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Jun 28, 2013 01:57 PM

Growler regulation change in CA

California breweries are now permitted to fill growlers with another brewery's label, though some have indicated they will not:

Under the old policy, I was unable to get my original Lagunitas growler filled because they had changed the design and label and, technically and bizarrely, my Lagunitas growler was therefore no longer a Lagunitas growler. I hope this means they'll fill it now- I hate the mason jars and faux 40oz jobs they're using now.

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  1. Good that the regulation is being changed/clarified, but there is still a bunch of bullshit going on with growlers in this state. Breweries like RR and Bruery are coming up with this nonsense about supposed 'incompatibility' of different growler shapes and closures, or cleanliness (which is totally absurd, since RR never cleans before refills), when I think most brewers are really just reluctant to give up the glass sales.

    Not to mention that CA still only allows fills at the place it's brewed. This silliness has bothered me for a long time.

    4 Replies
    1. re: eethan

      I thought some of the Whole Foods could fill growlers - are you sure about this?

      1. re: RB Hound

        Pretty sure. No one has cited a particular code to me, but my guess is they're interpreting section 25203 ( to mean that it is not permitted. Have you found any non-brewer that will fill? I have been declined before at Whole Foods, but there are not many with taps.

      2. re: eethan

        I'm hoping that the individual brewery weirdness will even out as everyone becomes more comfortable with the clarification of the rules. I don't know about the bigger guys, but I've talked to a couple small guys, and the sales from glass aren't that big a chunk of business. But maybe I'm wrong.

        Here's the link to The Bruery's statement about it all. They're filling their growlers, or blank Palla-style swingtops.

        Looks like I'm going to continue to have a variety of growlers rolling around in my trunk for a while.

        1. re: Fig Newton

          Wow, complete with instructions for removing branding with acetone and a razor blade. I have a blank Palla from a long-gone brewery somewhere; sounds like I should install it in the trunk.

          I was at Lagunitas yesterday but didn't broach the topic.

      3. Russian River has a blog post (you'll have to go through their token age check page first) about the changes, and why they still will only fill their own growlers.

        1 Reply