Earlier this year, we shared with you the positive side of purchasing (and frequently filling) a growler from your local brewery. You get to drink fresh beer that may not be commercially available beyond the taproom doors (and at a reduced price, no less), while the breweries lean on the support of growler lovers to help them grow and thrive in their local craft beer environment. In short, growlers are great. Except when they’re confusing, apparently.
The normal process of purchasing and filling a growler is as such: pay for the glassware and the first fill (say, around $17), then bring the growler back to the same brewery you purchased it from at a later date for another fill, minus the cost of the jug itself. It’s a simple, easy transaction that may lead to collecting a few different growlers from the various breweries you frequent, but it’s nothing that a little bit of shelf space can’t solve.
Except, lately, an online rumble surrounding the legal abilities of breweries to fill blank growlers (or even growlers from a competing brewery) has begun to gain a voice. There are some that feel their two liter Stone Brewing growlers aren’t getting the attention they deserve, and they’d love to be able to legally have them filled at their local brewery of choice, instead of waiting to make the haul back down to northern San Diego County. It’s an interesting idea, and could hypothetically solve the issue of growler clutter for some hardcore craft beer fans (or do away with the first time cost of purchasing new glassware), but it’s not exactly legal. Or is it?
Today I wrote about 1,000 words on the proper labeling of craft beer growlers in California. Let’s get specific, y’all!
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