Brewpub refused to fill my growler.

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Rundownhouse

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I don't get it... The person BUYING it knows what's in it, as they bought it. Whether or not it will be shared is of little consequence; one would think that if it were shared, the people sharing would be in communication with the purchaser.

Also, I don't know what "bills for the packaging" there are to fill a growler... Any time I've had it done, all they had to do is fill it up, cap it, and put a paper label over the cap.
Jack buys four growlers for a party he's going to. He gets two filled from Brewery A and two from Brewery B, but uses only Brewery A's growlers. Or John lives with a roommate. John buys a growler from A but gets it filled in B's growler. John's roommate comes home and decides to drink the beer. There's a million different ways that someone can be misled as to who made the beer, and one really simple way to make sure it doesn't happen.

I think that probably goes both ways, as well. If I owned a brewery, I wouldn't want some other guy's beer in my growler. There's a lot of crappy beer out there.
 

Pschof

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Jack buys four growlers for a party he's going to. He gets two filled from Brewery A and two from Brewery B, but uses only Brewery A's growlers. Or John lives with a roommate. John buys a growler from A but gets it filled in B's growler. John's roommate comes home and decides to drink the beer. There's a million different ways that someone can be misled as to who made the beer, and one really simple way to make sure it doesn't happen.
My guess is that the law wasn't made with growlers in mind. Public policy is a blunt instrument, and it wouldn't make sense for legislators to spend their days considering every way that food could be packaged and whether it makes sense to require a label. But there are good public policy reasons for making a pretty strict law about these sorts of things. If you can package a product in a mis-labeled container, then you are inviting fraud. If you can package a product in a mis-labeled container, people will die because of allergies. It is just unreasonable to expect lawmakers to consider whether people who have their growlers filled are likely to drink the growler with a close group of friends.
 

knotquiteawake

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California has stupid laws but at least it doesn't have Dry Counties, Gotta drive 20min to get real beer/liquor. Have to join a "club" to order beer at some restaurants.
 
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I love how everyone on this forum is some form of lawyer.
But some of us are. =p

Actually, it is not a requirement in any state that one possesses either a J.D. or bar membership to state the law. It is only when one advises conduct in light of the law and/or a factual scenario that bar membership is required.
 

JaimeTheLimey

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There a winery in NorCal that does growler fills on Sunday. It's like their traditional immigrant table wine. Very good. Point is that it's a plain grower and they just slap a sticker on it every time you fill it. Don't see why a brewery/brewpub couldn't do it also.
 

deflagratio

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There a winery in NorCal that does growler fills on Sunday. It's like their traditional immigrant table wine. Very good. Point is that it's a plain grower and they just slap a sticker on it every time you fill it. Don't see why a brewery/brewpub couldn't do it also.
Not sure about actual laws but I do know that the wine lobby is very strong in California. If I recall correctly the wine industry isn't even the jurisdiction of the FDA just the ATF while beer is subject to both.
 

chefmike

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Isnt this thread originally from 3 or 4 years ago? I am scared to look. I laughed when I saw it pop in "my replies".

It is like a PTN/cape brewing thread. Only not entertaining. well, maybe it is entertaining now! :fro:
 

holden

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Sorry for bringing this back from the dead...

To add to the CA law, there is a specific subset for growlers specifically...

http://ttb.gov/beer/beer-faqs.shtml#b9

So yeah, they have to be properly labeled. And I never question the people working at these places. It isn't their law, and I guarantee you they'd rather just sell you beer.
You are interpreting that incorrectly...
When is a growler a “large glass?”
A growler is a large glass when a consumer uses the container to make a purchase and the brewer then fills the container. Consumers may furnish their own growler or may purchase it from the brewer.
So if you bring a growler, and pay for it, then they fill it, it is a large glass. Not a bottle.

What are the requirements for growlers that are “glasses?”
When the brewer fills a growler at the tap at the brewpub, and not in advance of sale, we consider the growler as a large glass sold at retail. These growlers are not subject to Federal labeling requirements. Some States consider this bottling activity and regulate accordingly. Brewers should check with State authorities.
So there is no federal label requirement. It is up to state law.
 

RM-MN

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labeling is ALWAYS critical.
I have an allergy and need to know what ingredients are in my food. I must read labels to be able to decide if that one may cause a reaction. That, I think, is the basis for such laws. Filling your container with something that is other than as labeled may cause another person great harm. Filling your growler with their product and then slapping a label over what is already on there should fill the intent of the law.
 

mikebowman

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funny how different things work up here in the great white north. i've never tried to get growlers filled at a brewpub, im not sure how that'd go over if i tried. but there's a couple small breweries in halifax that do growlers, and i can take any growler in and get it filled, regardless of brewery. the only thing that changes is that one place, propellor, usually takes your growler and gives you a new one when you go in, but they won't do that unless its a propellor growler. garrison (the other popular one) doesn't swap growlers for you, and if you bring a garrison growler to propellor, they won't exchange it. no labeling crap or anything though
 

HoppedIPA

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I know in missouri you can take any growler and get any beer in it.. 75th street brewerys in kansas city has a winter special right now only $6.50 per fill vs $9 regular.. they also sell 5 gal kegs for only $44...
 
