Filling generic growlers

Discussion in 'Pacific' started by ModernTimesJacob, Feb 13, 2013.

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  1. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Tashbrew is the brewer of 50-50.
  2. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2011 California

    Group hug!
  3. besaunders

    besaunders Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2007 California

    My wallet hates him.
  4. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    Just for clarification, I never said I'd boycott anybody.
    I will be spending more money at breweries who allow blank growlers to be filled. & unlike MacnCheese would have you beleive, I carry no beer geek resentment or entitlement against anybody who doesn't want to fill blank growlers, I just won't go to your brewery as often as I would have otherwise.
    jtmartino likes this.
  5. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2011 California

    Cliffs from the guild meeting: no decision was made for a universal solution. Just clarification of the clarification for the brewers.

    Looks like they might all develop their own policy, or not. Who knows. Don't recycle all your glass yet!

    *edit* I wasn't there. This is 2nd hand info.
  6. besaunders

    besaunders Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2007 California

    I was unaware of this, but apparently there is a San Diego based entity on Facebook known as the "Craft Beer Attorney". This is their summary of the meeting:

    I think MacNCheese is right - It sounds like we won't see any sort of universal solution any time soon. I also bet that there are some tasting room employees (a few I've seen post to BA in particular) that will not be very happy about having to do growler inspections, but such is life. :slight_smile:
  7. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2011 California

    Yeah, the Craft Beer Attorney clarified the clarification (for the brewers/owners that weren't present when this clarification first came to light) for everyone at the guild meeting.

    Regardless if you intend to write your 'label' on tape, it still has to be approved by the ABC. I don't know of any breweries that have a label approved for a 'generic' overlay. Maybe in time.
  8. besaunders

    besaunders Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2007 California

    Quit being slightly dickish and bringing down this thread, MacCheese!

    Seriously, that label approval just added a layer of complexity many people here may not be seeing. I've heard first hand from a few of the smaller brewers in San Diego about what they went through, or are still going through, to get bottle labels approved. I realize that growler stickers are not the same thing, but I bet it will still be a pain.
    MacNCheese likes this.
  9. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2012 California

    Um....most SD brewers are illegally filling then.
    tjensen3618 and Beerandraiderfan like this.
  10. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    I have never seen any brewery anywhere that is in compliance with those.
  11. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2011 California

    The newer breweries are. Rip Current has a card they zip tie to it and they mark off which beer it is which has the ABV. Plus the zip tie 'seals' the container.

    Societe also uses a premade paper 'seal' that you have to break in order to open and on it is stamped the name of the beer.

    Another place (I forget who) heat shrinks a seal around the screw top.

    Ballast Point Linda Vista has a sticker w/ a barcode that has the name (possibly ABV) on the cap.

    The rest I won't comment on, but to say no one is in complicance is false.
    usofar likes this.
  12. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2012 California

    Societe hasn't stamped ABV on any of mine...

    My SS Societe growlers don't have the brewery address.
  13. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2011 California

    So they're sorta in compliance. Better break out the sharpie.
  14. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2012 California

    ...and supply it to the ABC - lol. Fuckin' Cali....
    flexabull and Beerandraiderfan like this.
  15. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2011 California

    I carry my growlers around in insulated bags, one from O'dell brewing which holds 2 growlers, the other is a single growler holder from Midnight Sun.

    Can't wait to be busted for 'obscuring' the manufacturer from Johnny Law. I will continue to use my growler bags regardless. They rock.
  16. jtmartino

    jtmartino Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I'm thinking that breweries would only have to get a template label approved, whether that was a tag or simply a piece of paper that can be used to cover the whole growler. I shot an email to the ABC rep listed in the Facebook link (and left a voicemail.) Hopefully she clarifies the clarification.

    Look at me go. Calling and emailing the ABC to clarify state laws. Breweries, take note.
    afrokaze and flexabull like this.
  17. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2011 California

    You show 'em how its done jtmarty! Keep on kickin' ass!
  18. Beerandraiderfan

    Beerandraiderfan Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Nevada

    Does the growler regulation dealing with label approval specify whether this shall/must be done prior to filling said growler? Or is it ambiguous?

    The ABC has shown itself to be perfectly able to include the mandatory language of shall/must.

    A fundamental rule of statutory/administrative regulation interpretation is that the mention of one thing implies the exclusion of another. Furthermore, ambiguities are construed against the drafter (ABC) of the regulation/statute/contract.
  19. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    Sounds like Rip Current is already in compliance and ready to go to fill blank growlers.
    nanobrew likes this.
  20. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2011 California

    Considering they only sell SS growlers I don't know if they'll adopt the same policy of Societe: no screw top growlers.
  21. jtmartino

    jtmartino Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I got a response back from the ABC (in blue):

    1. Can the approval be granted to a growler label template, as long as it contains all the required fields? Or would approval have to be given for every single beer created by a brewery that they intend to sell via growler?

