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growler fills in NC

Discussion in 'US - South-Atlantic' started by Billolick, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. Billolick

    Billolick Champion (790) New York Dec 20, 2003

    so whats the deal/law? can I get growler fills at places in NC?
  2. only at breweries, not at shops or bars.
  3. ewright

    ewright Savant (440) North Carolina Oct 25, 2007

    Some stores sell pre-filled growlers, but caveat emptor... That's not really any different than buying a 64oz bottle of beer. I've had some badly skunked growlers from a certain brewery that distributes pre-filled clear glass growlers. Not getting fooled by that again.
  4. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Site Editor (915) North Carolina Dec 8, 2007 Staff Member

    Yep, only at the breweries (or pre-filled at stores).
  5. You can get growlers filled at bars...I have a growler from Tyler's Speakeasy...there is one in Durham, Carrboro, Apex and Raleigh. I get my growler filler there. Now I will say I think they stopped selling them, but if you have one they will fill it, which means its legal. They do however, put a cap on the alcohol for growlers...
  6. no, its not legal at all. There are places that do it sure, but that doesn't make it legal
  7. Beat me to it.
    wolfeman007 likes this.
  8. redcap45

    redcap45 Aficionado (100) Mar 24, 2012

    You can get them in South Carolina though... if you are close enough.
    gothedistance likes this.
  9. Basically the wording of the law here is that the container the beer will be consumed from has to be filled and labeled at the brewery whether its a bottle, keg, can, or growler. So if a bar is taking beer from a keg and putting it in a growler to be consumed somewhere else they would be in violation of said law
    5thOhio and hooligan74 like this.
  10. ewright

    ewright Savant (440) North Carolina Oct 25, 2007

    Some places tried to challenge the law based on wording, technicalities, etc. They lost. We need someone with political connections to "pop the (growler) cap"!
  11. Sayson

    Sayson Savant (290) North Carolina Apr 16, 2005

    Is the law still that a brewery can only fill a growler with their own logo on it? Growler fills can be haphazard. I think Fullsteam does it right. They don't fill growlers. You can bring in an empty Fullsteam growler and exchange it for a full growler. That growler will be cleaned, sanitized and counter-pressure fillled, not filled off the tap. That makes for a better experience.

    Also, they date stamp their caps, because freshness is key.
  12. ewright

    ewright Savant (440) North Carolina Oct 25, 2007

    Breweries have the right to fill any growler now. A temporary label may or may not be required, but some places use them.
  13. Read the link I gave on post #9 that dude knows the law for every state in the US. He took a growler road trip...pretty cool...
  14. the temporary sticker is required and has to be waterproof, some places don't know that though
  15. From what we have heard from the ALE and the NC ABC, the temporary sticker needs to be an TTB-approved label. A brewery slapping their bumper sticker over another growler doesn't cut it, at least not according to state law. I'm not sure how the rule applies to retailers.

    To echo Sayson's comments (thanks for the kind words, TV)...we don't like filling from the tap for the reasons he outlined. We have a good filler, and we like our beer to stay fresh. That said, I generally support freedom of choice in the marketplace, and I don't think retail fills should be illegal. Choice in the marketplace results in informed consumers, and places that don't treat growlers well will ultimately suffer from bad word of month. (I have faith in customers that they won't blame the brewery for a bad retail fill, but opinions on this topic vary wildly in the brewing community.)

    The range of opinions (among both brewers and craft beer enthusiasts) can be seen here in an interesting two-part thread on Bon Appetit:

    http://www.bonappetit.com/blogsandforums/blogs/bafoodist/2011/11/garrett-oliver-thinks-growlers.html
    http://www.bonappetit.com/blogsandforums/blogs/bafoodist/2011/11/growlers-part-two.html
    wchollif likes this.
  16. Does anyone know how the local Charlotte (or other NC) breweries feel about filling up other brewery's growlers?

    Just curious because I was at Foothills over the weekend and they said they didn't mind filling up random labeled growlers. But i feel like a couple months ago i remember hearding/reading that NoDa would only fill up their own branded growlers.

    I have a few that will probably not get filled up again at the original brewery and they are starting to take up space.
  17. I know if you go to Aviator in Fuquay they actually take it, put it up on a "shelf of growlers" and then give you one of theirs in trade. At least they used to....They just redesigned the brewery "bar" area, so not sure anymore.
  18. As far as I know all Charlotte breweries only fill their own growlers. Hence my closet full of growlers.
  19. In NC legally breweries can only fill their own. Foothills doesn't seem to abide by this but it is the law. All of the Charlotte breweries as far as I know will only fill their own.
  20. Thanks Kevin. The bartender at Foothills basically restated the quote below which is why I am curious.