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Many states have similar laws. Here in Maine the law is that a brewery or brewpub can only fill their own growlers (with state approved label), it must have the surgeon general's warning on it, it must be sealed in some way (otherwise considered an "open container" in your vehicle), growlers cannot be filled after 10pm. Annoying but true- for the customer anyway. Look at it from the brewers side.... would you want your product that you worked hard to brew and take pride in put into a different brewery's labeled containers?
Sure, a sale is a sale. But say pub A fills pub B's growler. The customer shares it with a friend. The friend thinks "this is great beer!" and sees the label from pub B, not realizing his friend filled it elsewhere. Now he's suddenly a fan of pub B. Pub A's beer just promoted pub B.
 

northernlad

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I have an allergy and need to know what ingredients are in my food. I must read labels to be able to decide if that one may cause a reaction. That, I think, is the basis for such laws. Filling your container with something that is other than as labeled may cause another person great harm. Filling your growler with their product and then slapping a label over what is already on there should fill the intent of the law.
I am sure this is a PITA for you, but ultimately what you consume is 100% your responsibility. If you cannot verify its ingredients, common sense says don't consume it.
 

rawlus

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would anyone here expect coke to put their product in a pepsi bottle?
i am a little surprised at how long this thread has promoted some debate... personally, if i owned a brewery, i wouldnt put my products into the containers of competitors, law or not. there are multiple reasons for this, but the easiest one is that business is about marketing your product effectively and selling your product in a consistent and memorable way so that those who enjoy your product, can identify it easily.

letting the product go out in a competitors packaging is sacrificing long term gains for short term rewards... almost never a good policy for a business that wants to stand the test of time.
 

LuckyBeagleBrewing

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This is why I just homebrew. I dont have to worry about growlers then.:mug:

I had a growler from Schlafly with Schlaflys name on it they would not fill. Reason? They sold the same beer they had on tap in 750ml bottles so they said they would not fill customers growlers anymore. Their words were "You want it, you buy in those bottles". After that, I started making the beer I like from there and no longer buy any of their products.

That is not the case for every brewpub though. Most of the other stories I have read on here are different situations. Some due to laws, in some cases I dont think so.
 

chefmike

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Sorry for bringing this back from the dead...

So there is no federal label requirement. It is up to state law.
I laughed again to see this thread rise up.

But the above is not exactly true. There is most certainly a federal label requirement.

And most breweries are rather careful about not running foul of the revenuers!

But in this case, if you are referencing a growler filled at the tap, the feds say the beer label requirement from a federal perspective does not apply. State may still.

Federal bottle label law applies if it is filled before hand and sold as a large bottle, otherwise it qualifies as a glass and the consumer is considered informed by onsite information.

Thats my reading. I am not a lawyer. Just a brewer who is getting in deeper and deeper... :fro:
 

holden

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But the above is not exactly true.
Uh.. yes it is. See below:

But in this case, if you are referencing a growler filled at the tap, the feds say the beer label requirement from a federal perspective does not apply. State may still.

Federal bottle label law applies if it is filled before hand and sold as a large bottle, otherwise it qualifies as a glass and the consumer is considered informed by onsite information.

Thats my reading. I am not a lawyer. Just a brewer who is getting in deeper and deeper... :fro:
Duh, that's what I was saying, did you not even read the quoted text or even read all that I wrote?
You are interpreting that incorrectly... So if you bring a growler, and pay for it, then they fill it, it is a large glass. Not a bottle. So there is no federal label requirement. It is up to state law.
Obviously the last 2 sentences relates to the one that specifically says growler and all the preconditions. I wasn't saying there is no label requirement for any beer container, just a growler you provide, pay to be filled, and then get it filled from the tap.
 

integrator

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In Indiana it's some kind of legal issue. Sun King Brewery will fill another growler but they then put a sticker over the other name - the sticker has all of the legal jargon on it, along with the logo. I guess it could be an advertising thing but at least they fill it and don't charge for the sticker.
And I'm pretty sure friends have had issues trying to fill growlers at other places around town.
And Sun King only charges $4.50 for a growler and on Friday all of the house beers are only $5 for a fill.
 

erikcue

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i cant beleive i skimmed 11 pages to answer this but heres my understanding of it; california does indeed have strict regulations regarding the sale of alchoholic beverages(beer) and the types of permits vary on the type of establishment. to answer the question of the origional poster, the brewpub in morgan hills license( there are many diferent types of licences in california all based on whether the brewery brews their own beer, sells distilled spiritousdrinks, sells food, as well as the volume of beer made in bbls) does not allow them to sell you alchohol to take to consume off the premises AS WELL as observe california rule on labels which really makes little difference in this situation. many micro/breweries in ca do have the correct licence to fill your growler so it wasnt a waste of money. as well as some establishments that sell food on the premises. do the research its not hard to find!
 

