Growlers and the Law

Blackfoot Brewing image courtesy blogspot,com

Reported by Ken Carman for

All who love good craft beer know what a growler is. Sometimes they are simply 64oz apple cider jugs. Not recommended if you wish to wait anymore than a few days to sip, unless you want your beer to be flatter than Twiggy.

It’s a 60s joke, younguns, get over it.

The best, and the most hideously expensive, are what I call “Grolsch style,” with a ceramic top, rubber stopper/washer and metal clamps.

But “the best” thing about growlers is that you can pick up your beer at the pub/micro and take it home: hence lessening DUIs/DWIs. You enjoy your favorite beer, instead of a jail cell and the company of Bubba: who may like you a bit too much.

Who could hate growlers?

Why big beer and big distributors, of course, making one wonder why they value profits over public safety and common sense. And also pols who usually froth at the mouth about anyone who even has one beer and drive. They are often suspiciously silent regarding them enabling those who doth do DUI/DWI because they can’t just stop and take it home. The wads of campaign donated-cash sticking out of their bank accounts has nothing to do with it. Did you hear me citizen? “Nothing.” Move along: not a damn thing to see here.

Growler laws vary, due to how influential big beer and big distributors are. Here in Tennessee we managed to find our way around rather restrictive laws by making sure the brewer walks you to the door or hands it to you out the back door. For years we simply didn’t have growlers. My guess? Drunk driving arrests went down once we cleared that hurdle, but my bet is big beer and distributors are working on changing that as I type.


Florida only had one brewery that could legally do growlers that I know of, at The Village about 50 miles north of Orlando. That’s because the pub was in the middle of an incorporated village and, of course, no one ever took a growler outside the limits of that village: wink, wink. There are a few doing it, but legally… they can’t.

(6) All malt beverages packaged in individual containers sold or offered for sale by vendors at retail in this state shall be in individual containers containing no more than 32 ounces

I believe Mississippi can’t do growlers, but they can’t even homebrew legally.

New York, Pennsylvania: most of the northeastern states are down with the bottle. The south is a mixed bag. The west coast is mostly ahead of the times… surprised? And too much of the heartland doesn’t much “heart” for the kids in the car who get creamed because Johnny couldn’t drink at home.

There are many laws on the books that make selling and serving craft beer difficult to impossible: bottle size restrictions, alcohol/abv restrictions, other packaging restrictions and the fact that brewers like AB or Miller are allowed to threaten distributors who dare to offer craft beer too. A distributor who is told he can’t have either because he’s doing craft beer might as well find another biz to get into.

Many craft beer lovers wish Miller/AB-InBev would do the same,

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