Growlers have been a bit of a hot topic recently with a lot of confusion regarding unlabeled growlers (see this post from Beer Advocate). The LA Brewers Guild has since released a statement regarding changes to the growler policies at LA breweries. Below is the statement from LA Brewers Guild President Jeremy Raub.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LA Brewers Guild Updates Statement on “Non-Native” Brewery Growler Fills
Los Angeles, CA May 30, 2013 - Earlier this year a representative from California ABC commented on breweries’ ability to fill growler bottles with beers they manufacture, and stated (in summary) that any brewery can fill any container, provided that existing label information is obscured and that new, approved labeling is affixed to that container. Before this statement was issued many California breweries were operating to the contrary, in order to avoid confusion and to ensure they remained in compliance with State Law and avoided harsh fines and penalties.
For the past several months the Los Angeles Brewers Guild has been working with its member breweries, as well as other regional brewing guilds to determine the best course of action to address this new information. At a meeting of the LABG on May 15, 2013 several member breweries revealed that they have received label approval for a new format of growler label and will soon be ready to move forward with filling growlers not native to their own brewery. The guild unanimously agreed that the best course of action is for each brewery to begin these “non- native” fills at their own pace, dependent on their own label approval status, and on the infrastructure at each member’s individual establishment.
In the coming weeks you can expect to see some local brewers begin these “non-native” growler fills, however there are a couple key points to keep in mind:
- 1) Each brewery is different and will consider non-native growler fills based on their own policies and procedures, and on their own preparedness to do so.
- 2) Some brewers may choose to continue filling only their own growlers at this time. Please respect this decision.
- 3) Call first. Before you bring a non-native growler to be filled at a brewery be sure to ask:
- a) If they will fill a non-native growler
- b) If they can accommodate filling the size/shape of your particular growler
- 4) State law requires that all identifying marks on non-native growlers be obscured before another brewery can fill that growler. ABC specifies that the method of obscuring those identifying marks cannot be “easily removed”. Again, each brewery will have their own policy in how they comply with this law, so be sure to check with them before you go to get a fill.
Cheers, and happy growler filling!