Breweries offering free beer to vaccinated Minnesotans

    Image by Thorsten Frenzel from Pixabay.

    Vaccinated Minnesotans can get free or discounted drinks at craft breweries, vineyards and distilleries across the state under a new partnership announced by Gov. Tim Walz Friday.

    Drink deals will be available through June 30 to people with at least one dose of vaccine. The initiative comes a day after the state announced an incentive program that will give rewards like fishing licenses and amusement park tickets to the first 100,000 Minnesotans who get vaccinated before the end of June.

    So far, 16 businesses have signed up for the “Cheers to the Vaccine” campaign, including popular Twin Cities spots like Bad Weather Brewing Company and La Doña Cervecería. Customers have to provide proof of vaccination, and deals are limited to one drink per person.

    Some breweries and distilleries are planning to host vaccination clinics in the next few weeks, according to a release from Walz’s office. Those businesses will share details.

    “Small businesses all over Minnesota have stepped up throughout the pandemic and I’m grateful so many breweries, wineries, and distilleries are now going the extra mile to help keep our state safe and end this pandemic,” Walz said in a news release. “Roll up your sleeves if you haven’t already, get back to your favorite spot, and cheers to the vaccine!”

    More than 58% of Minnesotans — about 2.8 million people — are fully vaccinated. The state set a goal of reaching 70% by July 1, a threshold experts say will limit circulation of the virus in Minnesota.

    Other states have rolled out vaccine incentive programs this spring, as vaccination rates stagnate and officials work to reach people who aren’t highly motivated to get the shot. That includes a handful that have created vaccine lotteries, with the chance to win cash prizes.

    Rilyn Eischens
    Rilyn Eischens is a data reporter with the Reformer. Rilyn is a Minnesota native and has worked in newsrooms in the Twin Cities, Iowa, Texas and most recently Virginia, where she covered education for The Staunton News Leader. She's an alumna of the Dow Jones News Fund data journalism program and the Minnesota Daily. When Rilyn isn't in the newsroom, she likes to read, add to her plant collection and try new recipes.