) Except as provided in subdivision 7a, no brewer as defined in subdivision 7a or importer
may have any interest, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, in the license, business, assets, or
corporate stock of a licensed malt liquor wholesaler.
    Subd. 7a. Permitted interests in wholesale business. (a) A brewer may financially assist a
wholesaler of malt liquor through participation in a limited partnership in which the brewer is
the limited partner and the wholesaler is the general partner. A limited partnership authorized in
this paragraph may not exist for more than ten years from the date of its creation, and may not,
directly or indirectly, be recreated, renewed, or extended beyond that date.
(b) A brewer may financially assist a malt liquor wholesaler and collateralize the financing
by taking a security interest in the inventory and assets, other than the corporate stock, of the
wholesaler. A financial agreement authorized by this paragraph may not be in effect for more than
ten years from the date of its creation and may not be directly or indirectly extended or renewed.
(c) A brewer who, after creation of a financial agreement authorized by paragraph (b), or
after creation of a limited partnership authorized in paragraph (a), acquires legal or equitable title
to the wholesaler's business which was the subject of the agreement or limited partnership, or to
the business assets, must divest the business or its assets within two years of the date of acquiring
them. A malt liquor wholesaler whose business or assets are acquired by a brewer as described in
this paragraph may not enter into another such financial agreement, or participate in another such
limited partnership, for 20 years from the date of the acquisition of the business or assets.
(d) A brewer may have an interest in the business, assets, or corporate stock of a malt liquor
wholesaler as a result of (1) a judgment against the wholesaler arising out of a default by the
wholesaler or (2) acquisition of title to the business, assets, or corporate stock as a result of
a written request of the wholesaler. A brewer may maintain ownership of or an interest in the
business, assets, or corporate stock under this paragraph for not more than two years and only
for the purpose of facilitating an orderly transfer of the business to an owner not affiliated with
the brewer.
(e) A brewer may continue to maintain an ownership interest in a malt liquor wholesaler
if it owned the interest on January 1, 1991.
(f) A brewer that was legally selling the brewer's own products at wholesale in Minnesota
on January 1, 1991, may continue to sell those products at wholesale in the area where it was
selling those products on that date.
(g) A brewer that manufactures malt liquor in Minnesota may, if the brewer does not
manufacture in Minnesota in any year more than 25,000 barrels of malt liquor or its metric
equivalent, own or have an interest in a malt liquor wholesaler that sells only the brewer's products.
(h) When the commissioner issues a license to a malt liquor wholesaler described in
paragraph (a) or (b), the commissioner may issue the license only to the entity which is actually
operating the wholesale business and may not issue the license to a brewer that is a limited partner
under paragraph (a) or providing financial assistance under paragraph (b) unless the brewer has
acquired a wholesaler's business or assets under paragraph (c) or (d).
(i) For purposes of this subdivision and subdivision 7, clause (c), "brewer" means:
(1) a holder of a license to manufacture malt liquor;
(2) an officer, director, agent, or employee of such a license holder; and
(3) an affiliate of such a license holder, regardless of whether the affiliation is corporate or by
management, direction, or control.
    Subd. 8. Sales without license. A licensed brewer may without an additional license sell
malt liquor to employees or retired former employees, in amounts of not more than 768 fluid
ounces in a week for off-premise consumption only. A collector of commemorative bottles,
those terms are as defined in section 297G.01, subdivisions 4 and 5, may sell them to another
collector without a license. It is also lawful for a collector of beer cans to sell unopened cans of a
brand which has not been sold commercially for at least two years to another collector without
obtaining a license. The amount sold to any one collector in any one month shall not exceed 768
fluid ounces. A licensed manufacturer of wine containing not more than 25 percent alcohol by
volume nor less than 51 percent wine made from Minnesota-grown agricultural products may sell
at on-sale or off-sale wine made on the licensed premises without a further license.
    Subd. 9. Unlicensed manufacture. Nothing in this chapter requires a license for the natural
fermentation of fruit juices or brewing of beer in the home for family use.
    Subd. 10.[Repealed, 1995 c 198 s 17]
History: 1985 c 305 art 5 s 1; 1985 c 308 s 1; 1Sp1985 c 16 art 2 s 3 subd 1; 1986 c 330 s
4; 1987 c 152 art 1 s 1; 1987 c 249 s 1,2; 1990 c 554 s 4-6; 1991 c 249 s 1,31; 1992 c 513 art
3 s 53; 1993 c 350 s 7; 1994 c 611 s 7-9; 1995 c 198 s 4,5; 1996 c 418 s 1; 1997 c 179 art 2 s
2; 2002 c 321 s 5; 2003 c 126 s 2,3; 1Sp2003 c 2 art 4 s 23; 2005 c 25 s 1,2; 2005 c 131 s 1,2;
2005 c 136 art 8 s 12; 2006 c 210 s 3