Spartan1979

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Three Floyds in Munster, IN wont even refill a growler with their OWN name on it. They claim something along the lines of "We can't guarantee that your growler is clean or free of soap residue, so you'll need to buy another one".
I've heard that somewhere else. They have quite an attitude. Too bad their beers are so good.

But, any legal issues aside, I don't have a problem with a brewery not wanting to fill a growler from another place.
 

rico567

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I've heard that somewhere else. They have quite an attitude. Too bad their beers are so good.

But, any legal issues aside, I don't have a problem with a brewery not wanting to fill a growler from another place.
These days, I can also understand why they won't refill their own. Argument with people coming back arguing the beer they put in there was crappy, when it was really the condition of the growler is the least of it. At worst, we're talking about America's favorite sport- litigation.

If I ran a brewpub, I would think about the idea of taking an empty growler back and cleaning and sanitizing it in-house (although the costs and logistics of that would have to be built in to the refill), but that would be about the extent of it.
 

BGates14

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I haven't read through the whole thread, but if I need to pick up a specific brand or brewpub's growler I don't complain. You're supporting them in a way and worse comes to worse you have a nice glass jar for a blow-off tube.

Understandable that this will get expensive but it's a one-time purchase if you plan on going back and getting more. Just my 2-cents, I'm sure I'll have some large disagreements.

As far as cleaning goes, it takes about 2 seconds to clean out a used growler. They should sanitize it in some way there in my opinion, maybe just have a push down cleaner filled with sanitizer for a quick rinse. Shouldn't be much more of an expense as they already should have sanitizer on hand.
 

downtown3641

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My experience with growler fills here in Virginia is that breweries welcome growlers from other places. I've heard stories about brewers going to visit other breweries after learning about them from growlers they've filled. Most of these places don't view it as competition. What's good for one is good for all.

As far as the legal side goes, as long as the Surgeon General's warning is on the growler, it doesn't matter what's inside.
 

jc587491

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I have never had a problem with it in TX or VA.

Just another reason to add to the already huge list of reasons i will never move to CA.
 

bigljd

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I can't believe how many times this thread died only to come back to life again.
I'll throw in my 2 cents worth from North Carolina. NC also requires the growler have the correct brewery name on it - I went to Foothills in Winston Salem with a Green Man growler and a Foothills growler, and they would only fill the Foothills growler. I asked the bartender why and she said it was the law.
 

scottland

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In Arizona it's the same, the brewery isn't allowed to fill a growler with another breweries name. I don't stress over it.
 

bigljd

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I have never had a problem with it in TX or VA.

Just another reason to add to the already huge list of reasons i will never move to CA.
I'm sure California residents are heartbroken to hear you won't be joining them.
 

swoof

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Reading this thread makes me feel even more lucky that I can go into my local tap house with a growler from anywhere and fill it with any of the 18 beers they currently have on tap. Today I could get:

Full Sail Lupulin Fresh Hop
Oakshire Ill-tempered Gnome
Firestone Walker Reserve Porter
Cascade Fresh Hop Porter
Duchesse De Bourgogne
New Belgium Lips of Faith Kick (Pumpkin Cranberry Sour)
Oakshire Bottoms Up Pilsner
Flat Tail Brewing Mustache Rye’d Imperial Red
Flat Tail Brewing de la Rose (Fermented in Domaine Serene Pinot Barrels with Trappist &Sake yeast)
Hop Valley Alpha Centauri Binary IIPA
Flat Tail Brewing Nice Melons
Boneyard Experimental IPA
Oakshire Big Black Jack Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter
Rodenbach grand Cru
Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
Oakshire Landtrust Lager
Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge
New Belgium/Elysian Trip X (’72 Eldorado Fresh Hop IPA)
 

downtown3641

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swoof said:
Reading this thread makes me feel even more lucky that I can go into my local tap house with a growler from anywhere and fill it with any of the 18 beers they currently have on tap. Today I could get:

