Fill ‘er Up – Growlers, That Is

Growlers California

California may finally be loosening the reins on growler fills in the state.

Due to a recent ABC meeting in San Diego and a re-interpretation of California alcohol laws that came out of it, you may not have to stockpile enough growlers to satisfy the most ardent of Doomsday Preppers.

That updated ruling now seems to allow establishments to fill ANY growler as long as an approved label obscures any other printing or labeling on the container. This part may take awhile because there are many different growler sizes and shapes so settling in on one sticker may be difficult. More than one type and size of label will probably need to be approved (probably by the State of California and or the usual label regulatory agency, the TTB) to make sure everything is on the up and up. And that will not happen overnight.

So before you run to your storage unit that is filled with empty growlers, take a moment to think of this through the eyes of our local (and still small) breweries. Permission to brew beer is granted (and it can be a major pain to get that permission) and can be taken away (much quicker) so don’t get ticked off because your local does not fill up your growler that you have covered with duct tape because they are wary of the legal ramifications. It will also be a major hassle to create a cornucopia of stickers to cover the influx of growlers. And it also costs money to print them.

Personally, I hope to see a future where I can use one growler that can be filled at breweries or bottle shops. It reduces another barrier to beer buying. You can now fill one growler in multiple locations and not have to spend money on glass over and over again. It also reduces the amount of un-recycled glass in the world. Two reasons that I think are good for the craft beer consumers of California.

Your Beer of the Week is from Port Brewing by the moniker of Board Meeting. Of course any meeting (especially legalese-filled meetings of the ABC) would be improved by Port beers like Mongo, Hot Rocks and Shark Attack. Now this new (limited release) beer is “an amplified brown ale, brewed with liberal additions of coffee from local San Diego roasters, Ryan Brothers, and cocoa nibs sourced from famed San Francisco chocolate maker TCHO. Alcohol by volume is 8.5%.”

Your Homework assignment this week is to check out the growing list of “house” beers at the Pub at Golden Road. There is now the Aunt Sally’s Pale Ale, It’s Not Always Sunny in LA Black IPA along with the Big Le”Brah”Ski Russian Imperial Stout on tap coming from the blue building that is now under the brewmaster direction of Jesse Houck who is newly arrived from the Bay Area. And now you can get all of their line-up in your growler (except for their cask offerings.) You might just find a new favorite Golden Road brew.

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.


Sean Inman

Find more of Sean Inman's writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.

Blog Comments

I think I’m going to invest in a some big, really nice, glass jugs….

I would also invest in a tool to remove brewery stickers too.

Speaking of growlers, have you seen the TapIt Cap on kickstarter? Hopefully it goes into production.

There are quite a few inventive growler ideas out there like the Tap It and the Brauler. One Day we may be able to use them.

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