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Coming Soon: Four Firkins Gear

A new law will allow the St. Louis Park beer store to sell branded merchandise.

In the wake of owner Jason Alvey said he hopes to have T-shirts on sale within a couple of weeks.

The legislation, signed on Friday as part of the omnibus liquor bill, will allow liquor stores to sell store-branded T-shirts and other merchandise.

Alvey said he plans to have a full line of gear for sale at his St. Louis Park beer store in the next month or two. This will include "men's and women's shirts, jackets, rugby jerseys, road bike jerseys, mountain bike jerseys, hats, beanies, Irish caps, socks, baby bibs, glassware, openers—everything we can think of.

"It'll be a lot of fun," Alvey added.

The Four Firkins bill first came forward during the 2011 session when Alvey approached Rep. Steve Simon (DFL-District 44A) and Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-District 44) with his desire to sell store-branded gear. It was included in last year's House omnibus package, but in the Senate, ultimately killing the bill.

After last year's failure, Simon said he was during the 2012 session, though he expressed some concern that a potential might have hampered the chances of an omnibus liquor bill being heard.

"Our provision is meant to unshackle liquor store owners from a strange and unnecessary restriction," the legislator said in a previous email interview. "The bill is a reasonable expansion of free market principles in support of small businesses."

For Alvey, being able to sell T-shirts is something that has been a long time coming. Shortly after opening his store in 2008, he learned about the law preventing him from selling Four Firkins gear, forcing him to give away a bunch of shirts he had planned on selling. Alvey waited a few years for his business to grow, then approached the local legislators with his proposal.

“We have lots of regular customers who would be proud to wear a Four Firkins T-shirt,” Alvey said in a previous interview.

Tasting Bill Passes, Too

Another piece of legislation in the omnibus liquor bill will help Alvey and his business.

The governor signed off on a "tastings" bill, which will allow Alvey and other liquor store owners to host tastings and classes for a fee. Previously, these events had to be free. Alvey said this will allow him to put on more interesting and in-depth events from time to time.

"We will of course still do free sampling events as well," he wrote on the Four Firkins website. "Just very occasionally it'll be nice to be able to have something more structured and interesting."

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