Break out the boilermakers: City Council approves easing liquor rules for local taproom and allowing bring-your-own liquor

EAGAN, MN – At its March 19 meeting, the Eagan City Council approved a change in the city code for Eagan’s only taproom that will allow people to bring in their own hard liquor and wine.
   Council Member Cyndee Fields, who said she had her wedding at the brewery benefitting from the change, made the motion to approve the ordinance change. The motion was unanimously approved by the council.
   The ordinance change, which does not reference a specific business, allows customers at taprooms –rooms connected to brewing facilities -- to bring in and consume all types of alcohol, from beer to hard liquor, according to city documents. The city’s current taproom regulations allow the consumption only of the beer brewed at the site.
   The ordinance change would also allow earlier drinking on Sundays. The current regulation prohibits Sunday drinking at taprooms before noon. Under the new ordinance, the drinking could begin at 8 a.m. on Sundays, and all other days of the week.
   The ordinance change eases restrictions on city taprooms, which can operate under the least restrictive and least expensive type of liquor license. The taproom license, originally designed to allow brewers to sell samples of the product, has fewer restrictions, less stringent background check requirements, and lower fees than the city’s other liquor licenses allowing the sale of beer, wine, and hard liquor.
   Although the ordinance is written generically, there is currently only one taproom license in the city, according to the city clerk’s office. The licensed taproom establishment, Bald Man Brewing, is located off Highway 13 on Silver Bell Road. Bald Man Brewing, which has sponsored the Eagan High School football website, is located across the street from two popular youth facilities: a gymnastics school and a trampoline park.
   Bald Man Brewing's president and founder Dan Jacobs appeared at the meeting to answer questions from the city council, repeatedly characterizing the request as a gender issue. Jacobs told the council the brewery's main concern, in making the request, was to be able to serve wine at functions in its events room. He alleged women would rather drink wine than beer.
   "I have some friends that are VIPs that can’t experience the VIP experience because of their wives."
A satellite image from Google Maps shows the location of the beneficiary of the ordinance changes, Bald Man Brewing, in relation to a local highway, school, and youth-oriented activities, including a gymnastics school and trampoline park.
Proposed Ordinance Amendment to allow hard liquor at the city's only taproom

Eagan man charged with workplace threat

EAGAN, MN -- An Eagan man is facing a felony charge for allegedly threatening a mass shooting at his workplace.
   Christopher Swager, 40, of 3204 Riverview Ave., Eagan, was charged with threats of violence, a felony, according to a Dakota County criminal complaint.
   The charge stems from a March 13 report of threats to a local business, which the prosecution did not identify, according to court records. An unidentified person told police Swager had allegedly “made several comments about conducting a mass shooting at the business” while in the break room earlier that day. Police allege Swager was “looking through a gun and ammo magazine” when he made the comments and noted a particular person in the break room “would be first,” according to the complaint.
   The Dakota County district court released Swager from jail after a preliminary hearing March 15, according to court records.
Bald Man Brewing president and founder Dan Jacobs advocating for a change in the city's liquor rules to the Eagan City Council.
Eagan City Council member Cyndee Fields talks about her wedding.

EHS band off to China

EAGAN, MN – Eagan High School’s band will be heading to China Friday, March 22, for a week-long tour and concert series over spring break.
    The band will be performing music by composers John Philip Sousa, Aaron Copland, George Gershwin and other American standards.
The Dakota County Sheriff's Office posted this photo of a car in floodwaters at 160th and General Sieben Drive in Hastings on Thursday, March 14. Temperatures are expected to rise to 50 degrees this week, continuing the snow melt.