  21. And 04 NCAC 02T .0303 and .0305 state...

  22. Techinically they can fill an outside growler, but first they have to deface any information on the growler and then apply their own label. I've never seen any Charlotte breweries do this. The label isn't optional either.

    Here's the exact wording of the law:
    http://ncrules.state.nc.us/ncac/tit...ommission/subchapter t/04 ncac 02t .0308.html

    This is an instance of a law that exists but is rarely (never?) enforced. Some will fill whatever because they know the chances of being caught are slim, others are more cautious and follow the rules.
  23. I know of at least a couple of instances where the law was enforced, i.e. stores that got "busted" for filling growlers. I also know of some who continue to fill despite the risk. I am not aware of any breweries that have had trouble from filling an outside growler without a proper label. Which is not to say that this hasn't happened.
  24. ewright

    ewright Savant (440) North Carolina Oct 25, 2007

    Legally, only breweries may FILL growlers. Stores are free to sell pre-filled growlers, but not to fill growlers themselves. As you say, some places do it on the hush-hush anyway because it's a dumb law and victimless "crime".
  25. exactly. no one ever mentions them or the same happens here that happened to Funky Buddha. Someone leaked it to the right person that they were filling growlers. So they stopped. Sad day.
  26. ewright

    ewright Savant (440) North Carolina Oct 25, 2007

    I hate to say it, but you can't fix stupid!
    wolfeman007 likes this.
  27. stapy1

    stapy1 Initiate (20) North Carolina Oct 22, 2013

    UPDATE: the growler fill law in North Carolina has changed, effective October 25, 2013. Basically, all breweries and retail establishments (i.e., bottle shops, bars, restaurants, etc.) now have the discretion to fill and re-fill growlers provided that the labeling and sanitization regulations are complied with. So, theoretically, it is now legal to take a Fullsteam growler to Triple C brewery and get it refilled. However, Triple C could still refuse to fill it. So, while the law does represent forward progress for NC, the discretionary nature of the law means that in reality the average consumer may not notice much change. Basically, I think we need to give the NC craft beer community some time to figure out the new law and determine what their approach to it will be. I have heard some places say that they do not plan on offering growler fills simply because they only carry rare/limited release beers on tap and don't want to deplete their keg with just a few growler fills rather than offering it to more of their customer base. There are obviously arguments on both sides. I have written an article summarizing the changes which can be accessed here: http://www.slk-law.com/NewsEvents/Publications/59510/North-Carolinas-New-Growler-Fill-Law
  28. ^Thanks for the link to your article.
  29. Thanks for the article. Got it yesterday.
  30. Sayson

    Sayson Savant (290) North Carolina Apr 16, 2005

    Thanks for the article. It's nice to see that there's an alternative to the three sink set up, which seems onerous to me. Even so, if I'm a retailer, growler fills look like a big pain in the butt! They're labor intensive to fill (unless you pre-fill like Fullsteam does) and the margin looks low to me vs. selling a pint across the bar.

    This comparison isn't very fair since most retailers won't have the ability to choose between selling pints vs. selling growlers. Some places like Beer Study sell pints and packaged beer. A 15.5 keg has 124 pints in it, if we back out 20% for tastes and waste, that gets us to 99.2. If we sell every pint for $5, then we get $496 of revenue. If we sell the whole keg as 12.4 growlers at $14, then we make $173.60. In order for the growler to generate as much revenue as the pint, the growler has to cost $40, which is too high for most consumers by half.
  31. I think having growler fills as an option is a good thing. It's been legal back home in Ohio for a while. Rare/expensive kegs are either ridiculously expensive to fill growlers with OR they won't fill them. I don't see any reason why JD at Beer Study can't offer 32 oz growlers of things like Jade.
  32. does anyone know of any bottle shops working towards doing growler fills?
  33. Ridgewood already has the growler pricing up and they'll be ready to go on Friday, I'm sure. Great pricing.
    atypic likes this.
  34. ewright

    ewright Savant (440) North Carolina Oct 25, 2007

    Question is, how much did you pay for that keg? $5 pints have a pretty significant mark-up built in already ... but hey, if people are willing to pay, why not charge that much?
  35. Where's ridge wood?
  36. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Site Editor (915) North Carolina Dec 8, 2007 Staff Member

    Raleigh - next to the Whole Foods on Wade Ave.
  37. Thanks! Have to check it out next time I'm in raleigh
  38. City Beverage, in Winston, also announced growler fills in their email newsletter this week. They mentioned that their bar will be under construction to prepare for it. So I'm not sure if they'll be ready tomorrow or not.
  39. Sankey's Taproom and Grille in Matthews is doing fills starting at 12:01 am tonight and Custom Home Pubs will start filling tomorrow (Friday).

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