    Generally template can’t comply with Rule 130 and therefore are not acceptable. I provided a copy of Rule 130.

    2. Since a vast majority of the breweries in the state have not put this required information on their own growlers in the past, will this now be more actively enforced moving forward?

    The Department’s enforcement efforts in this area are complaint-driven. Accordingly, if someone believes a particular label does not comply with our statutes or rules that individual should let us know.

    § 130. Beer Labeling Requirements.

    (a) The name and address of any manufacturer, bottler or packager appearing upon any label of beer must be the true name and address of such person at the time of packaging of such product. The true name of a manufacturer, bottler or packager shall be deemed to include a fictitious business name for which such manufacturer, bottler or packager has duly filed a Fictitious Business Name Statement pursuant to the provisions of Section 17900 et seq. of the Business and Professions Code. For purposes of this section, “address” means the city and state if domestically produced or city and country if produced outside of the United States. The manufacturer's, bottler's or packager's principal place of business may be shown in lieu of the actual place where manufactured, bottled or packaged if the address shown is a location where bottling or packaging operation takes place.

    (b) Any labels or notices affixed to beer must, if such beer is produced in this State, be affixed prior to the first sale, and in the case of beer produced outside the State and imported into this State, be affixed prior to shipment into this State.

    (c) A copy of any label or notice affixed to beer shall, if that beer is produced in this State, be filed with the headquarters office of the department by the manufacturer prior to the first sale, and if that beer is produced outside this State and imported into this State, be filed with the headquarters office of the department by the shipper prior to shipment into this State.

    (1) No beer may be sold or delivered in this State unless the label or notice submitted to the department has been accepted for filing.

    (2) The department may refuse to accept for filing any label or notice that is not in compliance with the provisions of this section or any provision of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act.

    (d) For purposes of this section, “affixed” means the placement, by any means, of a label or notice, or the information required on a label or notice, on a container of beer.

    (e) Any variation or change to a label or notice shall be separately filed with the department.
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  22. besaunders

    besaunders Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2007 California

    Oh, boy. Here we go...
  23. Beerandraiderfan

    Beerandraiderfan Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Nevada

    Wow. This is why I have a knee jerk reaction against any proposed additional regulation or legislation. The amount of tax money and resources devoted to this stuff, that inhibits commerce, is just a shame.

    Breweries: Please start submitting your labels.
    jasonmason likes this.
  24. tyrsis

    tyrsis Disciple (321) Mar 13, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    We're finally going to see if the breweries actually give a shit about this law. Will they spend the time to create a label for all of their beers, and submit them to the ABC? The onus is completely on them, this time.
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  25. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    I have a feeling that is going to get lobbied against pretty hard. It would be such a hassle to comply with (and is completely independent of blank growlers) and it wasn't done by anyone ever so it's hard to say it's necessary. Unlike the blank growler thing it's actually in breweries' interests to fight it, so I'm guessing it'll be fought.

    Until then, jeez, are places just going to stop filling growlers? Some temperance loon with an axe to grind could report just about anyway at any time.
  26. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    I have never had a legal growler filled. ever.
  27. Beerandraiderfan

    Beerandraiderfan Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2009 Nevada

    Why would it be such a hassle? Fill out a label the size of a postcard, submit. Don't get me wrong, I do think it is an unnecessary hassle foisted upon them by the ABC, but so is getting an alcohol license, sanitizing equipment, workers comp, employee evaluations, safety training, zoning requirements etc. . . this one seems to take minimal effort.

    Why would would it be in a brewery's interest to fight against what consumers want in CA, and get outside of CA? If Societe submits a label, I think their growler fills will significantly increase, which would seem to be a good thing.