Full Sail Lupulin Fresh Hop
Oakshire Ill-tempered Gnome
Firestone Walker Reserve Porter
Cascade Fresh Hop Porter
Duchesse De Bourgogne
New Belgium Lips of Faith Kick (Pumpkin Cranberry Sour)
Oakshire Bottoms Up Pilsner
Flat Tail Brewing Mustache Rye’d Imperial Red
Flat Tail Brewing de la Rose (Fermented in Domaine Serene Pinot Barrels with Trappist &Sake yeast)
Hop Valley Alpha Centauri Binary IIPA
Flat Tail Brewing Nice Melons
Boneyard Experimental IPA
Oakshire Big Black Jack Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter
Rodenbach grand Cru
Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
Oakshire Landtrust Lager
Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge
New Belgium/Elysian Trip X (’72 Eldorado Fresh Hop IPA)
Amen! I can go to Capital Ale House and fill a growler with any of 60 beers. They even offer a $5 discount on Thursdays. I also have two brewpubs within a few miles of my house that'll fill any brewery's growler.
 

Phunhog

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Living in CA I have been given quite a few growlers from friends/family. Mostly because they are from some far away brewery and can't get them filled locally. They give them to me because they know that I WILL fill them back up for them:D I certainly wouldn't charge someone 18 dollars for a growler of beer:confused:
 

FoundersBrew

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If that's the law, then that's just silly.
At the brewpub I work for in Oregon we will fill anything that will hold beer: growlers, mason jars, thermoses, etc.
I've heard that Deschutes will only fill Deschutes Growlers, but that's all part of a pretty sweet deal they have: pay 26 bucks for a growler and get it filled for only 6 bucks for life.

That all said, when I was in college I'd go to Ithaca brewery and get a growler filled for 6.40 and often 3.20 if it was a seasonal that they were trying to get rid of.
Thats because Oregon is AWESOME! My second favorite state.
 

daksin

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All of the great craft breweries in San Diego have been very strict about this, at least with me.

Don't know if they're just strict about liquor laws in San Diego, but a local joint (bar, not brewery/brewpub) got shut down because they served an "undercover" auditor who was over 21, but had an expired drivers license.

I don't get growlers filled all that often, pretty much just for parties otherwise I'm buying sixers or cases, and I don't mind keeping a bunch of them around- they're only what, 5 or 6 bucks each? I use them for starters.
 

Beezy

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It's not worth it to get them filled in PA unless you go to a brewery. The bars and bottle shops want to charge you for like 4 pints. It will cost between 20 and 40 dollars. Most places will only fill their own growlers. Some places will just stick a sticker on it and call it good.
 

jonmohno

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my dumb city law prohibits agaist this and wont even do it.Id rather take a growler home than drink 4 pints there and chance getting arrested for OWI.Time for a new mayor.
I just think a brewpub or bar can have its own rules if it wants to as long as its legal.They have a right to tell you how you can receive their beer.ri
I paid 20 bucks for the worst pumpkin beer ive had for a growler,only because i like supporting a small brewery by giving a tip-.first growler also.Too much of the same beer for me to drink in a short time though,id rather bring my bottles and cap them there,ha.It definatly goes south after 2 days.They will make nice milk jugs when i go out to a farm to get fresh milk though.At least when i dont have them filled with beer. My local brewery has a first released ipa,(/Big Cock IPa) they are canning also,so im thinking about getting some on tap,also makin a trip to Potosi brewery to get some pumpkin, but hmm maybe i should sample it first before i decide on the growler they still got other good beer to make a 3 hr round trip worthwhile.
 

pdxal

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Reading this thread makes me feel even more lucky that I can go into my local tap house with a growler from anywhere and fill it with any of the 18 beers they currently have on tap. Today I could get:

Full Sail Lupulin Fresh Hop
Oakshire Ill-tempered Gnome
Firestone Walker Reserve Porter
Cascade Fresh Hop Porter
Duchesse De Bourgogne
New Belgium Lips of Faith Kick (Pumpkin Cranberry Sour)
Oakshire Bottoms Up Pilsner
Flat Tail Brewing Mustache Rye’d Imperial Red
Flat Tail Brewing de la Rose (Fermented in Domaine Serene Pinot Barrels with Trappist &Sake yeast)
Hop Valley Alpha Centauri Binary IIPA
Flat Tail Brewing Nice Melons
Boneyard Experimental IPA
Oakshire Big Black Jack Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter
Rodenbach grand Cru
Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
Oakshire Landtrust Lager
Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge
New Belgium/Elysian Trip X (’72 Eldorado Fresh Hop IPA)

Which place are you talking about? I get down to Eugene/Springfield regularly and usually hit the Bier Stein, but they have fewer taps... I gotta check your favorite place out!
 
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