Occupation: Minneapolis City Councilmember
Growler: You’ve been in favor of all of the ordinance changes, correct?
BH: Oh, absolutely. You know, having a strong beer community and a strong craft-brewing industry in the city is really fundamental for the kind of livability we’re looking for. For a creative economy, for our food economy, it’s just great. Part of what I want to do as mayor is make sure we’re inviting people to build their lives here in Minneapolis and build their businesses here in Minneapolis.
G: What still needs to be done to make this a stronger beer community?
BH: I think a couple things. One, we need to make opening and running a small business easier in the city of Minneapolis in general. And I think we need to talk to the brewing community itself to ask them what’s next. Getting that from the community and small business owners would be a crucial next step.
Some of it is the question of not just what makes it easier to start up, but what makes it easier to continue doing business. Are there issues coming up around licensing? Are there issues coming up around neighborhood interactions, things like that. Those are the questions we should ask.
I think one issue is a cultural change. To understand that these craft breweries and onsite sales are less about old school bars—although we love those—but less about that and more about neighborhood experience and a community experience. That culture shift and that mindset shift is something the city can help facilitate.
G: What are your thoughts on Sunday sales?
BH: I’m still doing my homework on that. I know that there’s a diversity of opinion on that and I’m still listening.
G: Final thoughts?
BH: Craft beer is part of the package that makes Minneapolis such a great place to be, and so we need to sell it like that. We need to say ‘Hey, Minneapolis is a great place to be, and this is one big reason why.’ And I think there are a lot of things we can do to tie the local beer community into the larger beer community. If we’re going to have alcohol at events, I think it should be local. It’s a really important part of our economy and I’m glad to support it.