    Temperance, fake slip & falls, dram shop liability, there's all kinds of loons out there trying to use the law to keep justice away.
  28. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    I doubt it's really all that minimal, plus they'd need to do it for everything. Though, I suppose all kegs need collars anyway, right? Maybe the submission isn't that bad. But keeping enough stickers (or tags or whatever) on hand to go onto growlers would be a PITA compared to some blank tags and a sharpie.
    You completely misunderstand me, I mean fight the LABELING requirement, not the ability to fill any container thing. If ABC is going to actually enforce this then there will be people fighting it, because it's stupid and overly onerous and everything was fine when no one did it.
  29. UnknownKoger

    UnknownKoger Zealot (538) Jul 9, 2010 California

    The statement from Golden Road's blog:

    Tashbrew and pinkgrenade like this.
  30. grilledsquid

    grilledsquid Devotee (486) Jul 10, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Why do I get the sense that these breweries aren't all that interested in coming up with a solution that's satisfactory to the customer's needs?
    jasonmason likes this.
  31. DrtyBvrJuce

    DrtyBvrJuce Initiate (0) Jan 17, 2013 California

    The consumers seemed fine before.
    pinkgrenade likes this.
  32. besaunders

    besaunders Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2007 California

    Why should they be, if the reward for a change is upheaval?
  33. Earlycsquid

    Earlycsquid Zealot (536) Jan 7, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    I know i'd probably fill my growler at a lot more places if I didn't have to pay for a new glass. I reached my capacity of glassware my beer area can hold. Not to mention the cost of an empty glass for places like ERB are way too much to justify getting glass.

    If they were to change the law, I'd probably double or triple fill growlers at places like Ladyface using both the in-house growler as well as one or two other empty growlers to justify my trip out there or make a party I go to after a bit more craft friendly.
  34. RedBeeron

    RedBeeron Initiate (0) Jul 7, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    So, what the pessimist in me is reading, is that I should systematically report every brewery I've visited (and i guess technically own growlers from) that fails to comply 100% with the rules as written.

    And as they face greater frustrations with the ambiguity of growler fill laws than I do, perhaps start a more serious dialogue within their "guild" about working towards lobbying for more clear and comprehensive growler fill law in California.

    Because, REALLY, what I'm reading, is that (most?) breweries in California are cherry picking which aspect of the law they're choosing to follow.

    Dick move? Probably.

    Worth it? That depends on whether or not things actually change.

    But I can say with all honesty that as a consumer it is infuriating to find that businesses I frequent and often times go out of my way to support are, whether they realized it at the time or not, selectively choosing which aspects of the law they choose to abide by to their advancement while using the same laws to inconvenience me. I feel as though my trust has been broken, and while I won't do anything so outlandish as to boycott all local breweries (as I am yet again one of those who have never had a growler filled 100% in compliance with the law), I can most certainly make sure breweries know how my demographic feels by hitting them where it hurts most: the pocket book.
  35. MikeTen

    MikeTen Initiate (0) Apr 3, 2009 California

    I've gone ahead and e-mailed the local ABC offices for a few breweries whose growlers I own, who haven't written the ABVs when I got them filled. Hold their balls to the fire.
    RedBeeron likes this.
  36. CAbeerCAbeerCA

    CAbeerCAbeerCA Aspirant (205) Mar 3, 2011 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    Terrible idea. Next up: breweries shut down growlers all together to avoid fines and loss of licenses.
    Xul, pmarlowe and pinkgrenade like this.
  37. MikeTen

    MikeTen Initiate (0) Apr 3, 2009 California

    Unlikely. Most just need to write the ABVs in addition to the beer name. It'll take 5 minutes of training for their employees, an hour tops for the dumber ones.

    But it'll get their attention.
  38. sirtomtom

    sirtomtom Initiate (197) Dec 10, 2010 California

    From reading Rule 130 and the reply that the ABC gave jmartino, writing in the ABV and beer name would also be a violation of the rule. The growler label itself must have all 4 items: brewery, address, beer name, ABV on the label as submitted to the ABC. Essentially every brewery must have a separate label submitted for every beer they plan to fill. They cannot just write in the beer and abv. They can have blank fields for date of fill, name of filler, favorite color of the filler, and your horoscope for all it matters, but the 4 items have to be pre-printed on the stick on label.

    The best thing most breweries could do is just produce slightly larger versions of the labels they already put on bottles. Since they are 100% identical to what they've already submitted to the ABC, their shouldn't be any problem. I don't think the submitted labels include dimensions. Peel them of a sticker sheet, slap it on the growler. It would only suck for/kill any never bottled fills.
  39. MikeTen

    MikeTen Initiate (0) Apr 3, 2009 California

    Oh, I see that now. I misunderstood.

    I still think it's a good idea to flag violators. If their excuse for not taking another brewery's growler is that they don't have a template to slap over it, might as well hit them with the news that they weren't doing it right in the first place. Rather than re-designing their growlers (expensive), they'll probably design sticker-type labels. Which can be used on all growlers! Huzzah!

    There's no way all breweries everywhere are going to accept the loss of so much revenue. They'll shape up.
  40. Sebowski

    Sebowski Initiate (123) Jan 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    And the winner of the douche bag move of the year goes to.... MikeTen!
    rob133 and MacNCheese like this.
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