A now-deleted tweet from the Teamsters Joint Council 32 Twitter account referencing Minnesota's #FreeTheGrowler campaign again drew sharp criticism on Tuesday.
The tweet, captured in a screenshot below, was published Monday by the Teamsters and first caught the eyes of Rep. Jim Nash (Republican, District 47) who is sponsoring legislation that would remove the annual production cap and allow brewers of all capacities to sell growlers.
Rep. Nash called the tweet a, "typical Union Thug intimidation tactic."
The Teamsters responded to Nash saying he should try, ""new free app called sense of humor."
On Tuesday, the Alliance of Minnesota Craft Breweries, comprised of Fulton, Castle Danger, Indeed, Lift Bridge, Surly and Schell’s issued their own statement denouncing the Teamsters Joint Council 32 tweet.
“We are extremely disappointed by the tweet put out on Monday by Teamsters Joint Council 32 regarding the growler cap and the violence it insinuates. This type of message has no place in public dialogue. Unfortunately, this tweet was not surprising. This message highlights the entrenched, archaic walls powerful groups put up to protect Minnesota’s outdated liquor laws, even when they hurt local small businesses. We call on our partners in the three-tier system to denounce this type of violent rhetoric and attempt at intimidation. An important dialogue needs to happen at the Capitol to make common sense changes to Minnesota liquor laws.”
The #FreeTheGrowler legislation was introduced in the House and Senate last week. If approved, the state's annual production cap that prohibits breweries from selling growlers if they reach or surpass 20,000 barrels of beer produced per year would be removed.
Opponents of the legislation say removing the cap would hurt the state's three-tiered distribution system.
The Alliance of Minnesota Craft Breweries says the impacts would be minimal given the small amount of beer that would actually be sold through growlers, compared to what is distributed across the state.
Teamsters Joint Council 32 did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.