New Richmond, Wis., is getting a new brewery and, according to the brewer, it has Minnesota's laws to thank for it.
John Moore, owner of Barley John's Brew Pub in New Brighton, said he's wanted for years to get his beer into retail stores. But brewpubs in Minnesota are limited by law to on-site sales, and brewpub owners are restricted from opening up breweries that produce craft beer for store shelves.
"I think we make really, really good beer here, but few people have an opportunity to get at it because of the limitations in the state's requirements," Moore said.
So he's heading across the border.
This spring, Moore plans to break ground on a 10,000-barrel brewery in New Richmond, with hopes of selling the beer starting in the fall.
While he would rather the brewery be in Minnesota, building it in Wisconsin makes sense as the next step in expanding his business, Moore said. His brewpub has been making beer for 14 years and has won awards, yet he still runs into craft beer aficionados who have never heard of Barley John's -- because it's not on tap in bars or found in liquor and beer stores, he said.