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After A Push To Change City Laws, Bloomington Has Its First Brewery

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) -- The first ever brewery in Bloomington opened this weekend. Until recently, the city laws had prohibited them. But not anymore.

Scott Lyden has lived in Bloomington for three years. But until this weekend, could not go to a brewery in his town.

"We've obviously been to many across the metro, even outside of the metro, and it just felt strange that Bloomington wasn't a part of that," Lyden said.

Enter Bob Countryman, owner of the new 9 Mile Brewing. He had been repeating the same question to himself.

"Why doesn't Bloomington have a taproom, why doesn't Bloomington have a taproom? So finally I started to get a little active about it," he said.

That meant changing the city laws, which only allowed bars and restaurants, hotel bars, and clubs to serve alcohol.

"The charter ties their hands. They couldn't do anything until we got enough people interested to say yes, we're going to remove that language. They actually moved really quickly to put licensing procedures in place, zoning procedures in place," Countryman said.

The charter change was successful in the 2019 election. But then COVID-19 delayed 9 Mile from opening until this Friday.

"When we first opened the doors there was a line going all the way out in the parking lot and everyone was coming in, and I think the majority of them were Bloomington residents, and they were all very appreciative and really glad to see this happen," Countryman said.

For Countryman, it's his first time in the hospitality business. His newly-opened brewery may open doors for similar spots to come flooding in.

"I don't think it would be bad for Bloomington to have two or three or four. We're a big city. I think we can easily support it," he said.

All but one of 9 Mile's core investor group are current or former Bloomington residents.

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